Friday, July 9, 2010

Dinosaur Land Entrance


Dinosaur Land Entrance, originally uploaded by Damon Green.
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In 1909, white working for the famous Carnegie Institute, a man; named Earl Douglass found what he was digging for--and then some--in a geological layer called the Morrison Formation. While he was walking the hills, looking for a potential dig site, Douglass spied a significant section of bone sticking out of a hill. That bone proved to be connected to others, and those to still others, and the remains that Douglass uncovered were eventually identified as being from an Apatosaurus, a species of sauropod that lived during the middle of the Jurassic Period, about 150 million years ago. For the next 20 years, Douglass continued to dig along the border of Utah and Colorado. President Woodrow Wilson declared this area--which has surrendered 14 different dinosaur species believed by paleontologists to have existed in North America--a National Monument in 1915.

Yet those bones from 149 million years ago are extremely young when compared to the geological layers that lie below them. Dinosaur National Monument certainly appeals to fans of large, extinct fauna, but geology aficionados will go gaga, since the monument boasts the most complete geologic record in North America, with 12 different seas having waxed, waned and left their marks on the area's rocks over the course of 1.1 billion years.

Whether or not visitors to the monument are enamored with paleontology or geology, the 330 square miles of the park also offer abundant opportunities for adventure. The Green River and the Yampa River meet in the middle of the park and provide anglers and rafters plenty of places to indulge their pastimes. Guided rafting trips deliver the best views of the time-carved canyons, though the monument's terrain--which ranges from 4,700 feet above sea level to 9,006 feet--will impress from many vantages.

The Quarry Visitor Center on Utah 149 may be the best place to begin a visit, as t is open daily, year-round. The Canyon Area Visitor Center at headquarters, off JS-40, is closed during the winter, open five days a week during spring and fall and open daily in the summer.

Dinosaur National Monument, (435)


Source Citation
Cousineau, Len. "Dinosaur National Monument." Trailer Life June 2010: 19. Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Collection. Web. 9 July 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A226809482

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