rbc I The recent snowfall and arrival of winter at Dinosaur National Monument brings changes to visitor access and services.
In Utah, roads around the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall are maintained throughout the winter. The Cub Creek Road is plowed to a parking area approximately 2.2 miles past the Green River bridge. The unpaved road to the Josie Morris Ranch is now closed, but is open to hiking and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing when conditions permit.
In Colorado, the Harpers Corner Road is temporarily closed at Plug Hat Butte, five miles from U.S. Highway 40 for snowplowing operations. If conditions permit, the lower portion of the Harpers Corner Road is usually kept open to the Echo Park Road turnoff through Dec. 31 so hunters may access private and BLM land adjacent to the monument. On Jan. 1, the road closes at Plug Hat Butte, which is five miles from US Highway 40. After the road closes to vehicular traffic for the winter, portions of the Harpers Corner Road are open to snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing if snow conditions permit.
The Echo Park Road, Yampa Bench Road, Island Park Road, portions of the Deerlodge Road, and the road to Gates of Lodore are not maintained and travel on them is not advised during the winter.
“We try to maintain access for visitors to as many parts of the monument as we can,” stated Superintendent Mark Foust.
Dinosaur’s weather in winter can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions and check the current forecast before heading out.
Please ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. For the properly prepared, winter is a wonderful time to visit Dinosaur National Monument. Please be alert for animals crossing roads particularly at dawn and dusk.
The Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall north of Jensen, Utah, are open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. Due to lower visitation and staffing, access to the Quarry Exhibit Hall is by car caravans at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. And 4 p.m. The Canyon Visitor Center near Dinosaur is closed for the winter. If you are looking for a last-minute gift, Dinosaur Annual Passes are still available for $20. Starting Jan. 1, the new rate will be $40. Passes are valid for 12 months from purchase so they are good for entry until Dec. 31, 2016.
For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call 435-781-7700. You can also visit on the web at www.nps.gov/dino, look for DinosaurNPS on Facebook and Twitter.