My Travel Map

My Travel Map

26 July 2007

Dinosaur National Monument

On my recent drive to Utah for a conference, I made a little side trip to a massive, wildnerness region tucked in the northwestern corner of Colorado: Dinosaur National Monument. This canyonlands region follows two rivers that have gouged themselves deep into the surrounding plateau. The monument is named for the dinosaur fossil quarry on the Utah side of the park, and the funny thing is, on the Colorado side, which is by far the majority of the park and known as the scenic side, there are none of the prehistoric relics! Anyway, I made a nice half day trip into the park with my car, stopping at the many roadside lookouts, with their amazing views over massive canyons and valleys, and finished up the day with a hike out to this viewpoint: looking down at the junction of the Green and Yampa rivers.



Just had to throw this in there...I saw this little guy on my hike.


This is looking east down on Echo Park (the sandy area in the bottom center) and the Yampa River canyon. Echo Park sits at the junction of the two rivers; Green River and the junction cannot be seen here because of the massive Steamboat Rock blocking the view (lower left corner). The sheer size of this place and its features simply cannot be conveyed by these pictures...just think: it takes rafters 4-5 DAYS to raft from the east side of the monument to the west...that is absolutely massive.


The landscapes in this area are spectacular...almost alien at times.


The Green River is the larger of the two, so after the junction, the river keeps this name. This is it flowing west from the junction (which would be behind me in this picture)


Another view of the Yampa River canyon, Steamboat Rock, and the junction hidden behind it.


A view after a little hike from one of the many roadside stopping points.
Notice the gorge that cuts deep into the valley floor (center right).


Just a pic directly down at the rock you see in the monument


Closer to the entrance of the park...this is looking south-south-east.

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