Explore Dinosaur National Monument Alone – Walking into the echoing hall of the Dino Quarry I couldn’t believe my eyes. There stood a seemingly endless wall of rock and within it…. over 1,500 dinosaur bones. But when Lee, a Park Ranger here at Dino (and the only other person around), told me I should touch the dinosaur bones… I am pretty sure I heard my inner child laugh with joy.
“Dinosaur National Monument contains famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, intriguing petroglyphs, and endless opportunities for adventure” – NPS
If your inner child wants to explore Dinosaur National Monument alone, here is how I recommend you go about doing it. Cheers!
1. Off-season/mid-week visit (if possible)
Since weekends, as you can imagine, are the busiest times try to hit the park mid-week. If you can’t visit on a weekday (or off season) try to get to the park as soon as it opens, often at sunrise, and skip the lunch crowd. I promise it will be worth the early morning.
2. Don’t fight the weather… embrace it.
In my experience, when the weather is mighty cold… people are less inclined to explore outdoors. Well… maybe not you or me. But many more people seem to take winter breaks to explore warmer climates or to tackle mountain ski valleys (something I’ve been guilty of) as opposed to visit these often cold and remote parks. I was told that Dinosaur National Monument is often ignored until the summer travel season and then BOOM! People everywhere!!!
Instead, bundle up and enjoy the silence of a people free national park or monument.
3. Choose less frequented paths
With remote camps, an amazing back country and miles upon miles of beautiful hiking trails, there is no reason to stay glued to the busy summer roads and parking spot vistas. Instead, by exploring the remote box canyons hidden throughout the monument, you can find yourself surrounded by the diversity of life that makes up Dinosaur’s rugged landscape. That diversity is a reflection of climate, geography, water and the complex story of the landscape itself. Here you can see deer, mountain lions and more than 1,000 other native species of plants and animals just by meandering along the trails within this amazing park.
4. Plan ahead and get a map
Exploring Dino (as the local call it) is truly an amazing experience. Split between Utah and Colorado you can find petroglyphs, hidden canyons, pioneer homesteads, white water rapids and one of the starriest skies in the United States. Plan your trip to Dino here and of course…. always bring a map.
Explore Dinosaur Natioanl Monument alone – Dinosaur was shaped 70-40 million years ago and encompasses more than 200,000 acres of river canyons, mountains, and basins. If you want to explore Dino more, check out my videos on my Adventure Hydrology YouTube Channel.