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Dinosaurs

Dinosaur National Monument located on the southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains on the border between Colorado and Utah at the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers.

Although most of the monument area is in Moffat County, Colorado, the Dinosaur Quarry 40°26′29″N 109°18′04″W is located in Utah just to the north of the town of Jensen, Utah. The nearest communities are Vernal, Utah and Dinosaur, Colorado.

Local History Edit

The dinosaur fossil beds (bone beds) were discovered in 1909 by Earl Douglass, a paleontologist working and collecting for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He and his crews excavated thousands of fossils and shipped them back to the museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for study and display. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the dinosaur beds as Dinosaur National Monument in 1915.[citation needed] The monument boundaries were expanded in 1938 from the original 80-acre (320,000 m2) tract surrounding the dinosaur quarry in Utah, to its present extent of over 200,000 acres (800 km²) in Utah and Colorado, encompassing the spectacular river canyons of the Green and Yampa.[citation needed]


Paleontological Sites Edit

This park contains over 800 paleontological sites and has fossils of dinosaurs including Allosaurus, Deinonychus, Abydosaurus (a nearly complete skull, lower jaws and first four neck vertebrae of the specimen DINO 16488 found here at the base of the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation is the holotype for the description) and various long-neck, long-tail sauropods.

The rock layer enclosing the fossils is a sandstone and conglomerate bed of alluvial or river bed origin known as the Morrison Formation from the Jurassic Period some 150 million years old. The dinosaurs and other ancient animals were carried by the river system which eventually entombed their remains.

The pile of sediments were later buried and lithified into solid rock. The layers of rock were later uplifted and tilted to their present angle by the mountain building forces that formed the Uintas during the Laramide orogeny . The relentless forces of erosion exposed the layers at the surface to be found by paleontologists.

Other Park Landmarks Edit

  • Denis Julien Inscription - French-Canadian trapper visisted here in 1838.
  • Rial Chew Ranch Complex - a ranching operation that existed from 1900 to 1949.
  • Upper Wade and Curtis Cabin - 1933 rustic building served as a guest lodge and ranger station.


Prehistoric Sites Edit

Lizard 2016a

Lizard Petroglyps from the Fremont Culture at Dinosaur N.M.

  1. Castle Park Archeological District, a prehistoric residential site with inhabition during 1500 - 1000 BC and again from AD 1000 - 1899 by the Prehistoric Fremont culture, Ute and Shoshone people.
  2. Mantle's Cave is a prehistoric Fremont culture residential site from 499 BC - AD 1749.

Though lesser-known than the fossil beds, the petroglyphs in Dinosaur National Monument are another treasure the monument holds. Due to problems with vandals, many of the sites are not listed on area maps.

Protect National Monument treasures from Vandals

Nature and Wildlife Edit

Camping Edit

Trailheads Edit

Park Recreation Edit

  1. Utah Field House Museum displays prehistoric geological, anthropological, and natural history items found near the Uinta Mountains and within the Uinta Basin.

Park Headquarters Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  • National Parks of America - an informative and gorgeous tour of all 59 parks with our lavishly finished hardcover gift guide packed with detailed itineraries and practical tips on what to do and see in each park (2016 - Parks 100th Anniversay Edition)
  • State Parks of Utah - the state parks are so rich in history, varied in beauty, and abundant in recreational opportunity.
  • Utah's National Parks - 50 popular short hikes where each holds some of the most awe-inspiring geology on the planet. Each park offers visitors the dramatic scenery that invites exploration and discovery.

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