Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dinosaur National Monument (part 2)

After two wonderful months in Colorado, on September 1st, we entered Utah.  Although we were sorry to leave Colorado, Utah is an RVer's paradise with 2/3 of the land owned by the federal government and, therefore, public land.  That's a lot of beautiful country to see and appreciate.

First we visited the western, or Utah, side of Dinosaur NM.

We were greeted by this fellow in front of the visitor center, which Ron noticed had a similar shape to the cliffs behind it.
In the summer, a shuttle runs you up to the main attraction.  This building protects a wall of dinosaur bones from 149 million years ago.  The quarry exhibit hall was opened in 2011 after the previous building was deemed unsafe and closed in 2006.

When I first saw the dinosaur quarry about 10 years ago, I was convince it was fake.  I'm such a skeptic.

The reason why there is such a concentration of bones is because this was once the bed of an ancient river.  When a long drought killed many dinosaurs, many of them expired in or near the dry river channel.  Subsequent rains and mud buried the bones and created this phenomenon.  Between 66 and 2 million years ago, a great uplift occurred and pushed the former riverbed to its current 60 degree angle.

It's truly an amazing sight.

We even touched a 149 million year old dinosaur bone.  What a thrill.

They also have some replicas and a really cool mural.

Later we drove around and admired the colorful landscape.


  1. That is a really neat place, we have to go there! Amazing how the land was tilted 60 degrees and didn't crush all the bones to pieces.

    Nice picture of you both touching the dino bone, looks like you were having a blast.

  2. OH I thought I was the only skeptic on the planet...nice to know IM not the ONLY ONE..teehee, wow amazing if its FOR REAL!
    I love Utah its amazing...I was hoping they would clone a woolly mammoth...and put them back in canyon country!

  3. Looks like they did a great job on the new visitor center. Glad they finally have it up and running!

  4. Just the way I remember it ... although the visitor center is new. My last trip there was before we left Utah in 1991. Thanks to a budget crisis, the place was locked down with a sign on the gate saying that until the budget passed, the monument would be closed. At least I'd been there before; I felt so bad for those who were there for the first time.