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DINOSAUR | The first signs of fall have arrived at Dinosaur National Monument with hints of yellow on the cottonwood tree leaves and migrating birds passing through the area. Fall also brings changes in visitor center hours and services.
On the Utah side of the monument, the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall are now open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. The visitor center and exhibit hall are open year round except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Quarry Exhibit Hall features the world-famous wall of dinosaur bones and exhibits.
On the Colorado side of the monument, the Canyon Visitor Center located near Dinosaur, Colorado closed for the season on Oct. 12.
Monument campgrounds are beginning to close for the season or going into winter operations.
The Green River Campground, located near the Quarry Visitor Center, closed Oct. 9 and the Split Mountain Campground is now open to all campers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Water is not available at Split Mountain Campground. Campground fees at Split Mountain are $6 per site, per night.
Water service at the Deerlodge Park and Gates of Lodore campgrounds is now off for the season. Echo Park Campground water was turned off on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Campers may still use the campgrounds, but must bring their own water. Campgrounds fees are $6 per night, per site.
Fall is a wonderful time to visit Dinosaur National Monument. Summer heat is gone, days are often sunny, and nights are crisp. Solitude is readily available. Wildlife, such as deer, elk and bighorn sheep, may be seen along the rivers. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads, particularly at dawn and dusk. Always use appropriate techniques to store food and other scented items when you camp and hike in Dinosaur to prevent encounters with black bears or other wildlife which are preparing for winter.
Remember that Dinosaur’s weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. In the fall, a day that starts out sunny and warm can quickly turn cold, windy, and rainy. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions and check the forecast before heading out. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and supplies for any unexpected incidents. Ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. With proper preparation, a hike at Dinosaur National Monument can be an experience of a lifetime.
For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call 435-781-7700. You can also visit us on the web at www.nps.gov/dino or follow DinosaurNPS on social media.
Special to the Herald Times