We got the heck outta town a few weeks ago and drove up to see the Dinosaur National Monument. We spent a few hours (and $25.00 entrance fee) cozying up to a collection of dinosaur bones embedded in the side of a rock face. The National Monument and the Dinosaur Quarry is located near Vernal, Utah at the border of Colorado and Utah.
Both me and my Mom have always been fascinated by geology and what can be found within the rocks that cover our earth. Mom jokes that she’s almost as old as the dinosaur bones. But far from it. She’s such a kidder!
It’s fascinating that creatures that large roamed the earth, but when you get close to the bones, you get a sense as to the size. It’s also very interesting to read the story of the paleontologist, Earl Douglas, who stumbled over bones projecting out of the rocks, which led him to start digging in 1909. President Woodrow Wilson made the area an official national monument in 1915. Read more about the Dinosaur Monument history.
The interesting thing is, all these bones were found piled up on top of one another and embedded in the rock. It makes you wonder how that happened. Well, they believe the dinosaurs died in a flooded riverbed which washed the bodies and bones to an area where their bodies stacked up in one spot. That’s why this was such a great discovery!
And they’re still finding more bones! In the summer of 2019, paleontologists found a Stegosaurus femur, three intact teeth and countless other fossils. Read all about these latest discoveries.
We were glad to find the Quarry Museum air-conditioned, but they do require you to be masked in order to enter. It can get pretty toasty in the summer, so bring a hat and water if you decide to hike the trails at the Monument.
It does leave you with a sense of awe that creatures like this lived in our neck of the woods, so to speak. And if you’re hankering to see more fossils and dinosaur bones, you can also visit Garden Park Fossil Area near Canyon City, Colorado.