"Dinosaur National Monument" Dinosaur National Monument by basstbn

My Second Visit

I've been fortunate enough to visit this under appreciated national monument on two occasions - 1992 with my two school-age daughters, and again in 2008 with my wife, Nancy. Daughters Allison and Elizabeth were both really into dinosaurs at that young age, and were absolutely thrilled to be able to view the dig at such a close distance, and to view the skeletons embedded in the side of the mountain. Unfortunately, in the years since 1992, the quarry visitor center has been closed to the public due to a construction fault which renders it unsafe. Nancy and I were unaware of that until our visit to the park. Nonetheless, we drove through the park, and found plenty of interesting things to see.

Indian Petroglyphs

The Fremont people who inhabited this area about a thousand years ago left some remarkable examples of petroglyphs (rock art), many of which are located within the boundaries of the Dinosaur National Monument. Due to past incidences of vandalism, park officials do not disclose the locations of most. Fortunately, one art-covered boulder is adjacent to one of the park roads, and vigilantly monitored by park rangers. Well worth a visit.

More information in my "Things to Do" Travel Tips.

Abandoned homestead

The history of the old west is full of legendary, colorful characters, few more fascinating than Josie Bassett Morris. For fifty years, she lived alone in this rustic cabin, deep in a remote canyon in what is now the Dinosaur National Monument. Visiting this beautiful spot on a warm spring day, you feel that you have entered a Garden of Eden, but know that it is not, and was not, always such a verdant oasis.

Find a lot more details about this unique character, and see more photos, on my tips page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great place to experience rugged Utah back-country, learn about dinosaurs, petropglyphs
  • Cons:Remote location; reasonably-price lodging scarce; quarry closed
  • In a nutshell:In spite of its short-comings (some temporary), we find it an interesting visit!
  • Last visit to Dinosaur National Monument: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated Mar 1, 2010
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