Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur NM straddles the border of Utah and Colorado and today we saw the Colorado side.  The eastern part of the monument doesn't have any fossils, as they keep reminding you, but what it does have is spectacular scenery.  I had never stopped there and didn't realize what I was missing.

From the visitor center, the road steadily climbs by colorful cliffs.

The views from the overlooks were like being on top of the world, but too hazy for pictures.  (I heard that the fires in Idaho won't be out until October.)  So instead I went for the closeup.

We drove to the end of the road and hiked the Harpers Corner Trail - two miles round trip, along a ridge with views of the canyons below.
(Obviously named after Ron's grandson.)

I had pictured the trail running along the very top of the ridge with drop offs on each side, especially since the docent in the visitor center asked if we were afraid of heights.  Instead it wound through junipers, pinyon pines, and douglas firs, but with plenty of views through the trees.

This is our first good view of Steamboat Rock.  The Yampa River flows into the Green on the other side of it.  You can see it coming in from the top of the picture.  It would be much easier to see with more water in the rivers.

I decided to use my 10X zoom to see what the tiny dots were at the base of Steamboat Rock.

Well, I still couldn't tell for sure, so I cropped the life out of it.
Hey, that looks like fun!

This was the only spot on the trail where you might have a problem if you suffered from acrophobia.

But the view at the end was gorgeous.  If you click on this, you can see the Green River coming in from the upper left, the Yampa from the right and the Green after the confluence along the bottom of the picture.

The land here had certainly been pushed up in some unusual ways.

The view on the other side was just as interesting with the Green River continuing on its way.  Ooops, where did those rain clouds come from?

Luckily, the rain missed us.  On our way back out of the park, we stopped at the overlook for the Echo Park road.  It was posted as a high-clearance road, which our Saturn is not, and goes down into that interesting landscape to Steamboat Rock.

The road really didn't look bad and I wondered if they had improved it.  Next trip.

Next post - the Utah side and dinosaur bones!


  1. What a neat place, looks like Ron has no fear of heights. Wonder why there is no picture of you standing where Ron is in his picture?

  2. WOW .,,,,love that scenery! IT would be fun to do a float trip on that water eh? I went to Dinosaur Utah...but didnt make NM or CO! I have no idea what my next post will be, oh to be that organized!!

  3. I agree - a big WOW!!! I'm going to have to go there. And I'm glad you are enjoying your 10X zoom.

  4. Great travel blog,, I will be back

  5. Spectacular views. We've only visited the Utah side, so this will definitely be on our list when we get out west.