Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument


Cultural History

Dinosaur National Monument's cultural history dates back 10,000 years. The Yampa and Green Rivers have provided water for survival in an arid country. Indian rock art in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs provide evidence that many people have come before us. The Fremont Indians lived in the canyons in Dinosaur National Monument 800 - 1,200 years ago. Following the Fremont were the Ute and Shoshone, who are still found in the area today. Early settlers left their mark on the landscape with their homesteads. Those who had access to the rivers and a constant flow of water survived, while others dried up with drought and moved away. Now, many of the remains of homesteads are found along side the Indian art work of the past.

Josie Bassett Morris

Josie Bassett Morris was a rugged individualist. She lived alone in an isolated, yet beautiful canyon for nearly 60 years. Lacking electricity, indoor plumbing and neighbors, she thrived on her own. Her homestead is located at the end of the Tour of the Tilted Rocks self-guided auto tour near the Temporary Visitor Center.

Park Statistics

Important Dates:

- August 17, 1909 - Earl Douglass, Carnegie Museum paleontologist, discovers eight vertebra of an Apatosaurus, the first skeleton discovered and excavated at the Dinosaur Quarry

- October 4, 1915 - President Woodrow Wilson signs presidential proclamation establishing 80 acres surrounding the Dinosaur Quarry as Dinosaur National Monument

- July 14, 1938 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Presidential proclamation expanding monument by approximately 200,000 acres to include the canyons of the Green and Yampa rivers

- June 1, 1958 - Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center is dedicated and opened to the public

- 1965 - Monument Headquarters Visitor Center and Harpers Corner tour road are dedicated and opened to the public

Geographic Facts:

- Total Acreage: 210,844.02 acres or 329.44 square miles

- Highest elevation: 9,006 feet at Zenobia Peak

- Lowest elevation: 4,740 feet along Green River in the southwest corner of the monument

- Elevation at Dinosaur Quarry: 5,000 feet

- Elevation at Monument Headquarters: 5, 900 feet

- Highest point on Harpers Corner Road: 7,560 feet at Stuntz Ridge

- Deepest canyon: Canyon of Lodore, over 3,000 feet deep from rim to the river in several places

- Highest cliff: Warm Springs cliff, 1,500 feet

- Yampa River in monument is 46 miles long from Deerlodge Park to its confluence with the Green River

- Green River in monument is 45 miles long from Gates of Lodore to Split Mountain Boat Ramp