Dinosaur National Monument is located in Dinosaur, Colorado, and is renown as one of the most beloved sites of paleontology in the United States. With the classic image of a dinosaur skull among cave rock, it is one of the most memorable sites that you could ever choose to visit.
There is a lot more to see and do at the Dinosaur National Monument than just view the skeletons of extinct species. Situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Colorado, you can choose to hike across the wilds, or take a trip down to the river to go white water rafting. There are nearby areas for camping, as well as tours through many areas of the region.
The terrain at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado is very rugged, sharing the same basic type of landscape as the badlands further to the east. This terrain is ideal for the discovery of fossils and skeletons, as the winds in the region will often help uncover dig sites. With this style of terrain, it is a suitable home for peregrine falcons and other species of raptor which make their home near the park.
The history and culture behind Dinosaur National Monument is rich. Started over 10,000 years ago, the convergence of the Yampa and Green rivers allowed for Indians to thrive. There are cave paintings of prehistoric creatures, a sign that people lived for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Fremont Indians 800 to 1,200 years ago. Following the Fremont Indians came the Ute and Shoshone, both of which are still present near Dinosaur National Monument to this very day. This diversity in culture is present in the displays and tours at the park.
Dinosaur National Monument is the site where Paleontologist Earl Douglass found a massive dig site of dinosaur bones that made him famous. While he originally came to the site in 1909 to look for mammal fossils, it was the discovery of these dinosaurs that he would be remembered for. During his time at the dig, Earl Douglass did not find any signs of mammal life, though there is evidence of the precursor of mammal life in some species of dinosaurs.
Dinosaur National Monument is a seasonal activity. While some parts of the sites are open year round with the exception of some holidays, the famous canyon view center is closed for the winter season, as it is often too dangerous to approach during the winter.