Dinosaur National Monument Visitation up Over 54 Percent
Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702
Dinosaur, CO - Over 260,000 people have visited Dinosaur National Monument so far this year, an increase of over 54% over 2011. "We have seen a tremendous boost in our visitation since the Quarry Exhibit Hall opened last October, providing access to view the dinosaur fossils for which the monument is famous." stated Superintendent Risser. "But, it has not just been visitation to the Quarry Exhibit Hall; we have also seen an increase in the use of many of our campgrounds, backcountry and even a slight increase in the number of boaters on the monument's rivers."
Detailed park visitation information can be found at http://nature.nps.gov/stats/.
The new Quarry Visitor Center will continue to remain open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm through October 8th. The shuttle bus will also continue to operate and provide access to the Quarry Exhibit Hall through October 8th. The first shuttle trip up to see the wall of bones leaves at 9:00 am and the last at 4:30 pm. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes between those times. The last return trip down from the Quarry Exhibit Hall departs at 5:00 pm. Park Rangers are on duty at the Quarry Exhibit Hall to provide talks and answer questions. Additionally, rangers are providing several guided programs through the end of September. These include hikes on the fossil discovery trail where visitors can see fossils that are naturally eroding out of the cliff face.
The Canyon Visitor Center located near Dinosaur, Colorado closes for the season on Sunday, September 30th. Please visit the nearby Colorado Welcome Center located at the junction of US highway 40 and CO Hwy 64 for area information. The Harpers Corner Road will remain open until the first significant snowfall.
As fall arrives, many of the monument's campground water systems will be shut down for the winter. Some campgrounds will close completely while others remain open with limited services and fees are not collected. The Green River Campground on the Utah side of the monument remains open through October 1st, when it will close for the season. Campground fees are $12.00 per night, per site. The Split Mountain Group Campground will have water service until October 8th. Fees for Split Mountain are $25.00 per site, per night. More information on monument campgrounds can be found at: http://www.nps.gov/dino/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
Entrance fees to the monument are $10.00 per private vehicle which is good for re entry for up to seven days. Annual passes for Dinosaur National Monument or all other federal lands are also available for purchase. Entrance fees to the monument will be waived for National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 29. Visitors are invited to experience the park during this time, but reminded to come prepared for changing fall weather and limited services. For more information about National Public Lands Day, including national events and programs, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/.
Fall is a wonderful time to visit Dinosaur National Monument. Days are cooler with crisp nights. Solitude is readily available on many trails. Wildlife like deer, elk and bighorn sheep are also more active and likely to be seen. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads particularly at dawn and dusk. Dinosaur National Monument remains open to the public throughout the year. For more information about the monument please visit http://www.nps.gov/dino or call 435-781-7700. You can also find us on facebook 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.