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Dinosaur National Monument
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Dinosaur
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located in a region of spectacular canyons and mountains, this site has produced a large number of complete dinosaur skeletons since 1909.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
91 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I loved how uncrowded the section is from Dinosaur, CO. There's a long, gorgeous drive with plenty of stops and some hikes, but the main attraction for me was the Echo Park campground. You drive in from the Dinosaur, CO entrance and about an hour into the drive, the Echo Park Road splits off to the right and it's quite a road; a steep, dirt road with the occasional stream crossing, it's not advisable to take in a regular passenger car and definitely not while it's wet.

The campground was surprisingly crowded for how difficult it is to reach, but most of the campsites are designed well enough that you can still pretend you're alone. $8 per night. I chose spot 1 because I got there around 5 pm and most of the good ones were taken, and I regret being that close to the bathroom and water spigot because of all of the traffic. There was some glorious stargazing until around 11:00 (maybe later, I didn't have my watch handy) when some people drove up and parked in front of the registration shelter and shined their car lights directly into my camp for fifteen minutes; another draw back, I would say.

Down Echo Park Road there's a few neat little stops at some homesteads and some petroglyphs. There's a lot more dirt road stretching to the east but I was headed to the other direction so I regretfully didn't get to see what else was over there.

I was considering staying longer, but this whole section of the park seems to be heavily infested with mosquitoes. They were mercifully absent while I was star-gazing but plagued me while I set up and took down my tent, while I ate dinner and when I tried to take short hikes along some of the overlooks back on the main road. They were deterred by bug spray for as long as ten minutes at a time.

The views are glorious and the absence of people wonderful, but I may not return because the mosquitoes were so pestilent.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank msmythe365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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176 reviews from our community

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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Worth the drive and a couple of days visit”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We visited in October one week after the government shut-down ended. We thought everything would be up and open. Wrong assumption. Visitor Center was closed. Bathrooms were closed. Entrance was open. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you have to visit Echo Park down below the rim.
Unbelievable beauty, prisitne quiet and worthy views. We then drove the Yampa River Bed Road back out. Lots of fun. Also went around the next day to the north entrance to see Gates of Lodore. Again, no one around. Went for walk on short trail. The view of the canyon is not one to be missed. This seems to be an area just a bit too far away for most travellers, but don't be fooled. It seems from the boat ramp, many government boats parked there and info about rafting that boating in the right season would be busy. Go, rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle and get lost in the natural beauty. Bring lunch and be prepared to take many pics and wonder how come this area isn't more busy.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank Pamela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Underrated National Monument - Vernal, Ut and Dinosaur, Co”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Stopped at the Dinosaur National Monument during a recent trip at the Colorado entry. What an underrated attraction. At the Colorado entry you can take the Harper's Corner Road back into the park and it is worth the trip. The hike at the end of the trail is a must do. 1.5 miles of wonderful scenic views.

Then I decided to travel the short distance to the Utah entry to see the fossils and quarry. Fantastic! The quarry museum is build around the actual excavation site and the fossils are amazing. Don't forget to take the Discovery hiking trail and find your own fossils & petroglyphs.

Visited August 2013
7 Thank Scott T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laramie Wyoming
Level Contributor
71 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Interesting half day trip.Worth the drive!”
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Rebuilt dino. quarry site is interesting though small.A good side trip if you are in the area.Beautiful views and area float trips available.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank windlibrarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indian Hills, Colorado
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Memorial Day Roadtrip”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Visited both sides of the of the monument, Co & Ut. Spent 12 hrs on the road from Meeker, Co. to the Co. entrance & back. The wildflowers were in full bloom thru out the area. One of the most impressive sights I was fortunate enough to catch at peak season. Hiked in 1.3 miles to see the vista of the confluence of the White & Green Rivers from 1500ft above the river beds! Spectacular sight! Then drove down to the rivers edge & saw the actual meeting of the two rivers. Went in the day after Memorial Monday so had the park to ourselves. Glorious! Want to go back & see more

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Jody5459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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