More than 260,000 people have visited the Dinosaur National Monument this year, monument officials stated Tuesday in a news release.
It’s a 54 percent spike in visitation with almost 100,000 more people visiting the monument this year than in 2011.
“We have seen a tremendous boost in our visitation since the Quarry Exhibit Hall opened last October, providing access to view the dinosaur fossils for which the monument is famous,” said Mary Risser, superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument, in the release. “But, it has not just been visitation to the Quarry Exhibit Hall, we have also seen an increase in the use of many of our campgrounds, backcountry, and even a slight increase in the number of boaters on the monument’s rivers.”
But time is running out.
Beginning at the end of the month many of the monument’s attractions will begin closing for the winter.
On Sept. 30 the Canyon Visitor Center, located in Moffat County on U.S. Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 64, will close for the season.
The Harpers Corner Road will remain open until the first significant snowfall, the release states.
Campgrounds will begin closing in October with the Green River Campground on the Utah side of the monument shutting down first Oct. 1. The Split Mountain Group Campground is slated to close a week later on Oct. 8.
Fees for the campgrounds are $12 and $25 per night and per site, respectively.
The Quarry Visitor Center and the Quarry Exhibit Hall remain open to visitors until Oct. 8 as well. The shuttle from the visitor center to the exhibit hall runs every 15 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
All other attractions remain open year round.
The entrance fee for Dinosaur National Monument is $10 per vehicle, which is valid for re-entry for up to seven days.
The entrance fee will be waived on Sept. 29 in recognition of National Public Lands Day.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/dino or call 435-781-7700.