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DINOSAUR I “The first glints of yellow in area cottonwood trees has announced autumn’s arrival at Dinosaur National Monument, and with it comes a reduction in hours and service,” reports Dan Johnson, the Monument’s chief of interpretation and visitor services.
Starting this past Monday, the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Quarry Visitor Center, located seven miles north of Jensen, Utah, features exhibits, a theater and sales area for the Intermountain Natural History Association. The Quarry Exhibit Hall features the world-famous wall of dinosaur bones and exhibits.
Staff will continue to offer daily ranger-guided hikes on the Fossil Discovery Trail at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. this coming Sunday. Junior Ranger programs will be offered at the Quarry Exhibit Hall on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., also through Sunday.
On the Colorado side of the monument, the Canyon Visitor Center, located near Dinosaur, will close for the season on Tuesday.
Campgrounds will also begin closing for the season or going into winter operations. Water service at the Echo Park Campground will be turned off on Tuesday. Campers may still use the campground, but must bring their own water. When water is not available, camping fees will not be charged.
The Green River Campground, located near the Quarry Visitor Center, will close for the season on Oct. 6 at noon. Water will be turned off at the Split Mountain Group Campground on Oct. 7. Starting Oct. 7, the Split Mountain Campground will be open to all campers on a first-come, first-served basis. Water will not be available and camping fees will not be charged.
The Gates of Lodore Campground on the monument’s north end will continue to have water available until the end of October.
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, 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.
Remember that Dinosaur’s weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions.