RBC I Park rangers at Dinosaur National Monument offer a variety of public programs from guided hikes and campground evening programs to the very popular Junior Ranger Program. This summer, several popular activities from last year have returned and several new ranger-led programs have been added to the schedule, including programs that highlight the diversity of things to do and see beyond the fossil bones.
New for this summer are two hikes, a photo workshop and a collection of evening programs on the Colorado side of the monument, accessed 3 miles east of Dinosaur, Colo.
Meet a ranger at the Canyon Visitor Center at 2 p.m. each Sunday afternoon for a short introduction and then drive 5 miles to Plug Hat Butte for an easy 1-mile guided hike. Topics alternate each week between gaining photography tips that will make your visit more memorable and exploring cultural connections between people and the land. Plug Hat Hike programs will last 1.5 to 2 hours.
Photography workshops, led by a ranger who is also a professional photographer, will investigate photo tips in greater depth, using views along the Harpers Corner Trail to practice techniques that can turn plain old snapshots into visual poetry.
These free, five- to six-hour photography workshops begin at 3 p.m. at the Canyon Visitor Center this Saturday and on Aug. 16, and 2 p.m. on Sept. 20. Follow the ranger in your own car along the 32-mile scenic Harpers Corner Road, hike with your own personal ranger and photo coach along the two-mile round trip Harpers Corner Trail, and then conclude with an optional picnic dinner and sunset photos at the Plug Hat Picnic Area. Contact the Canyon Visitor Center for reservations and more details. Bring your own camera.
Campers who find themselves at the Echo Park Campground on Friday Aug. 8 and Sept. 5 can meet a ranger at the program benches for an evening of exploring. Echo Park evening programs begin at 8 p.m. with Junior Night Explorer activities, followed by a ranger talk at 8:30 p.m. For the adventurous, a ranger-led night hike will depart the campground benches at 9 p.m. for an approximately 1-mile, 1.5 hour stroll along the river to experience the canyon by moonlight. Because of unpaved roads, this program is weather dependent.
Please note it is a 1.5 hour drive from the Canyon Visitor Center to Echo Park.
Campground information can be found at www.nps.gov/dino/planyourvisit/camping.htm.