Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dinosaur National Monument

We're visiting the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado, no wait, Utah. First we went to the Colorado entry, but it was closed for the winter so then we came to the Utah entry and it was open. Now we're camped at Split Mountain Campground, Utah. We're loving this place. The beauty, peace, quiet, hikes, wildlife, Green River. All of it!

Between our camp site, and some amazing white cliffs, is the Green River...

One of our first campground visitors, high up on the cliffs, was this guy...

With me in rapture, watching the Big Horn Sheep, Benton seems uninterested...

The park drive to the campground wowed us with beauty. The rock cliffs, huge stormy sky, muted colors, river and wide open spaces were captivating. We're planning on more days here with more hiking and some biking too.

First thing on arrival we visited the Dinosaur Display, a powerful look at both dinosaurs and architecture...

In 1909 fossils were discovered by Paleontologist Earl Douglass and excavation was begun for the Carnegie Museum. In 1915 the 80-acre Dinosaur National Monument was established. Today the park is a 210,000-acre monument straddling the Utah and Colorado borders and includes the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers.

The "Wall of Bones" located within the Dinosaur Quarry building consists of a steeply tilted (67° from horizontal) rock layer which contains hundreds of dinosaur fossils. The enclosing rock has been chipped away to reveal the fossil bones intact for public viewing.

This first photo shows the percentage of the fossil quarry now protected under cover...

This morning we hiked a couple miles into a canyon on a trail leaving from the campground, loving
every step...

Yep, we're staying a couple more days, including returning to the Colorado entry to explore and probably camp. Some neighbor campers said the road is open and the campground too, despite a contrary sign on the Colorado visitor center's door.


"I hope that the Government for the benefit of science and the people, will uncover a large area, leave the bones and skeletons in relief and house them in. It would make one of the most astounding and instructive sights imaginable."

~ Earl Douglass
 1923 letter to Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution


  1. Thanks, Fran. Also want to let you know how much I enjoy your Thistle adventures and those awesome photos …. Love, Diane

  2. Thank you Diane. I'm enjoying this blogging form of journaling. xf

  3. Ohmigosh, the landscapes, the skyscapes, the colors and textures! I'm so in awe of it all, and so enthralled. Thank you, dear Fran!

  4. You are very welcome Anne. I just wish you were here too! Love, Fran