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Contact: Paul Scolari, (970) 374-3001
Dinosaur National Monument (monument) and the Utah National Guard (guard) have entered into a partnership by which the guard will carry out construction-related training activities in the monument through 2025. This construction activity will address National Park Service (NPS) deferred facilities maintenance needs and improve the park experience for visitors. The partnership is being realized under the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training program which provides training opportunities that increase guard deployment readiness while providing services that benefit American communities and public lands.
The first partnership activity will take place in the monument from June 6-15. The guard will set up camp in the Split Mountain Campground and execute several construction projects in the monument in that time frame. Projects to be completed include: rehabilitation of a historic Comfort Station in the Split Mountain Campground, to include improving accessibility for those with disabilities; replacement of several cattle guards throughout the monument; rehabilitation of the Rainbow Park entrance road (tentative); and fabrication of several road gates to be installed at a later date. While providing first-class training for the guard, these activities will also improve public safety and enhance facility conditions for monument visitors. Monument funds, much of them provided through visitor fees, will pay for material costs of these projects. No construction costs will be incurred, resulting in significant NPS cost savings.
The Split Mountain Campground, located in the shadow of majestic Split Mountain, is open for camping year-round and becomes the primary camping location for large groups in the summer.
Each of the four group sites accommodates 25 campers. The campground will be closed from June 1 – 20 to make way for guard work on the Comfort Station. During this window of time no camping will be allowed at Split Mountain, day-use picnicking in the campground will be curtailed, and River Trail access from the northern trailhead will be closed. River Trail access from the southern trailhead at the Green River Campground will remain open. All closed locations will be reopened on June 21.
In addition to closure of the Split Mountain Campground, visitor impacts may also include temporary travel delays for road-related work. During the time of the guard’s presence, visitors may observe guard crews at work and travelling through the monument in military vehicles. The guard will not carry arms or ammunition while working in the monument.
While guard activities are imminent for 2022, planning is underway for 2023. In August 2023 the guard will be rehabilitating and expanding the Deerlodge Boat Ramp on the Colorado side of the monument. The Deerlodge Boat Ramp is where river recreationists put in for multi-day river trips on the Yampa River through the spectacular canyons of the monument. The boat ramp is badly eroded and undersized. The guard project will make the facility worthy of the unparalleled experience it facilitates as rafts embark on the Yampa River.
For more information, call (435) 781-7700 or follow DinosaurNPS on social media.
Last updated: May 27, 2022