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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vernal Offers Famed Dinosaur Sites

Dinosaur National MonumentThe Canadian Press has this interesting article about Vernal, Utah, and Dinosaur National Monument. Below are excerpts.

But not until steel magnate Andrew Carnegie learned of the bones did Vernal and the surrounding Ashley Valley get the nation's attention 100 years ago. Now, Vernal, a Western outpost whose wide streets are lined with energy, mining and agricultural businesses, makes a business of its bones. It's home to a large dinosaur museum and is the base for a National Park Service site at a bone quarry Carnegie established in 1909.

Carnegie's bone quarry is the central dinosaur-related attraction of the area. Located 32 kilometres outside of Vernal, it's part of Dinosaur National Monument, an 85,000-hectare park with rocky and rippled canyonlands stretching into Utah and Colorado.

The park is best known for its visitors' centre, with a wall of 1,500 fossilized bones from 11 different types of dinosaurs. In 2005, the visitors centre, which sits atop Carnegie's bone quarry, was closed because of severe structural problems.

It's not expected to open again until 2012. But there is still plenty to see. A bed of fossilized bones extends outside the shuttered building. A trail nearby passes fossils naturally eroded from a cliff, including a string of vertebrae, a large femur, and a humurus bone.

The park has a temporary visitors centre with fossils and a gift shop featuring giant replica dinosaur bones to take home.

Read the complete article.


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