Best of Moffat County 2018: No bones about it, Dinosaur National Monument tourism favorite | CraigDailyPress.com

Best of Moffat County 2018: No bones about it, Dinosaur National Monument tourism favorite

A vast landscape where dinosaurs once trod and rivers have carved deep winding canyons, Dinosaur National Monument was voted the 2018 Best of Moffat County best place tourist spot.

Monument superintendent Mark Foust, upon hearing that Craig Press readers had voted Dinosaur one of the best tourist attractions, said, "We couldn't agree more. The incredible natural and cultural resources, the scenery and history that abound in the monument within Moffat County are second to none."

Dinosaur National Monument stretches across 210,000 acres along the Colorado/Utah border. Dinosaur National Monument is best known for its dinosaur fossils. The famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry alone contained 11 different species of dinosaurs, including as allosaurusdiplodocus, and stegosaurus. Fossils have also been discovered outside Carnegie Quarry.

To see Dinosaur Fossils, the Utah side of the monument is the place to go.

The Colorado side is a landscape carved by river canyons and offers rich natural and cultural history ripe for exploration. To see some of the spectacular canyon country scenery, the Colorado side is the place to go.

The Harpers Corner Road is a 32-mile scenic drive that includes overlooks of the Yampa and Green rivers. The short Harpers Corner Trail, at the road’s end, is a must to get the most dramatic views. For those with a high-clearance vehicle, the drive to Echo Park will take explorers into the depths of the river canyons. The Yampa Bench Road is a longer drive that provides glimpses of the deep, twisting canyons at several overlooks.

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Dinosaur is public land managed for the enjoyment of everyone.

A recent National Park Service report recorded 315,589 visitors to the monument in 2017, who spent more than $18.4 million in communities near the park. That spending supported more than 230 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of more than $20.4 million.

"Protecting this place and providing for its enjoyment are partnership goals worth promoting," Foust said. "National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it's a factor in our local economy, as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

Often, the draw for tourists is the famous dinosaur bones, but many people linger or return to explore a place that feels as untamed now as when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

"We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides," Foust said. "Come and see what western Moffat County and the monument have to offer."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

Dinosaur National Monument

Description: The Colorado side of the monument offers spectacular drives and thrilling river trips (by permit only). There are no visible dinosaur fossils on the Colorado side of the monument. To see dinosaur fossils, visit the Utah side of the monument near Jensen, Utah.

Address:  Canyon Visitor Center 4545 U.S. Highway 40, Dinosaur; Quarry Visitor Center, 11625 E. 1500 S. Jensen, Utah.

Hours of operation: The monument is open 24 hours per day, all year, but some roads and facilities are closed during winter months. See the website for a full list of hours for each facility.

Phone: Quarry Visitor Center in Utah — 435-781-7700; Canyon Visitor Center in Colorado (only in summer) — 970-374-3000.

Website: nps.gov/dino/index.htm