Dinosaurs | White Water Rafting

Dinosaur National Monument

A place of dinosaur discovery alive today.

4,700 to 9,005 Feet

Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, Utah is a stunning and unique National Park located in the Uinta Mountains of Colorado and Utah. It was established in 1915 to protect dinosaur fossils uncovered near the Green River. Today, Dinosaur National Monument is home to many different species of plants and animals, making it an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Dinosaur National Monument is full of amazing sights to explore. In the main monument area, visitors will find the Quarry Visitor Center where they can learn about the geology of the area and get a glimpse of some of the fossils that were uncovered. Visitors can also explore many different trails that meander through deep canyons and lush desert landscapes.

In addition to its expansive hikes, Dinosaur National Monument also offers a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Visitors can take part in wildlife viewing, bird watching, fishing, and stargazing. There are many different scenic drives that wind through the canyons, offering breathtaking views of the landscape.


The monument contains some of the most significant rock formations in the world – including sandstone, shale, and limestone deposits that are millions of years old. Visitors can find fossils of dinosaurs and other animals embedded in the rocks, as well as ancient petroglyphs carved into the walls.


The area is home to some unique cultural artifacts such as petroglyphs that date back thousands of years. These ancient rock carvings offer insight into the lives of those who once lived in the area and are a reminder of the importance of preserving our heritage for future generations.

The area was first explored by Captain John Wesley Powell and his team in 1869. They found dinosaur bones, ancient petroglyphs, and evidence of a once-thriving prehistoric culture. The fossils were so plentiful that the area became known as Dinosaur National Monument. The area has since been developed and many of the fossils have been relocated to museums around the world.
Photo gallery


Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, Utah is home to many different species of animals, from large mammals such as elk and bighorn sheep to smaller animals like lizards and birds. The monument also serves as a migratory corridor for more than 250 bird species. Reptiles such as rattlesnakes, lizards, and turtles can be found in the area.

The park is also home to a wide variety of plants, including wildflowers and cacti. Visitors can explore a variety of ecosystems, from desert scrubland to riparian areas.

The districts

There are two districts each with their own respective visitor centers. The Dinosaur Quarry and the Canyon District.

The Dinosaur Quarry is an amazing place where incredible discoveries are being made today. Visitors can learn about dinosaurs and make discoveries of their very own. There are Junior Ranger and Junior Paleontology programs and dinosaur fun for all. 

The Canyons District is a rugged backcountry filled with rivers and canyons that offers a lot more outdoor recreation and has some world class river rafting. 

Points of interest

Tilted Rocks Drive: A 10 mile scenic drive that begins near the Quarry Visitor Center. Highlights of this drive include petroglyphs and ending a Josie’s Cabin that was built in 1913. 

Harpers Corner Road: A 30 mile scenic drive that begins near the visitor center and takes travelers to beautiful river and canyon overlooks. 

Wall of Bones: Is located in the quarry and displays thousands of fossils that can be both seen and touched.

Josie’s Cabin: Is a hand built cabin by a frontier woman who lived here for most of her life.  

Things to do

  • Dinosaur quarry
  • Driving tours 
  • Hiking trails 
  • Backpacking
  • Bird watching 
  • Fishing 
  • Biking
  • Horseback riding 
  • Stargazing (international dark Sky Park)
  • Exhibits 
  • Fossil hunting 
  • Ranger led hikes
  • Riverside trails 
  • Petroglyphs 
  • White water rafting down the Yampa and Green rivers

White Water Rafting

There are both day and multi-day rafting opportunities at Dinosaur National Monument. There are guides who can help those interested in a white water adventure navigate this rugged backcountry through the canyons of the Yampa and Green rivers. Guides are a convenient way to experience this area as private permits are required for any self guided rafting. 

Ladore Canyon: Has class III and IV rapids. 

Split Mountain Canyon: A day trip down the Green River that begins at Rainbow Park that gets its name from the colorful cliffs. 

Planning your trip to dinosaur national monument

When planning a trip to Dinosaur National Monument, it’s important to consider the type of activities you would like to do. The monument offers something for everyone – from camping and hiking to educational programs and wildlife viewing.

Be sure to check out the Quarry Visitor Center, which has exhibits that explain the geology and history of the area. There are also ranger-led programs that provide an in-depth look at the monument’s natural and cultural resources.

For those looking for a more remote experience, there are several backcountry areas within Dinosaur National Monument where you can explore without seeing another person for miles.

It’s important to remember that the monument is located in a very remote area and visitors should take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. Bring plenty of water, supplies, and clothing suitable for the area’s weather conditions. It is also a good idea to check with local park rangers or tour guides for any potential hazards that may be present.


Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, Utah has multiple campgrounds that are open depending on the season These locations offer a variety of amenities such as picnic areas, bathrooms, and showers. Campsites can be reserved in advance, but it is important to note that all campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those seeking a more luxurious experience, the closest town, Vernal, Utah, has plenty of hotels and motels for you and your group to choose from.


Vernal, Utah, has many restaurants and dining options when you come to stay at Dinosaur National Monument. You can find everything from fast food to upscale restaurants. There are also several grocery stores in the area if you prefer to cook your own meals while exploring the monument.


There are fees for people who are driving, walking and riding into the park as well as opportunities for people to purchase an annual pass. Camping fees are also required when guests want to stay in the many campgrounds that are available. For more information about fees and permits, visit the national monument website for all amounts for Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, Utah.


Pets are allowed in most areas throughout the park, but they must remain on a leash at all times. They are also not allowed to enter any of the historic buildings or enter into any body of water within Dinosaur National Monument and they are not allowed on many of the hiking trails.

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