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 »
Numerous Campsites Closed in the Green River Campground
A recent tree assessment of the Green River Campground identified potential safety issues with numerous cottonwood trees, requiring us to close many of the campsites. Please plan ahead so that you are not disappointed if the campground is full. More »
Safety of visitors and staff is the number one priority at Dinosaur National Monument. The following precautions will help your trip to Dinosaur be a safe, fun, and memorable experience. Contact the Monument or ask a ranger if you have any questions or concerns.
Watch for wildlife on monument and nearby roads. Wildlife can be abundant along roads during all seasons. Please observe speed limits and be aware of wildlife in the road corridor.
Four wheel drive may not be enough on some monument roads. Many park roads are clay-surfaced (unpaved), and become impassable when wet no matter what kind of vehicle you have. Get weather and road condition reports before traversing park roads.
Enjoy the Monument Safely
Watch Your Step. Trails are often rocky and uneven, and other hazards may be present. Slow down, enjoy the scenery, and watch your step.
Always carry and drink plenty of water. Extreme temperatures, high elevation, and an arid landscape can lead to rapid water loss. Many locations may not have water readily accessible and may require backpackers/hikers to carry fresh water. All water gathered in the monument must be treated before consumption.
Carry food with you. At higher elevations your body must work harder than at lower elevations; more work means more calories burned. The monument ranges from 4700 feet to over 9000 feet in elevation. Salty foods can replace electrolytes lost through sweating. Eating helps your body use water efficiently.
Seek shelter during thunderstorms. Afternoon thunderstorms during summer are common. Lighting can strike from miles away. Find the lowest point possible that is not near a tree or other tall object, and make yourself small/short.
Most wildlife is more scared of you than you are of them. You might, however, surprise or startle wildlife or accidentally make an animal feel threatened. Watch where you walk; if you do come across wildlife, give it plenty of space as well as an escape route. Small children and pets may be particularly vulnerable – keep your group together at all times. Be wary of animals that are being aggressive.
Snakes are an important and beneficial part of the ecosystem. Most snakes found in the monument are non-poisonous, but two are poisonous: the midget faded rattlesnake, and prairie rattlesnake. Snakes, like all wildlife in the monument, should be observed and enjoyed from a safe distance.
Plants can bite, too. Many plants, including cactus, greasewood, Russian thistle, and others can scratch, stick, or otherwise be dangerous. Watch where you put your hands and feet.
Carry A First Aid Kit. It doesn’t have to be large – a basic kit can fit inside a one-quart sandwich bag – and it can make a vital difference.
Do not always rely on technology. GPS units and cell phones are great to have, but are not reliable in a landscape like Dinosaur. Cell service is spotty within the monument; let someone know where you are going, when you will be back, and stick to your plan. GPS units may not get signals in deep canyons; know how to read a map and use a compass.
How fast/cold is that river? It may be really hot out, and those cool rivers may look tempting – but lurking beneath the water’s surface are hidden hazards: dangerously cold temperatures and strong currents can lead to disaster. Diving and swimming in rivers is strongly discouraged, and wearing a life jacket when rafting is mandatory.
Where can I rock climb? Most sandstone within Dinosaur National Monument is not suitable for rock climbing. Choose your route carefully and follow monument regulations.
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.