Dinosaurs once roamed here and their embedded remains are visible in the largest quarry of Jurassic Period bones. Today, an array of life is found in the mountains, desert and untamed rivers.see more »
Experience Dinosaur National Monument
Close your eyes and imagine the existence of dinosaurs here, tens of millions of years ago. First clear the scene in your mind of the buildings, the roads, the human constructions, then move rivers, plateaus, mountains and oceans into wild new landscapes, softening stone into clay and reanimating fossils into living bones. What stars burned brighter? What universal energy do you share with your terrestrial predecessors? Touch 149-million-year-old fossils and feel for yourself.
Come for the magnificent prehistory, stay for the outdoor adventure. Whether you have a passion for paleontology or an inkling for adventure, Dinosaur National Monument offers a full array of rich history and scenic splendor, all connected by beautiful trails, rivers or rugged backcountry.
Learn more about night skies and astronomy at Dinosaur National Monument.
Dinosaur is about 191 miles or just over three hours from Salt Lake City on eastbound U.S. Highway 40/191 | Map
Dinosaur Adventures at a Glance
Dinosaur National Monument features two distinct districts with separate visitor centers. The gateway to the park's prehistory is in the Dinosaur Quarry near Jensen, Utah. Here you will uncover the world-famous fossil exhibits that give the park its name. The Canyon district extends along the Green and Yampa rivers and provides extensive outdoor recreation opportunity.
It is difficult not to marvel at the ancient history locked up in Dinosaur National Monument's breathtaking land. Dinosaur includes the largest quarry of Jurassic Period dinosaur bones ever discovered. About 350 tons of fossils and rocks, including full skeletons, have been excavated from the site. In October of 2011, the ribbon was cut on the new Quarry Visitor Center and the refurbished Quarry Exhibit Hall buildings. The Carnegie Quarry's great wall of dinosaur bones features nearly 1,500 Jurassic-era fossils and multiple interactive exhibits are featured in these modern facilities.
But you've just gotten started.
The monument, which stretches east into Colorado, is full of mapped hikes, backcountry adventures, scenic drives, and the whitewater thrills of the Green and Yampa Rivers. It is out here, away from the crowds and the built environment, where the imagination is free to run wild and you can find yourself living at the nethermost cusp of an ancient timeline. The park's magnificent Dark Skies will reveal the Milky Way. You've just experienced something primordial.
The quarry elevation hits 5,000 feet above sea level (1,524 meters) but the monument ranges from 4,700 feet to about 9,000 feet (2,743 meters). Throughout the summer, expect hot sun and warm temperatures to prevail, but that cool off significantly with elevation and at nights.
Size and History
In 1909, 20 miles east of Vernal, paleontologist Earl Douglass discovered a 200-foot-long sandbar layered with prehistoric plant and animal fossils. From 80 acres in 1915 to the present size of 210,844 acres, Dinosaur National Monument originally protected the large concentration of fossils in the quarry area, but was expanded to protect the unique geology, sublime canyons and confluence of the Yampa and Green rivers.