Visitors to Dinosaur National Monument can discover fragments of a long ago world where dinosaurs once roamed and died. But Dinosaur National Monument is more than just dinosaur fossils. Other unique features at Dinosaur National Monument include petroglyphs and pictographs, captivating scenery, homestead sites, whitewater rafting, and more.
**New facility set to open October 2011**
While vacationing (July 2012), my family went to the Dinosaur National Monument because it's one of the few things to do in Vernal. I wasn't overly impressed but that might be because I'm not a huge fan of dinosaurs. We had to pay a $10 fee to enter the park.
We rode the shuttle from the visitors center to Quarry Hall. It's a short ride but it seems like they could do more with it. It would be fun to have facts posted along the way or statues of dinosaurs.
The main thing to see at Quarry Hall is the "Wall of Bones". Of course it's interesting to see bones that are millions of years old but it's not the kind of thing we'd spend all day doing (my boys are 9 and 5) and there isn't much more to see. The place is still going through renovations so a lot of the things had signs saying what they would be in the future. There were several park rangers nearby to answer questions.
There seemed to be a few places to hike from the Quarry but it was raining and we wanted to stay dry.
Overall, I thought it was lacking. We haven't been to the Field House Museum but we did see the outdoor replicas of dinosaurs as we passed by. My kids would have loved to see more of those here (they only had one).
I was also surprised they didn't have some kind of cafe or place to get food. A few miles before entering the park there was a small place that served food but I would have thought there would be something here.
Any kid or adult who has any interest in dinosaurs will be facinated by this great National Monument. I'd consider it a hidden treasure in Eastern Utah. Great displays of dinosaur fossils and lots to learn. We camped here once and enjoyed an intriguing campfire talk about how this area was found and the dinosaur bones discovered.
My family with kids ages 3, 7 and 11 needed to stretch our legs during a long drive along Highway 40 and thought, "why not visit a national monument?" This national monument sits in a remote area of eastern Utah but is definitately worth a visit if you are travelling through the area.
We visited during December and found that no entrance fee was charged. The monument has completed a new visitors center which houses a few displays and gift shop. In order to see the actual dinosaur fossils, you have to drive a short distance from the visitors center. The gates to the fossils are locked, so you must first stop at the visitors center. During the off-season, a ranger will follow you to the site and guide you through the fossils (as we experienced). During the high season (summer months), a shuttle bus will take visitors to the site. The tour through the fossils takes only 30 minutes. It's interesting though; this is a place to see actual fossils embedded in stone. There are some that can actually be touched - a highlight to my kiddos!
In all, if you are in the area, I would recommend stopping by to expose kids to this national monument. The visit can be completed quickly, if dinosaur fossils are all you are seeking. However, if your family does have more time, ask the rangers for a map of the surrounding area and find some interesting ancient Indian sites, some hikes, and picnic sites.
I didn't know dinosaurs came in to many sizes! The displays are great because they are life size and give you a wonderful perspective of what dinosaurs may have looked like and how big or small they really were. Wonderful park for the kids to run and play, and the statues are great to pose with! We had a wonderful time!