The Green River flowing through Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
A place for Jurassic-style relaxation and recreation
Vernal, Utah, is the only place in the world where you can view and even touch over 1,500 dinosaur bones all in their original resting place. Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument eagerly awaits the hundreds of thousands of visitors who enter the park, and you should be one of them. Exploring Dinosaur National Monument on foot will allow you to view massive arches and rarely-seen petroglyphs. Don’t forget to stop by “Josie’s Cabin” located in Cub Creek. If you love stories from the Wild West, this is one that you’ll want to read.
But dinosaurs are not all Uintah County has to offer. Camping, hiking, biking, boating, swimming, rafting, petroglyphs, museums and so much more make this area loved by those that live and vacation here. Plan a picnic at Green River or Split Mountain. Hitch onto the camper or load up the tent; there are plenty of camping spots available for a night under the stars. Enjoy a quiet hike on the “Sound of Silence” trail, or scream and holler as you experience whitewater rafting down the Green River!
Vernal is home to three state parks: The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, Steinaker State Park, and Red Fleet Reservoir State Park. At the latter two, you can have your boat launched and ready for a day on the water in less than 20 minutes from downtown. Don’t have a boat? Don’t let this stop you; Steinaker is also home to Vernal Beach, where you can enjoy a day building sandcastles, swimming or playing on the swim dock. There are lots of picnic tables, camp sites and pavilions. Red Fleet has been referred to as the “Little Lake Powell” with its gorgeous scenery and huge red cliffs. Don’t forget to watch out for dinosaur tracks as you play and explore the land around the lake. The Field House museum is a hands-on experience where visitors can learn more about the history of the area, view rocks in the mineral room, watch a movie about the fossils that are found in the area, and view paleontologists as they work on newly discovered fossils from the observation window in the curatorial facility.
If you want to ride world-class bike trails, you came to the right place. You can pick your pleasure: Slick Rock, Alpine Forests or Desert Canyons. When the summer months bring sizzling temperatures to the valleys below, biking in the Uinta Mountains is at its best, with small crowds and great trails. Bike Magazine proclaimed the Vernal network of trails “Better than Moab.”
Dinosaurland is also about rivers. After all, a river is what created the “Wall of Bones.” Rafting the Green and Yampa rivers is one of the best ways to see the area. Rafting through the Gates of Lodore, Split Mountain, or Flaming Gorge Dam will be an experience you will not forget. Your heart will race from the exhilarating rapids as you see wildlife and scenery only seen by those that travel the area by raft.
Make your next adventure getaway in Dinosaurland and Vernal, Utah. You’ll want to stay forever… just like the dinosaurs did!