Dinosaur National Monument and the Green River

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Our first out of state destination was Steamboat Springs Co. Unfortunately it was more than a 4 hour drive so Ashley planned a few one night stops along the way. One of those stops was a two day stop at Dinosaur National Monument in the state of Utah. We were able to camp at the Green River campground about 5 miles from the Dinosaur exhibit and right on the bank of the Green River. The surrounding terrain is high desert with very little greenery. It was exactly the kind of climate we had hoped to put behind us. However there was a lot of green trees and color if we stayed close to the river. We did not plan to stay any longer than to see the dinosaur dig site and the monument surrounding it. It was a very hot and dry place but luckily we were right by the river. The campground had a few river access points for us to get into the river to cool off. We all spent time just lying in the fast moving water to escape the 100 degree heat. On one of the days we hiked with Grandma and Grandpa Murphy along the river. The hiked was reminiscent of our days hiking in the Sea of Cortez the main difference was the color of the water in the scenery. In the Sea of Cortez the water was always a brilliant blue and the Green River was, well, green. The campground was fairly big with about 50 campsites. The road through the campground was nicely paved. This allowed the kids lots of time for riding their bikes all around and to Grandma’s RV and back. They probably amassed 20 miles of riding in those two days at the campground.

The reason for our visit to Dinosaur National Monument was for the dinosaur exhibit. Due to a river log jam in the prehistoric sea that existed here there was a large collection of dinosaur fossils in this area. The paleontologist that found them dreamed of having bones on display for visitors in the state in which they had been found. In another words still imbedded in the rock. His request was honored with this amazing monument that includes a building built on top of a large rock cliffside that encases many dinosaur bones. Alexander and Victoria were in heaven. They read every single word on every single sign in the building. They maximized every interactive display sometimes walking their parents back and forth through all the options. They touched everything that could be touched as their parents followed them around with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Due to the covid requirements our time in the interior of the monument was limited so we had to keep moving but Alexander and Victoria could have spent hours more just looking at the wall of various real dinosaur bones still in the rock wall. If you are a fan of paleontology this is a must visit. After touring the inside of the monument we hiked along the desert path that had many fossils that could be seen and touched. However, after seeing real dinosaur bones still embedded in rock it was a little hard for me to get excited about fossils of ancient sea shells. The kids however, wanted to touch every indentation in the rock and were excited each time they identified another fossilized clam or fish.  

Looking down on our campground along the Green River
Grandma Murphy, Victoria and Alexander hiking along the Green River in Utah
Victoria and her Grandma Murphy
Victoria and Alexander at the entrance to Dinosaur National Monument. Trust me they are smiling.
Alexander touching a real dinosaur bone
Victoria touching a real dinosaur bone
Alexander and Victoria in front of the Allosaraus
Alexander working on his Junior Ranger Badge while sitting on a real dinosaur bone
Alexander captivated by the wall of bones
The kids inspecting the fossils
The kids looking at the complete skeleton found here of a baby Camarasaurus
Ashley and her kids looking over the upper part of the wall
A small selection of the bones that are still
Grandpa and Grandma Murphy with Alexander and Victoria using the interactive display to I.D. the bones on the wall
The kids working on their dinosaur/ science class assignments
This is how the kids spend their time while we are driving
Car school
Nope not Harry Potter. History lesson today tomorrow will be a Science lesson

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