About 1,000 years ago, the Fremont people lived in this area and left evidence of their presence in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs. Several areas in the monument allow visitors to easily access these designs and ponder the mystery of why they were created.
Archaeologists first studied and named the Fremont culture along the Fremont River in south-central Utah and have since traced it through much of the Green and Colorado River drainages. The lifestyle of the Fremont people varied considerably throughout that area, reflecting the diverse environments that they inhabited. In general, they lived in small bands or family groups, grew crops to supplement native foods, and did not build large permanent dwellings.
In the Dinosaur National Monument area, archaeological evidence of the Fremont dates from about 200 A.D. to about 1300 A.D. While few actual houses remain, known dwelling places ranged from natural shelters (such as rock overhangs or shallow caves) to small “villages” in open areas. Archeological evidence suggests many dwelling sites were occupied only seasonally, as the people moved into and out of an area according to the availability of water and food.