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“Unexpected Gem Off the Beaten Path”

Dinosaur National Monument
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Jensen
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Dinosaurs once roamed here. Their fantastic remains are still visible embedded in the rocks. Today, the mountains, desert and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons, support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The Fossil Quarry Museum was incredible. Built into the excavation site, you see amazing dinosaur bones. Despite having seen many a dino exhibit at various museums, this was so real and authentic, it was incredible. There is an interesting story about the discoveries made on the site, including a newly found dinosaur after this was discovered. Great exhibits, helpful Park Rangers.

Add to the fact that it was air conditioned, and it was a great stop for us. We found ourselves wishing we'd been able to get there when our kids were young.

There are a number of trails you can hike, with many more on the Colorado side that look really fun. But, this is desert land, and summers get very hot. We were there on a triple-digit day, and with no trees on the landscape, we couldn't go as far as we would like.

If you must visit in the summer, pack PLENTY of sunscreen and water. I recommend a hydration pack, and carry some protein bars or trail mix. Do not underestimate how much water you will need to stay healthy in those temps.

I highly recommend a visit--you can get here easily if you are visiting Flaming Gorge, or heading west out of Colorado on Rt. 40. As a general rule, we are big road warriors, but this is a bit off the beaten path unless you are headed to either of those. It's not far out of Steamboat Springs, CO, so a day trip from there is quite doable.

Allow yourself time enough to do at least one other short hike, if not two of them, and time to browse in the Visitor Center. The hikes on the Utah entrance to the park are generally suitable for families, but again caution in the summer heat. If we have a chance to go back and explore more, it will be spring or autumn. For families with children, summer trips are usually required, so be prepared.

We were driving from Salt Lake to the Boulder area, so it was an easy choice for us to reroute and stop in Steamboat Springs, instead of blasting the interstate across Colorado.

1  Thank Joan Fagnani M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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648 - 652 of 849 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

This is a fascinating area and a very underused National Monument. We arrived early in the morning and were able to drive up to the quarry without waiting for a shuttle. The ranger on duty was very knowledgeable and shared that knowledge with us. The quarry area is small and won't take a lot of your time, but be sure to go down the road to stop for petroglyphs and hikes. The trip to Josie's cabin is a must. We only had half a day, but if we'd wanted to stay in Vernal another night (which we definitely didn't), we would have gone into the Colorado side of the monument, which we guessed had some drives with beautiful canyon views. I would recommend car camping in this area since there is NOTHING around but the town of Vernal, where the lodging is fine but there's not a lot of great food.

Thank pajamann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The trip to Vernal Utah and Dinosaur National Monument is worth the effort. The exhibit is well run and staffed with informed people. One could spend several days in the area taking in the sights in and around Vernal.

Thank robdesso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Visited here the first time back in 199--so it has been 20 years. Unfortunately the Quarry Exhibit closed in 2006 and did not reopen until 2011. But it is open now and every bit as interesting.

Thank DenverJim48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

The Dinosaur Museum was a must see on your way through or to Vernal UT. It is mined boggling to look at the bones still intact in the wall and figuring out what animals they are and how they must have ended up there. To also think about the men and women who dug up these bones and the time era that it occurred. A great place to take the kids or even by yourself, take water and a snack and sun screen if in the summer. Open year round worth the 20 minute trip off the Freeway to visit.

Thank thoro68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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