Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument was created to protect an extensive deposit of fossilized dinosaur skeletons as well as pictographs dating back 10,000 years.
The Monument is divided into two districts, the Canyon Area on the east side and the Dinosaur Quarry on the west side. Each district has its own visitor center.
Pets are allowed inside the monument but must be on a leash no longer than 6 ft (1.8 m). Pets are not allowed inside any buildings or on any hiking trails.
Dinosaur Quarry district
- Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center, Highway 149 north of Jensen(North of Highway 40), ☎ +1 435 781-7700. Labor Day-Memorial Day Weekend: Daily - 8:30AM-4:30PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day; Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day Weekend: daily - 8:30AM-5:30PM.
The Dinosaur Quarry district contains rich deposits of fossilized dinosaurs skeletons, most of which are under the protective covering of the structurally unstable Permanent Quarry Visitor Center. Currently, these fossils are inaccessible although a short hike will take visitors to a smaller sampling of fossilized remains.
Canyon Area district
- Canyon Area Visitor Center, 4545 Highway 40, Dinosaur, UT(2 miles east of Dinosaur to Harpers Corner Road, north on Harpers Corner Road, first right into the parking lot), ☎ +1 970 374-3000(fax: +1 970 374-3003). October 29-May 1: Closed; May 2-Memorial Day Weekend: 8:30AM-4:30, closed M-Tu; Memorial Day Weekend-August 30: daily - 8:30AM-4:30PM; September 1-October 26: 8:30AM-4:30PM, closed M-Tu.
The Canyon Area is a region of deep, twisting canyons. Petroglyphs can be seen here but the district contains no dinosaur fossils.
This part of Utah and Colorado is rocky-desert, with sinuous canyons deep-cut by rivers.
Flora and fauna
In winter, temperatures can drop as low a 0ºF (-17C). Snow can also be expected in winter. Summer temperatures soar to over 100ºF (38ºC). Summer also brings strong localized thunderstorms.
Both districts of the Monument are accessed via U.S. Highway 40. From Salt Lake City, take I-80 east to US 40 east, about 4 1/4 hours and 185 mi (297 km). From Provo, take US 189 north to US 40 east, about 4 hours and 166 mi (267 km). From Denver, take I-70 west, to SR 9 north, then to US 40 west, about 5 hours and 285 mi (459 km).
Fees are charged from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. All permits are valid for seven days.
- Private passenger vehicle - $10
- Motorcycle - $5 for single rider, $10 for double rider
- Hiker/bicyclist - $5
- Hiking - Each district has numerous trails of varying length and difficulty.
- River Rafting - The Green and Yampa Rivers pass through the monument, offering Class III and Class IV rapids. Unless you are an experienced river rafter, do no attempt without a professional guide.
- Private boats - $15 application fee, plus $20 for a one-day permit or $185 for a multi-day permit.
- Commercial guide trips - See the Dinosaur NM website for a current list of authorized commercial guides. 
There are no food facilities inside the monument.
There is no lodging inside the monument.
- Dinosaur Quarry District
- Green River Campground, 5 mi (8 km) east of the Temporary Visitor Center, . Open from mid-April to mid-October. 88 tent or RV spaces (no hookups). Drinking water and flush toilets are available but there are no showers.$12/night.
- Split Mountain Group Campground, At the Split Mountain boat ramp(4 mi (6 km) east of the Temporary Visitor Center), ☎ +1 435 781-7759, . Open from mid-April to mid-October. 4 group sites, up to 20 people per site. Flush toilets and drinking water are available but there are no showers. Reservations are required. In the off-season, general camping is allowed without reservation for no charge; However, there is only a vault toilet available and there is no water.$25/night.
- Rainbow Park Campground, Near Green River boat ramp(26 miles from the Temporary Visitor Center), . 4 tent sites, no water, vault toilet. The road to the campground is a dirt road and is impassible when wet.Free.
- Canyon Area District
- Echo Park Campground, Near confluence of Green and Yampa Rivers(38 miles north of the Canyon Area Visitor Center), ☎ +1 435 781-7759, . 22 tent sites, one being handicapped-accessible. One group site, up to 20 people. Running water (from mid-April to Sept.), vault toilets, no showers. High-clearance vehicles are required to access the campground, the last 13 mi (21 km) are on a dirt road. Reservations are not required except for the group site (call for reservation)Mid-April to Sept: $8/night; Sept. to mid-April: Free.
- Gates of Lodore Campground, Near Lodore boat ramp on the Green River(Head of Lodore Canyon, 106 mi (170 m) north of the Canyon Area Visitor Center), . 17 tent or RV sites, no hookups. Running water (from mid-April to Sept.), vault toilets, no showers.Mid-April to Sept: $8/night; Sept. to mid-April: Free.
- Deerlodge Campground, Near boat ramp at the head of Yampa Canyon(53 mi (85 km) east of the Canyon Area Visitor Center), . 7 tent sites. Running water (from mid-April to Oct.), vault toilets, no showers. Mid-April to Sept: $8/night; Sept. to mid-April: Free.
- Jones Hole Creek, Confluence of Jones Hole Creek and Ely Creek, along the Jones Hole hiking trail, ☎ +1 435 781-7700, . 2 sites, up to 8 people at each. Water from creek, vault toilet, pack trash out. Reservation required.Free.
Wilderness camping is allowed with a permit (+1 435 781-7700 or +1 970 374-3000).
During summer thunderstorms, avoid high, bare rock surfaces to avoid being struck by lightening. Also be aware of flash flooding in canyons. A storm miles away can send a wall of water raging down a canyon, flooding it within minutes, emptying just as fast.
This region is a desert. Despite the two large rivers passing through, water is scarce so bring plenty with you, especially if hiking.
This page was last edited at 04:37, on 3 February 2009 by Wikitravel user WineCountryInn. Based on work by Peter Fitzgerald, Eric Polk, Nick Roux, Bill Johnson and Ryan Holliday and Wikitravel user(s) Pjamescowie.