I grew up in Colorado and have visited most of the major national parks and monuments, but for some reason never made it to Dinosaur National Monument in northwest Colorado and northeast Utah. Well, I finally did on the first stop of a 16-day, 3000-mile Rocky Mountain Road Trip. As the name implies, it’s known for its dinosaur fossils and has provided many to museums across the country, including allosaurus, diplodocus, and stegosaurus. It’s also a terrific place to camp and hike.
Where To Go
Echo Park Campsite
We got there about half-hour before total darkness. All 17 sites with picnic tables are on a first-come, first serve basis and luckily there was one available to us. There’s also one group site (for 9 to 25 people) which needs to be reserved on Recreation.gov. The campground allows fires and has outdoor restroom facilities with vault toilets and running water. The cost is $10 per site when water is available and is paid using an envelope that’s dropped into a central box.
Quarry Exhibit Hall
Cub Creek Road Petroglyphs
Traveling To Dinosaur National Monument from Denver
When I was growing up in Denver, I frequently heard that Fraser, CO had the coldest temperature in the country (excluding Alaska). The small town of over 1,000 wanted to be known as the “Icebox of the Nation” but International Falls, MN was able to trademark the name. In any case, I always wanted to see it. During our stop the weather was not cold and we got our caffeine fix at Rocky Mountain Roastery Cafe and bought supplies at Murdochs. On the way out, we saw a table at a restaurant with a lot of brightly colored hair. It turned out to be a pre-wedding party.