Dinosaur National Monument Photo Gallery

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The 200,000 acres of Dinosaur National Monument, which sit on the border of Colorado and Utah in the southeast Uinta Mountains, were once home to hundreds of (you guessed it) dinosaurs. Now the area serves as a playground for paleontologists to unearth and study fossil remains, and for visitors to learn about Earth's history while exploring canyons, rafting rivers, and hiking in the wilderness.  
Credit: Branson Reynolds 
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Dinosaur National Monument offers a variety of hikes suitable for any level—from the half-mile trail on the Fossil Discovery Trail to the four-mile (one way) Jones Hole Trail to off-trail hiking, which requires a backcountry permit. Make sure to plan accordingly and carry water, maps, and other necessary gear for your hike—temps here can reach the triple digits in the summer.  
Credit: Matt Inden/Weaver Multimedia Group 
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Over 800 years ago, the monument was home to the Fremont Indians; remains of some of their homesteads can still be seen in the park, as well as the pictographs and petroglyphs the Fremont people created. The sandstone cliffs were naturally darkened by a mix of iron and manganese oxides—the perfect canvas for carving designs.  
Credit: National Park Service 
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Some of the most scenic parts of the park are accessible on paved or well-graded roads, including Gates of Lodore and Deerlodge Park, where the Green and Yampa Rivers begin their canyon plunges; and Jones Hole, an oasis-like tributary of Whirlpool Canyon (pictured here) with an easy hiking trail alongside a clear, rushing stream. But no visit to the monument is complete without traversing the two-hour Harps Corner Scenic Drive.  
Credit: National Park Service 
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As one would likely assume from its name, Dinosaur National Monument contains a variety of fossils from the extinct species so many of us obsessed over as children. Remains were first discovered here in 1909, including the bones of a Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Camptosaurus. The longest recorded dinosaur skeleton—a Diplodocus—was unearthed in this area. A shuttle from the visitor's center travels to the Fossil Discovery Trail, a path through rock layers with exposed dinosaur fossils.  
Credit: National Park Service 
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Split Mountain's sandstone ridge dominates the southwestern side of Dinosaur National Monument. The Green River flows through Split Mountain Canyon, where the colors and shapes flowing through the cliff sides tell stories that span 300 million years.  
Credit: NPS 
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To explore the monument's maze-like canyons, consider taking a rafting trip down the Green and Yampa rivers. The Class III and IV Green River rapids, near the Gates of Lodore (pictured here), can be quite challenging; the Yampa River has mostly Class III and one Class IV rapid, making it a bit less daunting.  
Credit: National Park Service 
 
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