Things to Do
Not into dinosaurs? Plenty of outdoor adventure awaits near Vernal. It is a gateway to a national recreation area, a national forest and several state parks with reservoirs. Go hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, or just opt for a scenic drive.
The Green River is one of the country’s world-class river rafting destinations. You can also enjoy swimming, boating and more at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area as well as Steinaker and Red Fleet state parks.
Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum
Go for a dino dig, examine the exhibits, and immerse yourself in all things fossils and dinosaurs at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum.
Dinosaur National Monument
Explore the 1,500 bones in Dinosaur National Monument’s Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall, or enjoy outdoor adventure in the monument while hiking, camping or rafting, keeping an eye out for fossils and petroglyphs.
The desert highlands on the northern edge of the Uinta Basin, just west of Vernal, are home to pronghorn, wind and the mountain bike track network of McCoy Flats. This non-motorized trail complex with up to 35 miles of interconnecting paths holds something for all abilities.
Buckskin Hills Recreation Complex
Buckskin Hills Recreation Complex offers year-round outdoor sports in Vernal. This includes mountain biking, ATV trails, a shooting range, drag strip and speedway, motocross, camping and a ski and snow tubing hill.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
With more than 200,000 acres of land and water, Flaming Gorge is a scenic playground for boating, waterskiing, windsurfing, camping and backpacking in addition to some of the best fishing in the west.
Red Fleet State Park
Known as “Little Lake Powell,” Red Fleet State Park offers fishing, hiking, camping, biking and more in a gorgeous sandstone lake setting. Plan a trip!
Steinaker State Park
Utah’s Steinaker State Park offers outdoor action for everybody. Swim in the reservoir, camp, bike, paddle, wakeboard, ride ATVs and more! Check it out now.
Trekking Along the Dinosaur Diamond Highway
Utah’s Dinosaur Diamond Highway is the perfect guide to experience ancient history, millions of years in the making.
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Jurassic National Monument
- San Rafael Swell
- Dead Horse Point State Park
Sandstone Spires & Swimming Holes
Walk the paths of dinosaurs and descend through 200 million years of geologic history in this six-day road trip from Vernal to Kodachrome Basin. It’s a kid-friendly desert drive in search of dino tracks, slot canyons and swimming,
- Dinosaur Tracks in Vernal
- Crystal Geyser in Green River
- Hoodoos & Slots of Goblin Valley
- The Red Cliffs of Capitol Reef
- The White Cliffs of Grand Staircase
- Sandstone Spires in Kodachrome Basin
Read the Stories
Vernal Equinox: A New Season in Vernal, Utah
Looking for things to do in Vernal, Utah? Read our guide to the town here for attractions, restaurants, breweries and more. Make plans to visit Vernal!
The Unknown & Otherworldly Near Vernal, Utah
UFOs, dinosaur bones, ghosts — there’s a chance to see all of them in the wild, weird and existential landscapes of Northeastern Utah.
Why Backcountry Snowmobiling Is an Unforgettable Way to Experience the Uinta Mountains
The Uinta Mountains are about 100 miles east of Salt Lake City and just a few minutes from Vernal in Eastern Utah. It's one of the state's top snowmobiling destinations.
Tracing the Outlaw Trail
Cowboys and dinosaurs don’t always come to mind in tandem. At Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah, however, they do share one thing: an incredible landscape as a backdrop. This landscape, as well as some wild history, make Dinosaur a must-visit part of the state.
Two Trips, Two Worlds, Two Years Apart: Returning to Raft in Dinosaur National Monument
Nushin and her family of four returned to Utah's Dinosaurland for the "best four days ever!" of guided rafting on the Green River. Explore their journey today!
Guided Rafting Through the Gates of Lodore
Explore guided rafting expeditions through the Gates of Lodore, one of Utah's most sought-after whitewater rafting trips with Dinosaur River Expeditions.
The Real Story Behind the Dinosaur Quarry
What universal energy do you share with your terrestrial predecessors? At Dinosaur National Monument, you can touch 149-million-year-old fossils and feel for yourself.
An Old Favorite Fishing Hole at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Visit Utah columnist Dan Potts takes us to his "secret" fishing hole on Utah's Flaming Gorge Reservoir, one of the world's most diverse fisheries set among the brilliant red rock walls of Red Canyon in the easternmost corner of the state. Along the way, Dan takes us through some of his favorite landscapes on the drive to and from Salt Lake City.
A First-ever Camping Trip on BLM Lands
As a new resident of the western United States, I’ve discovered the gift of recreating on public lands. Though daunting at first, after researching and waiting too long, the time finally felt right to try camping on BLM lands in Utah’s dinosaur country. There is no shame in trying something new.
The Story of Starvation Reservoir
Sprawling waters and local legends at Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation.
Dog-Friendly Utah: The Road to Mighty
Want to bring your furry friend on your next vacation? Utah is home to several great dog-friendly national parks and other fun destinations. Check it out and plan your trip!
Remote Adventure on the Green River
150 years after John Wesley Powell mapped the Green, experience the same solitude and scenery with plenty of (safer) spills and thrills
Following the Dinosaur Tracks of Red Fleet
Explore Red Fleet State Park's cleverly built trail that crosses sandy washes, ribs of exposed stone and a dinosaur trackway.
Dinosaurland Top 5
Vernal, Utah, is an adventure base camp to the best of eastern Utah. Uintah County around Vernal — called Dinosaurland — is home to diverse outdoor recreation and natural history at three state parks, Dinosaur National Monument and countless trailheads to the Ashley National Forest.
How to Find a Guided Outdoors Experience
You might not be a pro climber, camper or explorer, but Utah’s diverse collection of outdoor guides has all of the expertise you need to have an adventure worth getting stoked about.
Chasing John Wesley Powell: Six Places to Explore Utah's Green and Colorado Rivers
One hundred and fifty years ago a one-armed Civil War veteran set off with nine mountain men on a scientific expedition to map one of the last blank spaces left on the U.S. map: The Green and Colorado rivers. Much of the river remains wild today. Follow Powell's journey here.
Following the Markings of Native American History
This road trip across Utah to view ancient petroglyphs and pictographs will give you an incredible window into the past.
A Guide to the Many Faces of Utah's Green River
The mighty Green River carves a path through a dramatic and varied landscape of mountains, canyons and desert for 730 miles across Utah. Whether you have a few hours or a few weeks, experience the diversity of this river yourself by getting on the water.
Find a Winter Refresh in a Utah State Park
The best Utah state parks will entice you with ice fishing, white sand and snow-dusted scenery. Take a winter break to refresh with a visit to a few of these places.
Get Your Spook On: Northern Utah's Most Haunted Places
Looking for a different kind of adventure? One seemingly outside the realms of possibility? Here are some of Utah’s most haunted places.