Monday, October 21, 2019

Dinosaur National Monument

Clicking on the picture should open it larger in a new window. 
Then you should be able to read what is on the information panels.

October 18, 2019

This is the day we set aside to drive up to the Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen, Utah. The ride there was beautiful and there was so much to see at the Monument. There is a fossil discovery trail right near the visitor center, petroglypths, and several hiking trails. You can also take a river trip. Plus, I am sure there is more that I am missing. We visited the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Afterwards we took a short drive to  Cub Creek Road.

As always when we visit something or take a drive there are a lot of pictures. If you would like to see the pictures of our ride to and from they are in the previous post listed in our blog archive.

According to the monument brochure: Dinosaur National Monument includes one of the Earth's richest known dinosaur fossil beds. These remains are from the Jurassic period 150 million years ago. During a drought, many dinosaurs died near a river's edge. When rains returned, floodwaters carried the jumbled bones of over 500 dinosaurs, representing ten species here. Ancient river sediments, now called Morrison sandstone, entombed the dinosaur bones. Minerals then saturated the bones (though some organic material survived) and cast them in stone. Erosion eventually exposed the fossils. In 1909 Earl Douglas, of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum, declared this site "the best-looking dinosaur prospect I have ever found.

Driving up to the Monument along the Green River.

Standing looking at the sign above you will see this
marker on your right.
You may ask who is Escalante?
I know we did.

Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante, a Spanish Franciscan missionary-explorer, who in 1776-77 along with his superior Francisco Domínguez, set out on an expedition seeking a northern route to Monterey in California from Santa Fe (now in New Mexico). Father Escalante chronicled this first European exploration across the Great Basin desert.
In the middle of September 1776, the party arrived in the area around Dinosaur National Monument. On September 13th, the expedition ventured inside the current Monument boundaries and described the area in great detail. Escalante described the landscape where they forded the river as “a chain of small bluffs of loose dirt, some lead colored and others of yellow hue.” Now known as the Mancos shale, these bluffs at the river’s edge are among the first things visitors see when they approach the Quarry Entrance of Dinosaur National Monument And it is here where Escalante, Dominguez and others forded the Green River, that the stone marker has been placed. (This is a short synopsis of what I found on the internet as to why the marker is there.)
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah is named after him.

This is the first thing you spot as you are walking
towards the visitor center.

Based on current knowledge Louis Paul Jonas sculpted
nine dinosaurs for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
This is one of them.

Quarry Exhibit Hall

There are over 1,500 fossils embedded in the rock.

We took several pictures of the wall both above and from below. What I have done, or at least tried to do is crop around some of the bones. To give a better idea of what we were seeing. In between is information about the excavation of the dinosaurs in this area.

Camarasaurus  adult right thigh bone.

Young Camarasaurus.


This sign was in front of each of the displays above.

Abydosaurus Skull
They found four, a rare find, in the 1990's in the Mountain
Rock layer 43 millions years.  Younger then the others found.
This was a long-necked, long tailed 30 foot long dinosaur.
It fed on plants.
(It is in a glass case so there is a reflection from the lights.)

Display cases along the wall.

We touched the bones

then a quick selfie in front of the wall.
It is time to go.

Two of the last displays we looked at.

So tiny.
The rock formation on the way back to the visitor center.
Do you see the Stegosaurus.

Looking back.

Tom asking our shuttle driver, a very nice woman by
the way, a quick question. She also mentioned there
are still excavations that take place in the Monument.

We were done we had seen and read all we could look at and read.
If you have lasted this far I hope you enjoyed the pictures and information.

We then decided to take a short drive on Cub Creek Road.

Down the road to the Split Mountain Campground.

We can see the Green River below..

More of the Green River on the ride.

One more selfie by the Green River.

Across the way from the above spot.

There was something surreal about looking out over

the gold color grass to the grey of the mountains
and the dark clouds.

What a beautiful spot to live.

One last look at the Quarry Exhibit hall from the road
and we are on our way.

On another plaque with this quote it stated:
Earl Douglas never saw the bones we see today.
But he did see, us as future visitors.

The visit to the Dinosaur National Monument is worth the trip. 
I know all our grandchildren would have enjoyed being here. 
Our hope is that someday they spend some time here.

We are so glad you stopped by.
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. Wow what a wonderful visit you had and all those dinosaur bones sure sounds like a worm while place to see, thanks for taking us along. Keep having more fun.

    1. It was definitely worth the ride we took to visit this monument. Another wonderful National Monument.

  2. Sounds like a fun day and great selfies!

  3. I was there once when I was pretty small and absolutely loved it. So amazing, all those bones in the sand. I'm sure it's changed a lot since then. I would sure like to go back one day.

    1. As I recall I read, on one of the many information panels, they did close the Quarry exhibit hall for a while to fix structural problems and make changes. Definitely one of those places to put on the list of "to see". Ours is

  4. I've seen parts of the monument on TV but it was great to see your pictures. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put so many in your blog.

    1. Glad you liked seeing the pictures. I always wonder if I am including to many pictures. Then I remember the blog is about our memories. I appreciated your comment it makes me feel better about the content.

  5. A river trip? Is that on a raft? That one wouldn't be me but a boat ride would! Love all the pictures! You can never have to many, when that's your scenery! The monument is much bigger than when I was there many years ago. Wish we could have got the grandkids there when they were smaller and into Dinosaurs. Thinking I'll have to get Ken there sometime in the future! Love the selfies of you two...too cute!!

    1. I believe so. Though we did see people pulling out personal rafts with families at the boat launch in the campgrounds. So there must me a calm
      I wish our grandkids could see it. They all love dinosaurrught now.