Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dinosaur National Monument, Utah and Colorado

We visited Dinosaur National Monument in the spring. (Funny...I always thought is was Dinosaur National Park but it's not. ) Summertime temperatures can reach 100 degrees F and we definitely wanted to avoid that. However, even in the spring, the park is hot, sandy and dry. If you visit, be sure to be prepared with lots of water.

The Monument area spreads out over two states. We started at the quarry area in Utah. The quarry building, with the main fossil exhibits, is now closed to the public due to structural problems caused by a shifting foundation.

However, nearby, there is a small museum with fossils and you can hike about ½ mile from the visitors’ center to see fossils.

What they don’t tell you up front is that most of the ½ mile hike is practically straight up. The hike is VERY steep. We both had trekking poles with us which helped. And be sure to carry water with you. By the time we got back to the car, we knew we had our exercise for the day.

The other section of Dinosaur National Monument is in Colorado. This area has no fossils but does have a beautiful 31-mile scenic drive that takes you along the Green and Yampo Rivers. If you go and are like us, stopping at overlooks and driving slowly so that you can take pictures, plan to spend a couple of hours here.