Route 40 from Park City to Dinosaur National Monument is pretty desolate, but when we started mapping out this trip, Deke was pretty excited about seeing dinosaurs and doing some Dinosaur National Monument Camping, and I didn’t research the most scenic route there, so here we are!
I threw this photo in there because I was so excited to see an actual structure, I took a picture, but this is pretty much the drive for about 3 hours. Also, there aren’t a lot of gas stations, so definitely stop when you can. We found a tiny two-pump Sinclair (of course) around DNM, but they were out of gas. How do you know when you’re close to DNM?
You hit the town of Vernal:
I don’t really know why this one is eating a watermelon.
There are two entrances if you want to go Dinosaur National Monument camping , one in Colorado and one in Utah, but the Utah side is the one with dinosaur bones, so make sure you stop there – it’s actually in the town of Jensen. The signage is pretty sparse so if you see this:
you’ve gone too far.
For our Dinosaur National Monument camping trip, we stayed at the Green River Campground (that’s it down there in the trees) which doesn’t take reservations and is $12 a night. It’s a great spot — really quiet, next to Cub Creek with a pretty good restroom, but no showers. There weren’t a lot of people when we were there either, but I imagine it gets filled up on the weekends.
We’d suggest picking up the Self Guided Auto Tour brochure for $1 at the park entrance. It tells you where the hiking paths are along the road and places to stop to see petroglyphs.
And funky geological formations.
What most people come here for is to visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall. In a nutshell, the quarry is a section of mountain that’s been excavated and found to contains over 1,500 dinosaur bones. After removing some for exhibit, the rest were left embedded in the wall and an enclosure was built around them for viewing.
Other than camping and dinosaur bone looking, there are a lot of roads to get lost on around the area Bureau of Land Management land around to do some hiking or test out the 4×4 capabilities of your truck, which Deke was happy to do.