Winter Roads at Dinosaur National Monument
Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702
Dinosaur, CO - "The arrival of the first snowfall means that winter has arrived at Dinosaur National Monument, and visitors' access to some areas of the monument may be limited," announced Superintendent Mary Risser.
On the Utah side of the monument, staff will continue to maintain the roads around the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall to provide visitor access to the buildings. The Cub Creek Road is plowed to the turn off for the Chew Ranch, but the last three miles out to Josie's Cabin are not maintained and may be impassable if significant snowfall is received.
On the Colorado side, the Harpers Corner Road will be kept open to the Echo Park Road turnoff until December 31 so that hunters may access nearby lands outside the monument. On January 1, the road will close at Plug Hat Butte, which is five miles from US Hwy 40. Once the road closes to vehicular traffic for the winter, portions of the Harpers Corner Drive will be open to snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing if snow conditions permit.
Other roads such as the Yampa Bench Road, Island Park Road, and the road to Gates of Lodore are not maintained and travel on them is not advised during the winter.
Snow storms often catch many visitors off guard and unprepared. Road maintenance may be very limited during storms or on weekends. It is critical that drivers be prepared for inclement weather before heading out to the monument during the winter.
As you recreate in Dinosaur National Monument this winter, please ensure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. Spending two nights in your truck stuck in a winter storm until families or your employer wonders where you are can be a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and supplies for any unexpected incidents. Blue jeans and tennis shoes without a jacket are not the best clothing for walking three to four miles to get assistance if you become stuck in two feet of snow.
Winter is a wonderful time to visit Dinosaur National Monument. Days are cold, but often sunny. Solitude is readily available. Wildlife, like deer, elk and bighorn sheep, may be seen along the rivers. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads particularly at dawn and dusk. Remember that Dinosaur's weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions and check the current forecast before heading out.
For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also visit us on the web at www.nps.gov/dino, find us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DinosaurNationalMonument or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter.
Did You Know?
Paleontologist Earl Douglass first came to Utah looking for mammal fossils. He returned in 1909 and discovered an immense deposit of dinosaur bones, now protected at Dinosaur National Monument. Although made famous by dinosaurs, Douglass died preferring his beloved mammal fossils over dinosaurs.