Hiking In Eastern Utah's Dinosaurland
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Dinosaurland, the Vernal/Flaming Gorge area in eastern Utah, is a land of amazing contrasts, with the towering Uinta Mountains trailing off into conifer-covered foothills and sage-filled high-elevation deserts. Erosion has cut down to the earth's very skeleton in many areas, exposing mountains of rock that bear fossil imprints from dinosaurs, crocodiles, sharks and many other life-forms. Much of the area is not accessible by motorized vehicle. You have to strap on your hiking boots and start walking to really experience this country.
The vastness of this area makes it ideal for epic backpack trips. Load your kitchen, bedroom and library onto your shoulders, or onto a llama or packhorse, and wander up the Uinta River to King's Peak (the highest point in Utah). Trek through 60 miles of wilderness along the Highline Trail, or spend a week wandering the backcountry in Dinosaur National Monument.
But you don't have to be a marathon backpacker to enjoy this area. A short stroll or moderate hike will take you to many scenic spots. Drive the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway and stop to search for dinosaur tracks in the sandstone on the edge of Red Fleet Reservoir, or stroll through a high mountain meadow filled with wildflowers. Stop at Red Canyon overlook and hike along the rim to enjoy panoramic views of Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Boat on the reservoir, stopping to follow trails along the shoreline or up the canyon walls.
Adventure abounds at every turn. Raft the Green River's classic rapids through Lodore Canyon, penetrating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, making short hikes to scenic points along the way. Or explore the Jones Hole Federal Fish Hatchery and then day-hike or backpack the trail, which follows the stream down to the Green River, past a scenic waterfall and beautifully vivid ancient Indian rock art figures.
For more information on these and other destinations, see the Dinosaurland Travel Region website.
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