In addition to Dinosaur's trails, most of the monument is open to off trail or cross country travel. Off trail hiking is great way to experience the wonder and majesty of Dinosaur's backcountry. There are some routes that are easier to follow or more well known while others may be rarely visited and require technical skills. No matter where you go, you will be in very remote country. Make sure you take the following precautions:
- Know your ability and make sure that you are not choosing a route beyond you capability.
- Know how and where to hike without damaging the landscape and resources. Practice Leave No Trace skills.
- Bring plenty of water. Summer temperatures often exceed 100°F. Water sources are rarely available.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are due out.
- Bring a map and compass, and know how to use them.
- Even if you are planning a day hike, be prepared to spend the night.
- Overnight visits in the backcountry require a free backcountry permit. Overnight camping at the Ely Creek backcountry site along the Jones Hole Trail requires a reservation. Permits and reservations are available at the visitor center.
- Maps, guidebooks, and other tools are available from the park bookstore.
- Do not rely on cell phones or GPS units. Cell phone coverage is non existent in most of Dinosaur's backcountry. In some of the remote, steep-walled canyons, your GPS unit may not be able to communicate with a satellite.
For more information or help planning a trip into the backcountry, contact the park at 435-781-7700.