Dinosaur National Monument Things to Do Tips by basstbn
Dinosaur National Monument Things to Do: 6 reviews and 18 photos
BIG Rock opposite camp ground on Green River
The Green River is a deep and powerful river on its winding path through the Canyon of the Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument. We were fortunate to time our visit to see the arrival of a group of rafters who had been floating the river for six days, a trip that would have taken them through the scenic Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area. They were tired, but exhilarated from the trip.
The boat ramps are located at the Green River Camp Ground, barely visible at the bottom of the main photo for this tip. This is a good place to get out and stretch your legs, walk along the river, picnic, etc.
The Fremont people* who inhabited this area from about 200 to 1300 AD left some remarkable examples of petroglyphs (rock art), many of which are located within the boundaries of the Dinosaur National Monument. The rock art as shown here, where the design is chipped or carved into the rock, is known as petroglyphs; that which is applied with pigment is called pictograms. There is much speculation regarding the meanings or purposes of these petroglyphs, just as there is about what happened to the Fremont people and where they went.
Due to past incidences of vandalism, park officials do not disclose the locations of most. Fortunately, one art-covered boulder (see directions below) is adjacent to one of the park roads, and vigilantly monitored by park rangers. Well worth a visit.
*So named by archeologists and scholars because evidence of their culture was first found in the vicinity of the Fremont River.
Directions: The examples shown in these photos are located on Cub Creek just east of the visitors center. Easy to find using available maps.
For fifty years, Josie Bassett lived in seclusion in her little cabin at the end of a remote Utah canyon.
That statement barely begins to tell the remarkable story of Josie Bassett - a self-sufficient farmer and rancher, four times divorced, moonshiner, a friend and helper to the down and out, a cantankerous old coot of a character. Rather than try to tell you more, I will recommend to you the following article: http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/pioneers_and_cowboys/josiebassett.
Her cabin still stands and is located within the boundaries of the Dinosaur National Monument, and can be visited by tourists willing to drive clear to the end of the road. We found it to be a beautiful setting in early June, and enjoyed strolling around her cabin site and the neighboring meadow.
Directions: See the map at www.americansouthwest.net/utah/dinosaur/map
Exhibits in temporary pavilion
A temporary visitors center has been established in what appears to have been a picnic pavilion. A number of educational exhibits are included. At least park visitors can see a few fossils and bones, and learn a little bit about the history of these ancient inhabitants of the area.
Directions: Near the Jensen, Utah, entrance. See map at: www.americansouthwest.net/utah/dinosaur/map
In the (now-closed) Visitors Center
The unquestioned highlight of the earlier visit with my daughters was to the dinosaur quarry. My daughters were in dinosaur heaven!
Multiple layers of dinosaur bones have been discovered by paleontologists who continue to dig in the area. At the quarry, those exposed bones were easily visible to visitors until it was discovered that the foundation of the adjoining visitors center was shifting, forcing parks administrators to close this attraction. The center, with its educational displays, had included balconies which allowed visitors to view the quarry, the exposed bones, and the working paleontologists up-close. Such a pity.
According to the park's web site, President Obama's stimulus package included funds to demolish and rebuild the affected areas. A re-opening is projected for some time in 2011.
Directions: Check out the map at the attached link:
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