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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hunting Dinosaurs at Dinosaur National Monument

The famous Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument is closed while it is being rebuilt. It will probably reopen during fall of 2010. When that happens it will again be one of the great places in the world to view and learn about dinosaurs.

Until then, where can people go to view dinosaur fossils? Is it worth taking a trip to visit the national monument?

I explored the monument last weekend and had a great time. I found large dinosaur fossils, shot photos of ancient Native American rock art and hiked into the park’s backcountry. At the end of the trip, I wished I had more time to spend there. Now I’m anxious to go back.

I stopped at the visitor center to get current information and the people there told me about the Fossil Discovery Hiking Trail, which is located near the Quarry. The trail follows along a wall where you can see fossil bones protruding from the rock. As I hiked I saw large leg bones and one obvious spine.

Rangers guide hikers along the trail on a daily basis. Check at the visitor center for times.

I am fascinated by ancient Native American Rock art and I have long known there are several important rock art sites within the national monument. On this trip I sought out three and was able to get some great photos.

I didn’t camp on this trip, but I stopped by the Green River Campground and was impressed by the setup there. The campground was not crowded, even on a beautiful spring weekend. It offers very nice facilities in a scenic area.

Dinosaur offers great hiking trails and excellent opportunity for whitewater rafting trips.

Yeah, the Quarry is closed but there is still much to see and do at Dinosaur National Monument. I’ll be back to explore deeper into the backcountry. It is one of the great places in the world where you can find solitude in an incredibly scenic area.

- Dave Webb

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