Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fossil Butte National Monument - Kemmerer, Wyoming


Description:  Described as an "Aquarium in Stone" Fossil Butte National Monument contains hundreds of fossils that formed in an ancient lake. Many of the perfectly preserved fossils are on display in the visitor center.  This is a great place for anyone interested in paleontology.

Location: 15 miles west of Kemmerer, Wyoming.  Less than 45 miles east of Bear Lake in Utah.

Cost: Free - but donations are always welcome

Operating Seasons and Hours: The monument grounds are open daily from Sunrise until Sunset.  The Visitor Center hours are 9:00 am to 5:30 pm from May through September and 8:00 am to 4:30 pm from October through April the hours are

Occasionally the entrance road gate will close due to severe winter storms. The upper road which leads to the picnic area, nature train and scenic drives closes during the winter from November first until late May.

Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/fobu/index.htm

Date of Visit: Saturday, May 22, 2010

This was the very last place we stopped on the ninth and last day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our third anniversary in May of 2010. We'd visited the Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal, Utah before starting our drive through Wyoming to our home in Logan, Utah.  During our three hour drive along the  boring roads in Wyoming we decided to make one last stop before returning home.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Utah Highway 12 through the Fishlake National Forest - North of Boulder, Utah


Description: Utah Highway 12 between Boulder, Utah to the south and Torrey, Utah to the north runs through the Fishlake National Forest is a 50 mile stretch of road that climbs to a height of over 8000 feet above sea level.  As the elevation changes so does the landscape.  There is also stunning scenery every way you look.

Location:  Between Boulder, Utah and Torrey, Utah in Southern Utah.

Date of Visit: Monday, May 17, 2010

Driving on this road was part of the fourth day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our anniversary in May of 2010. We left Anazasi State Park in Boulder and started driving toward Capitol Reef National Park outside of Torrey, Utah.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum - Vernal, Utah


Description: The area around Vernal, Utah is known as Dinosaurland because of the many dinosaur fossils that have been found in the area.  The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is located on Main Street in Vernal.  This museum teaches visitors about the many fossils that have been found in the area.  There are dinosaur skeletons on display as well many plant fossils.  There is also a short movie that describes paleontology research. Outside the museum there are several large dinosaur statues on display in the Dinosaur Garden.

Location:  496 East Main Street Vernal, Utah 84078

Cost: Admission is $7 per adult, $3.50 for children from six to twelve years old, and free for children five and under.

Operating Seasons and Hours:  The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day.  However, from October to March the park is closed on Sundays.

Official Website: http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/utah-field-house/

Date of Visit: Saturday, May 22, 2010

This was the first stop of the ninth and last day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our third anniversary in May of 2010. We'd driven to Vernal the day before and visited Dinosaur National Monument.  We spent the night in a cabin at the Vernal KOA campground.  We were ready to check out the Utah Field House of Natural History before starting our drive home to Logan, Utah.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dinosaur National Monument - Vernal, Utah (The Utah Side)


Description: One of the most famous dinosaur fossil quarries is located within Dinosaur National Monument.  The Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry is known for it's wall of dinosaur bones where visitors can have a close view of fossils still inside the rock that preserved the bones. The quarry was closed for several years, but now has re-opened. A new visitor center welcomes dinosaur lovers to the monument. Away from the quarry there are several scenic drives, hikes, and even opportunities for white water rafting.

Location: Dinosaur National Monument straddles the boarder between Utah and Colorado.  It is located between Vernal, Utah and Dinosaur, Colorado.  All of the dinosaurs fossils are located on the Utah side of the monument.

Cost: Entrance to the park is $10 per private vehicle.  Camping fees range from free to $12 depending on the campground. Most sites are first come first serve, but you can make reservations for a few sites at the Green River Campground.

Operating Seasons and Hours: The monument itself is open 24 hours a day.  However, hours for the two Visitor Centers and the quarry vary depending on the season. Generally they are all open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm

Date of Visit: Friday, May 21, 2010

This was the fourth stop of the eighth day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our third anniversary in May of 2010. We'd driven from Moab, Utah via Colorado Highway 139 (also known as Douglas Pass Road). Then we turned west and headed back into Utah to reach the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Colorado State Highway 139 (Douglas Pass Road)


Description: On a map, Colorado State Highway 139 looks simple enough.  It runs in nearly a straight line parallel to the western boarder of the state.  However, straight is not a word to describe what this 70 mile road is really like.  The road climbs to a height of 8000 through several switch-backs.  Down hill grades of 7% are not uncommon.  This simple looking road is full of adventure.

Location: This road runs north-south along the very western boarder of Colorado and Utah.  From the south you access it near the town of Loma off of I-70 and from the north you access the road near the town of Rangely off of highway 64.

Cost:  Free

Operating Season: The road is open all year long; however, be aware that winter snow removal is not done at night.

Date of Visit: Friday, May 21, 2010

This was the third stop of the eighth day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our third anniversary in May of 2010. We were on our way from Arches National Park near Moab, Utah to Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah.  The quickest way to travel between the two cities was to travel into Colorado and then drive north on Highway 139.   We'd already enjoyed interesting scenery while driving on the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (Utah-128)  and we were curious to see what lay in store on this road.

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