Heavy Snowpack Delays Opening of Dinosaur National Monument’s Harpers Corner Road
Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702
Staff at Dinosaur National Monument continue plowing operations on the Harpers Corner Road with a new opening date anticipated for Friday, April 22.
Traditionally, Monument staff open the Harper's Corner Road by Easter weekend. While the Monument had planned to have the road open earlier, the heavy snowpack and continuing snowfall in the Utah and western Colorado mountains made plowing the road challenging this year. In many places, crews encountered snow six feet or more deep and a one foot deep layer of ice at the base of the snow pack. Any new heavy snowfall could further delay plans to open the road.
According to Gary Mott, Monument Facility Manager, "Because of the snow depth and ice layer, there were some days that the plowing crew could clear only about 200 yards per day."
The Harpers Corner Road is a scenic 32-mile paved road (one-way) that leads to the heart of Dinosaur National Monument's canyon country. Several overlooks provide sweeping vistas of the Green and Yampa River canyons. Two trails along the road lead to the canyon rim, allowing a closer look at the Green River over 2000 feet below and into the rugged Split Mountain Gorge. Visitors should use caution when hiking these trails in the spring as lingering snow and wet conditions may make the trails slippery in places.
Please remember that Dinosaur's weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions. For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also find us on facebook or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter.
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.