(This post refers to a trip we took in September.) Picking only a few photos from Dinosaur National Monument is a difficult task. We got there reasonably early in the morning, and when Sandy presented his ID with his credit card to the ranger for the entry fee, he was informed that he could get a senior lifetime pass to the National Park System for $10 that covers anyone in the car with him. So THAT was the first great thing.
We headed up a little ways to the Quarry House, where a cliff with embedded bones has been preserved in a building. In the parking lot, we found that we were just in time for a ranger-led hike down Fossil Discovery Trail, in which she explained the great variations in the geology of the park. There are twenty-three different rock formations exposed in the area dating back hundreds of millions of years. This area was once a shallow sea, and we saw clam fossils and rippled stones from the water.
The heavy rains from the day before made some of the trail slippery and we were advised not to go past a certain point, but we did get to see some bones out on the trail walls. An enormous number of large dinosaurs met their watery end in a flood here. Small dinosaurs too, but mostly they were swept downstream. They are making new discoveries constantly in this park.
There’s a vertebra under that little ledge there. Most of the bone fragments are brown and heavily worn on the rock surface.
In the Carnegie Quarry, the rock face is pretty amazing. You have to wonder what is left under there.
Anyway, at the risk of having to turn in my nerd badge, the dinosaurs were not the most exciting part of the DNM for me. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun and if I had actually been able to find some on my own, I would have been out of control. The landscape and the petroglyphs were what made me fall in love with this place.
Next: Dinosaur National Monument – The Landscape