Dinosaur National Monument

For Fall Break, after staying in Steamboat Springs for the night, we were able to head out west to Dinosaur National Monument. This is a FANTASTIC park that straddles Utah and Colorado. In fact, we lost track of when we were in which state. We saw dinosaur fossils; we got to touch huge dinosaur bones; we saw petroglyphs, and we camped at the end of a 14-mile 4×4 road. Our campsite was amazing, and the hikes we did lent themselves to once-in-a-lifetime views.

We had such a marvelous time.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is about 32,000 of them! (give or take an extra hundred for the captions…).

Enjoy!

Click on the photos to enlarge, if you so choose.

1 Night in Steamboat

Our view from the hotel room balcony in Steamboat Springs. Magical!

Dinosaur is in CO and UT

Dinosaur is in CO and UT

 

Look! We found one of the Dinosaur heads!

Look! We found one of the Dinosaur heads!

 

Both of these models did a great job of not wiggling while I took the picture.

Both of these models did a great job of not wiggling while I took the picture.

 

So many bones

So many bones

Yes, we got to touch a dinosaur bone. For realz, yo!

Yes, we got to touch a dinosaur bone. For realz, yo!

 

A cutie and some Petroglyphs

A cutie and some Petroglyphs

 

You may have to click on the photo to see the road we're taking. It's 4x4, all the way to Echo Park Campground. Sue (the Subaru) was in HEAVEN. (And we didn't die.)

You may have to click on the photo to see the road we’re taking. It’s 4×4, all the way to Echo Park Campground. Sue (the Subaru) was in HEAVEN. (And we didn’t die.)

 

It's awesome having an extra helper set up the campsite!

It’s awesome having an extra helper set up the campsite!

 

Our campsite was surrounded by TALL cliffs. The sun didn't even hit our campsite until after 9am! We brushed our hair in the sunshine and took a selfie, because of course we did.

Our campsite was surrounded by TALL cliffs. The sun didn’t even hit our campsite until after 9am! We brushed our hair in the sunshine and took a selfie, because of course we did.

 

View from campsite of Steamboat Rock (from Echo Park Campground, not to be confused with the Steamboat Springs where we stayed the first night!)

View from campsite of Steamboat Rock (from Echo Park Campground, not to be confused with the Steamboat Springs where we stayed the first night!)

 

Steamboat Rock up close. Incredibly difficult to capture the true majesty of it.

Steamboat Rock up close. Incredibly difficult to capture the true majesty of it.

 

Confluence Trail led us to the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River

Confluence Trail led us to the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River. See my two there?

 

Stone Skipping Lesson. (As you can see, there were hardly any stones to choose from... *cough*)

Stone Skipping Lesson. (As you can see, there were hardly any stones to choose from… *cough*)

 

River Hike Confluence Trail - The colors are just gorgeous!

River Hike Confluence Trail – The colors are just gorgeous! The river and Steamboat Rock are to the right of us, down the bank.

We made it back to our campsite for lunch.

We made it back to our campsite for lunch.

 

After lunch, we decided to hike Mitten Park Trail, on the other side of our campground. This looks easy!

After lunch, we decided to hike Mitten Park Trail, on the other side of our campground. It’s already shaded by the cliffs. This looks easy!

 

This part of the trail looks super-easy. Right? Right.

This part of the trail looks super-easy. Right? Right.

 

Claire found a section where the sand was two different colors. Blonde and redhead. Hmm. Familiar?

Claire found a section where the sand was two different colors. Blonde and redhead. Hmm. Familiar?

 

Waitaminute. This isn't an easy trail after all!

Waitaminute. This isn’t an easy trail after all! And, yes, the rest of the trail was harrowing. I was duped!

See the rafters through the artistic-looking tree? Be careful. Don't fall to your death. No pressure.

See the rafters through the artistic-looking tree? Be careful. Don’t fall to your death. No pressure.

 

Our campsite is way down there!

Our campsite is way down there!

 

See? I've marked it!

See? I’ve marked it!

 

Yes, this is the trail. This is on the way back down. Do you see where Claire is pointing? Yes, that's a cactus. Ask me how I found it on the way up!! (Yep, put my hand right in it while trying to hoist myself over a boulder. That is decidedly ill-advised.)

Yes, this is the trail. This photo was taken on the way back down, because I was too upset to take a photo on the way up. Why? Well, do you see where Claire is pointing? Yes, that’s a cactus. Ask me how I found it on the way up!! (Yep, put my hand right in it while trying to hoist myself over a boulder. That is decidedly ill-advised.)

 

Petroglyphs!

Petroglyphs!

 

More Petroglyphs!

More Petroglyphs!

We didn't slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream...

Headed down…

 

We didn't slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream...

We didn’t slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream…

 

Back at camp, Dad has Claire work on her whittling skills.

Back at camp, Dad has Claire work on her whittling skills.

 

The next day, on the way out, we stopped at Whispering Cave.

The next day, on the way out, we stopped at Whispering Cave.

 

Inside Whispering Cave

Inside Whispering Cave

 

Side-by-side photos. Left: pictures we took of the "dot" petroplyghs. Right: an explanation.

Side-by-side photos. Left: pictures we took of the “dot” petroplyghs. Right: an explanation.

 

A photo from the 4x4 road of the 4x4 road on the way out. Goodbye, Echo Park! Goodbye, Dinosaur! What a fantastic adventure!

A photo from the 4×4 road of the 4×4 road on the way out. Goodbye, Echo Park! Goodbye, Dinosaur! What a fantastic adventure!

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