Harpers Corner Road Closed for Winter
The Harpers Corner Road is closed for the winter at Plug Hat Picnic Area which is approximately five miles from US Highway 40. The road is tentatively scheduled to open on March 31. More »
Ely Creek Backcountry Campsites Closed
The Ely Creek backcountry campsites located along the Jones Hole Trail have been closed until further notice due to bear activity in the area. More »
What Still Threatens our Beloved Dinosaurs Today?!?!
In 2006, the Quarry visitor center, which houses some 1500+ bones preserved in-place was closed and evacuated with 48 hours notice due to structural instability and threatened imminent collapse of the building. The building was failing to meet safety standards because it was built on a soft clay-rich soil called a bentonite. These soils shrink and swell with the moisture in the area; rain, water pipe leaks, and ground water caused the soils to repeatedly expand a great deal then contract as the soil dried out. Because of this shrinking/swelling phenomena, many large cracks developed in the walls and foundation of the building. It also caused growth in the natural cracks on the quarry face that developed as the rock layers were folded and tilted over millions of years. All this led to the building's closing.
In 2011, however, a new Quarry Visitor Center was finally completed. It was much more structurally sound than the original. In order to make sure that cracking and fracturing of the building does not happen again to the new visitor's center, it is important that the new building and the quarry wall are monitored for new cracks as well as the growth of existing cracks.
There are many large and small cracks on the quarry wall that continue to grow and expand. They cut through both rock and bones. In order to keep track of the cracks through time, these cracks are being documented and photographed as part of a planned long-term monitoring and preservation plan for the 150 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossil Quarry.
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.