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Natural History Museum of Utah

Dinosaurs in Utah

Ready to take a step back in time? With fossil records of more dinosaur species than any other state and the most complete record of prehistoric life of any geographic area on the planet, Utah offers one of the world's largest collections of mounted dinosaur skeletons interspersed among actual discovery sites. No matter where you go in Utah, you aren’t far from a significant museum, archeological dig, or former home to these astounding creatures. For an immersive experience, travel along the Dinosaur Diamond Highway that runs from Salt Lake City to Moab. You don’t have to be a dino-crazy kid to get excited by all there is to see — but it certainly doesn’t hurt to bring one along.

Here are some of the top destinations to enjoy that highlight Utah’s prehistoric past.

George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park 

Located in Ogden, the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is an eight-acre outdoor museum with full-bodied creatures of the Dinosaur Age, including prehistoric crawlers, predators, marine creatures and flying reptiles dating from the Permian through Cretaceous periods. Realistic sculptures of more than 125 dinosaurs fill the park in a native Utah setting, all reproduced based on the findings of fossil skeletal remains, and accentuated by a high-quality sound system. The 16,000-square-foot museum includes exhibit space, a large paleontology laboratory, offices and a lecture hall.

George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park

Photo: Mark Osler

Natural History Museum of Utah

The Past Worlds exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City features an outstanding display of paleontology. It covers eons of Utah's history and includes a frequently updated display of the latest dinosaur finds — such as Utah's state fossil, the Allosaurus, and a dozen other dinosaurs found in the state. 

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry within Jurassic National Monument in the northern part of the San Rafael Swell (about 33 miles south of Price, Utah) invites visitors to some hands-on learning. This area is home to the densest collection of Jurassic-era dinosaur fossils ever unearthed — more than 12,000 individual bones, belonging to at least 74 different dinosaurs. Why are there so many? That’s a mystery that you can ponder as you tour the museum and hike on the outdoor trails. Visit one of two bone deposit structures where paleontologists and volunteers can be seen at work during the field season, adding to the site's impressive resume.

Natural History Museum of Utah

Photo: Mark Osler

Dinosaurs_Cleveland-Lloyd-Quarry_Osler-Mark_2014

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Photo: Mark Osler

Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point

Twenty minutes north of Provo in the rapidly growing town of Lehi, you’ll find Thanksgiving Point, a sprawling museum complex, that is a destination in and of itself and big enough to keep you busy for several days. It includes the Museum of Natural Curiosity, with more than 400 interactive experiences; Farm Country, a working farm where visitors can see the usual, and not-so-usual, farm animals; and Ashton Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden that includes the largest, man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere. It’s also home to The Museum of Ancient Life, an exhibit that features a gallery of 60 complete dinosaur skeletons and more than 50 hands-on exhibits. 

Moab Giants Dinosaur Museum

Start your journey at the Moab Giants Dinosaur Museum by watching a 3D-film about prehistoric life. Then wander about the museum and use the touchscreen terminals to learn more and play educational games — technology is a big part of this museum. Take advantage of the viewing windows to look into labs where scientists are conducting a range of research projects. You are encouraged to do your own experiments as well, by creating fossilized tracks to learn how they were originally made and preserved in stone. 

Photo: Jeremiah Watt

Dinosaur National Monument

Photo: Mark Osler

Dinosaur National Monument

Northeastern Utah’s dinosaur legacy comes to life at Dinosaur National Monument, where geological and climatic forces have tilted, warped and eroded the earth’s crust to reveal a treasure trove of fossils. Located on the Utah border with Colorado, there is something for everyone here. Take your pick of touring the dinosaur quarry, going on driving tours around the park, hiking the nature trails, backpacking, whitewater river running, taking photos, bird-watching, fishing, general sightseeing and biking.

Dinosaurland

Located just outside of Dinosaur National Monument, Vernal, Utah, is known as Dinosaurland, and it features several destinations for dino hunters. Start with the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, which gives visitors a virtual tour of Earth’s ancient history. This 22,000-square-foot facility located in the heart of the Uinta Basin is loaded with an extensive collection of dinosaur bones, full-size dinosaur replicas and interactive exhibits that allow you to wander back in time.

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For an immersive experience, travel along the Dinosaur Diamond Highway that runs from Salt Lake City to Moab. 

01

7 Days

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.

Dinosaurs, Kid-Friendly, Road Trips

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02

5 Days

Southern Dinos and Goblins

From fossils and petroglyphs to slot canyons and goblins, you’ll have four days of “oohs” and “ahhs” for the whole adventuring family.

Hiking, History and Heritage, Kid-Friendly, Road Trips

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