Dinosaur Monument opens backcountry campgrounds

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DINOSAUR I Mark Foust, acting superintendent at Dinosaur National Monument, announced that the two backcountry campsites at Ely Creek, located along the Jones Hole Trail, are now open in Dinosaur National Monument.
“When the campsites were closed last summer, there was significant concern about increasing bear activity in the area,” Foust said. “Our priorities are to protect both visitors and wildlife in the monument. We monitored the area for bear activity last year and this spring and have decided to reopen the campsites with a newly installed bear-proof food storage locker.”
Visitors can make reservations for the two backcountry campsites at Ely Creek by calling the Quarry Visitor Center at 435-781-7700 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Each site can accommodate up to eight people. Water, which must be treated before use, is available from a nearby stream. Fires are not permitted in this area of the monument. The campsites are approximately two miles from the trailhead at the Jones Hole Fish Hatchery.
“We are stepping up our bear safety education program,” Foust said. “The trail is very popular with fishermen and day hikers in addition to backcountry campers.”
All visitors to the popular Jones Hole Trail are advised to be on the lookout for black bears. Although visitors to Dinosaur National Monument may not think of Dinosaur as “bear country,” frequent sightings confirm black bears live throughout the monument. Hikers and campers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station.
Visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers and other items that can attract bears in bear-proof storage boxes or a vehicle in developed campgrounds. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.
If you encounter a bear, never approach it and leave the area immediately, Foust said. More information about bears is available at the visitor centers or entrance station or on the monument website.
Remember that Dinosaur’s weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions.
Wildlife like deer, elk and bighorn sheep, may be seen along the rivers. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads, particularly at dawn and dusk.
For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call 435-781-7700. You can also visit us on the web at www.nps.gov/dino, find us on Facebook or follow DinosaurNPS on Twitter and Flickr.