“Sure…I’ve never been to Salt Lake City before.”
After getting my driving license at the tender age of 16, that phrase has become my odd little precursor to any trip I take with a companion(s). Just fill in the blank:
Sure…I’ve never been to ___________ before.
Having an open mind has really sent me to places I never would have thought about going to. Heck, I would never have moved to Denver if I hadn’t said that!
Anyhoots, heading out to Salt Lake City, my cohort and I decide to do sort of a meandering trip out of Colorado by hitting Dinosaur National Monument first for a night of camping. I had been there years ago and had a ton of fun floating down the Green River in a duckie, camping at Steamboat Rock, seeing some petroglyphs, hiking to breath-takingly beautiful spots, and almost drowning in the Green. Okay, so not really, but never again will I let someone encourage me to swim across a river. Twice. I may have been born under the sign of Pisces but water and I do not have a friendly relationship.
But I digress…
There’s not alot of camping in the park and some of it requires you have a high clearance vehicle. There’s also a Utah side and a Colorado side of the park. The Colorado side is free to get in and the camping is only $8 per night. We stayed at Echo Park, slumbering next to the Green/Yampa Rivers under the shadow of Steamboat Rock. It was pretty inspiring to be there. It was also extremely fun to have a rock skipping competition(I won!).
On the last trip, Quarry Exhibit Hall(has a wall of dinosaur fossils) was closed due to reconstruction. This trip, the new facility was full steam ahead! Let me tell you, that place is freaking AWESOME! It’s not big. It’s maybe a 30 minute visit but it is so cool to see all those dinosaur fossils just there, in the rock, all exposed AND there’s a few that they let you touch. To get up there, you just have to pay $10 per car to get into the park(that’s the Utah side). Then you park your vehicle at the visitor center and hop on the shuttle which leaves every 15 minutes.
Side note: If you see a gas station, get gas. They are far and few in between out there. I can say that there are 2 gas stations in the town of Dinosaur and Vernal, UT is a decent sized little city which is also not far from the park.
Before heading to Dinosaur Nat’l Monument, definitely do your research. There’s a lot of entry points to the park, none of them connect, and they all require at least a half tank of gas to get in and out. I’m hoping my next trip here will be up to the Gates of Lodore.
Up next: Salt Lake, city and otherwise.