History & Culture
Dinosaur National Monument's cultural history dates back at least 10,000 years. The Yampa and Green Rivers provide water for survival in an arid country. Indian rock art in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs reveal evidence that many people have come before us. The Fremont Indians lived in the canyons in Dinosaur National Monument 800 - 1,200 years ago.
Following the Fremont were the Ute and Shoshone, who still inhabit communities in the area today. Spanish explorers crossed the region in the 1700s. In the 1800s, settlers from Europe and the eastern United States arrived in the area and left their mark on the landscape with their homesteads. Those who had access to the rivers and a constant flow of water survived, while others dried up with drought and moved away. Now, many of the remains of homesteads are found alongside the Indian art work of the past.
Did You Know?
Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, but lizards are still a common sight at Dinosaur National Monument. The small, inquisitive reptiles have endured on Earth for more than 300 million years, far outlasting their giant cousins.