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Dinosaur National Monument

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Entry Sign...
Dinosaur National Monument is in the middle of nowhere (at least it was in 1998), in straddling the state line of Utah and Colorado. It was originally only a dinosaur quarry when the park was designated a National Monument in 1915. The Canyon Area (and the majority of the park) was added in 1938, to protect the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers, as well as the canyons they carved through the nearby mountains.

The reason I had gone there was the Dinosaur Quarry.

Dinosaur National Monument Map
Cropped map of the Grand Loop to show waypoints which define road segments. Click on the map for a larger view. This map was downloaded from the NPS site.

I had a problem with the canyon area of the park, which is why I by-passed most of it. The problem comes from the fact the Entrance is on US-40, and the entire road from US-40 to the main part of the park is part of the National Monument, so you have a 40mph speed limit on an empty road (at least when I was there) for about 25 miles. When you finally get to the main part of the park, it's another 7 miles. So that's an hour and 20 minutes just for the transit time.

I hadn't planned on this amount of time on this side of the park

Dinosaur National Monument, Canyon Entrance
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While there are some magnificent overviews in the newer areas of the park, it's the old section of the park, the Dinosaur quarry, that makes the park's namesake. In 1909, a paleontologist from the Carnegie Museum named Earl Douglass found this ridge after a search of more than a year. Many of the skeletons he excavated are still at the Museum in Pittsburg. Today, one wall of the Dinosaur Quarry building is the ridge itself, where paleontologists have and continue to expose the bones in the sandstone face. Also in this section of the park, is the swelter shelter, so named because archeologists excavated in the high heat of summer, and access to the Green River at Split Mountain. Dinosaur National Monument, Quarry Entrance
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Quarry Exhibit Hall
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Swelter Shelter
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Split Mountain / Green River
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Trip Report: Sep 1998.

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