Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

Planning Your Visit

Visitor Center

The Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument are both open to the public as of October 4, 2011.

The Quarry Visitor Center features exhibits, a theater where visitors can view a movie about the park, and a bookstore. Exhibits in the visitor center introduce visitors to natural resources, homesteading history, petroglyphs, geology, paleontology, and the rivers of Dinosaur National Monument.

Located seven miles off US Highway 40 from Jensen, Utah, the new visitor center serves as the starting point for a Dinosaur National Monument adventure. It is also the departure point for the shuttle to the new Quarry Exhibit Hall.

A short distance from the visitor center, the Quarry Exhibit Hall is located on the site of the world-famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry. The exhibit hall provides access to viewing a cliff face with nearly 1,500 dinosaur bones still embedded in the rock. In addition to the fossil wall, the facility features exhibits and displays about dinosaurs and other life from the Jurassic.

The visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the quarry is available from 9:15 to 4:45 (last trip up to the quarry at 4:15) daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

Things To Know Before You Come

Driving distances to the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center are very long. Travel times are as follows:

  • From Denver 5-6 hours
  • From Salt Lake City 3-4 hours
  • From Yellowstone National Park 8-9 hours
  • From Grand Junction, CO 2-3 hours
  • From Moab, UT 4-5 hours

Operating Hours & Seasons

The park is open all year, though certain roads and facilities are closed during the winter months. Dinosaur fossils can only be seen on the Utah side of the park. Contact the park for visitor center hours.

Fees & Reservations

Entrance fees
Fees are charged Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day on the Utah side of the Monument.

Private, Non-commercial vehicle: $10 - Valid for 7 consecutive days.

Motorcycle: $5 for single rider, $10 for double rider - Valid for 7 consecutive days.

Individual (Hiker, bicyclist): $5 - Valid for 7 consecutive days.

Dinosaur National Monument Pass: $20 - Allows unlimited entry to Dinosaur for the pass holder and his or her passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle for 12 months from the date of purchase.

Camping Fees
Fees are charged at most developed campgrounds in the park. Backcountry camping is free and a free permit is required. Fees are charged for group sites.

Directions

The Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall can be reached by taking Highway 149 north from Jensen, UT to the park.

The Canyon Area Visitor Center is located on Highway 40, two miles east of Dinosaur, CO.

The Colorado Welcome Center is located 2 miles from the Canyon Visitor Center and is open daily through November. The Welcome Center is located in the town of Dinosaur, CO. There are no fossil displays in the canyon area of the park.

Public Transportation
There is no public transportation to or from the monument. For private river runners, vehicle and passenger shuttle service is available from Wilkins Bus lines (435) 789-2476 and River Runners Transport (800) 930-7238.

Road Closures

Harpers Corner Road is closed from mid-December to approximately Easter due to snow at the higher elevations.

All dirt roads in the park are clay based and impassable when wet, even with four-wheel drive vehicles. These roads are Echo Park Road, Yampa Bench Road, Island Park Road and the road into Gates of Lodore. These roads are not maintained in the winter and can be impassable due to snow conditions. The use of chains on wet clay roads renders the roads all but impassable for those who follow. Waiting for several hours will allow the roads to dry, leaving them in drivable condition for all visitors.

Traffic & Travel Tips

Roads

Seven roads lead into the park, and most roads dead end. A loop drive is made possible by traveling from Hwy 40 to Harpers Corner Road to Echo Park Road and Yampa Bench Road back to Highway 40 and is only possible in dry weather with a high clearance vehicle.

There are four paved roads in the park.
Utah 149 enters the park from Highway 40 in Jensen, Utah. This entrance brings you to the Temporary Visitor Center, Split Mountain boat launch, Split Mountain Campground, Green River Campground and the Tour of the Tilted Rocks, a self-guided auto drive.
Harpers Corner Road enters the park from Highway 40, 2 miles east of Dinosaur, Colorado. The Canyon Area Visitor Center is at the corner of Highway 40 and Harpers Corner Road. This entrance brings you to the canyon overlooks along the Harpers Corner Auto Tour, a self-guided auto drive, and a 2 mile round trip scenic hike to Harpers Corner. Harpers Corner Road closes in the winter due to snow.
Jones Hole Road ends at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's fish hatchery. A four-mile (one way) scenic hiking trail begins at the hatchery parking area and takes you to the Green River in Whirlpool Canyon.
Deerlodge Park Road brings you to the launch site for the Yampa River and Deerlodge Campground.

All other roads in the park are dirt/clay. These roads are impassable when wet. Be prepared for remote driving conditions. Travel with extra water, food and plenty of gas. Cell phone reception is spotty. Four-wheel drive is not required, but it's handy in case of light rain. (These roads are impassable in heavy rain, even with four-wheel drive).
Echo Park Road can be accessed from Harpers Corner Road. This 13 mile road is steep with hairpin turns for the first several miles. The road ends at Echo Park which has a campground, boat launch, and hiking trails.
Yampa Bench Road can be accessed from either Echo Park Road at the west end or from Highway 40 at the east end. This road is for high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles and is the only road in the park that creates a loop drive.
Island Park Road enters from the west end of the park and brings you to Rainbow Park Campground, Rainbow Park boat ramp and to the Island Park area of the park.
Gates of Lodore, the northern-most entrance to the monument, begins off of Highway 318. The road ends at the Gates of Lodore Campground, boat launch and scenic hiking trail.

Call the park for more information at (435) 781-7700 in Utah or at (970) 374-3000 in Colorado to check on road conditions before you travel.