What and Where Is Dinosaur National Monument?

Dinosaur National Monument protects 80 acres of fossil embedded cliffs.
Dinosaur National Monument protects 80 acres of fossil embedded cliffs.

Dinosaur National Monument is found in Moffat County, Colorado and Uintah County, Utah, in the United States of America. The monument is located on the south-east flank of the Uinta Mountains between Colorado and Utah where river Yampa meets river green.

History of Dinosaur National Monument

The Dinosaur National Monument provides a site where visitors can see over 1,500 fossils of dinosaurs that are still embedded in the face of the cliff. The cliff containing the fossils was named The Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall, where during summers visitors come to see these dinosaur remains. This monument was established in 1915 to protect prehistoric plants and animal fossils that were discovered by paleontologist Earl Douglass in 1909 when he was looking for fossils for the Carnegie Museum. The monument stands on an 80-acre land. The land also contains wildlife such as coyote, eagles, beaver, owls, and hawks.

Significance of Dinosaur National Monument

Even though dinosaurs are extinct, the Dinosaur National Monument was reserved to preserve such memories. People travel from all over the world to see their fossils. This ensures that the memory of the dinosaurs is not entirely erased from existence. The monument has discovered 13 species of dinosaurs in Dinosaur national monument. Since the land has been preserved, the rivers, the mountains, and the desert support a vast amount of life. The many activities carried out in the monument attract many tourists to the site.

The famous wall of dinosaur bones at the Dinosaur National Monument's Quarry Visitor Center.

Fun Activities at Dinosaur National Monument

The monument provides a suitable camping site. Many visitors stay overnight camping in order to enjoy the night skies while stargazing. Others prefer to lounge near the river and enjoy what the monument has to offer. Another activity that visitors enjoy is hiking and exploring the monument’s landscape. Due to many hikers there a route that people can hike along a river, can also explore dark box canyon, or just gaze across the monument.

River rafting and boating is also another activity that takes place in Dinosaur National Monument. The rivers found in the monument, the Green and Yampa, create a dramatic canyon site. Visitors can experience river rafting in these rivers. Another activity is picnicking and there are designated picnic areas that are found at Split Mountain, Plug Hat Butte, the end of the Harpers Corner and the Canyon Overlook. Visitors can have picnic tables, restrooms, and grills of fire if they are unreserved.

During winter, there are snow related activities such as snowmobiling on the Harpers Corner Drive, snowshoeing, and cross country snow skiing. However, snow limits access to most parts of the monument. Some visitors also prefer auto touring where they visit the tilted rocks near Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center where there are prehistoric petroglyph sites. A journey through time to the beautiful Blue Mountain Plateau. It takes 2-4 hours to drive to Echo Park and Yampa Bench.

Biking is also becoming a popular activity and sometimes used as a means of transportation. However, bicycle riders are restricted to using roads only. Horse riding is sporting the monument too. People use horses, llamas, and mules on dirt roads.


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