In the northwest corner of Colorado, there is a little known wilderness that is home to many trails and untouched areas. The nearest town, called Dinosaur, CO, is also the westernmost community in the entire state - just three miles from the Utah border.
Years ago, in 1909, there were many dinosaur skeletons found in this area, and a small portion of the park was set aside to preserve it. Later, the area was expanded to protect part of the area around the two rivers. This area is unusual because the Yampa River and the Green River are totally different. Together, the area offers many miles of trails through different terrain and it is still largely untouched.
The park was designated the Dinosaur National Monument in 1938, and includes 210,000 acres. A number of trails offer hikers the opportunity to see the land around these two beautiful rivers. The Park crosses over into Utah. Altogether, the park includes forty-four miles of the Green River, and forty-eight miles of the Yampa River.
One of the great features of the Park is that there is a natural exhibit of dinosaur bones - more than 1,600 of them. Part of an ancient river bed with these bones has become exposed in a wall. They now make up one wall of an exhibit in the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center.
If you just want to see some of the highlights of the park, you can see them in your car, too. There are two different self-guided auto tours that you can take on your own. One of them starts out at the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center, and is called the "Tour of the Tilted Rocks.'' This tour is a 17-mile round trip and it takes visitors to petroglyph sites, a nature trail, along Cub Creek, and to the Morris homestead.
The other tour is considerably longer. It starts out near the Monument Headquarters Visitor Center, and winds around for 62 miles of some spectacular scenery. The road goes along the Blue Mountain Plateau, and you will pass several scenic overlooks, several nature trails, and passes into the steep and unpaved Echo Park.
For those who want to see the park on foot, there are several different nature trails that can be taken. These trails range from a quarter mile up to three miles in length and are of different degrees of difficulty. The most scenic would be the Gates of Lodore Trail, which provides great views of the river gorge. Maps for trail and auto routes can be purchased online.
In the summer at the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center, there are short talks given every day. There are also some longer talks and walks that are guided, and these are also given daily. These walks take visitors into the more scenic and interesting parts of the park. In the evening hours, talks are given at the Green River Campground.
Visiting the Trails in Dinosaur, CO enables visitors to engage in many different activities. This includes white water river running, fishing, sightseeing, bird-watching, backpacking, sight seeing by car, and much more. The restrooms and visitor centers are only minimally accessible. Although the park does teem with visitors in the summer, hiking a little ways in can bring you to some unusually quiet scenes.