Vernal is full of history, amazing bodies of water, and dinosaur adventure.

5,328 Feet
Vernal, Utah (aka “Dinosaurland”) is the largest city in Uintah County and is known for its dinosaur fossils and endless outdoor adventures. Vernal sits at an elevation of 5,328 feet, and is home to a population of nearly 11,000. From the impressive landscapes to the magical fossil findings, Vernal has plenty of excitement to lure travelers from all over.


Unlike most Utah towns, Vernal was not initially established by Mormon pioneers (though they came later). Brigham Young sent a scouting party to explore the city and they reported that the area was good for nothing but Indian hunting grounds.

President Abraham Lincoln set the area aside as the Uintah Indian Reservation and appointed Captain Pardon Dodds as the Indian agent. Dodds built the first cabin in Ashley Valley, and after Colorado’s Meeker Massacre, other settlers joined him in search of protection. Together, they formed the town Ashley Center, which would later be renamed Vernal.

Things To Do

If spending the day hunting for dinosaur fossils sounds entertaining to you, then Vernal is the place to go. Of course, there are also endless miles of nature trails to explore and stunning views to take in. If you’re an adventure junkie, the Green River also boasts Class III and IV whitewater rapids that are a blast to raft through. Many come to experience the nearby Flaming Gorge. Vernal has many nearby rivers and reservoirs great for fishing, boating, and water recreation all year long. Those who are in the area enjoy ATV, UTV, and off-roading adventures.

Aside from exploring the great outdoors, travelers can spend their days checking out Vernal’s many historical sites, museums, and monuments.
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Planning your trip to Vernal Utah

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You won’t have to worry about finding a place to stay in Vernal. From glamping spots and quaint inns to dispersed campgrounds and RV parks, Vernal has the ideal lodging accommodation for every kind of traveler.


Vernal features a horde of local restaurants, bars, and cafes that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite or try out a local sit-down, Vernal cuisine does not disappoint. There are many Mexican, Italian, and American options to choose from, as well as some familiar favorites.


Vernal boasts a shopping mall equipped for all of your retail therapy needs. If you’re looking for some local flair, consider taking a stroll down Main Street. Like any small town, downtown Vernal is littered with souvenir shops, clothing stores, and plenty of only-in-Vernal gems.


Vernal is located within driving distance from the airports in Salt Lake City and Denver, Colorado. From there, we recommend renting a car and driving to the city. With so much to see and do, Vernal is best explored by car. If driving isn’t an option, you can get to Vernal from Salt Lake City by charter bus.


Vernal boasts four distinct seasons. Because it lies at a high elevation in the northeastern Great Basin Desert, the town has a semi-arid climate with minimal humidity. The summers are sunny and hot, while the winters are snowy and cold. Most travelers choose to visit Vernal during the summer months when the temperatures hover around the high 80s.


Dinosaur National Monument
Red Fleet State Park
Flaming Gorge
Strawberry Reservoir
Utah Field House of Natural History