Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LA Times Describes Utah's Best Dinosaur Sites

The LA Times has this interesting article, under this headline: In Utah, a treasure-trove of dinosaurs awaits

It was published on Oct 15, 2008, just before this story about a recently discovered "dinosaur dance floor" hit the news.

Writer Hugo Martín describes Utah's best dinosaur sites. Below are excerpts.

With plans to see Utah's best dinosaur exhibits, I consulted several of its top paleontologists on the best way to make a four-day road trip across the Beehive State.

Dinosaur experts, almost giddy with excitement, told me now is the best time to visit, during an era of astounding discoveries. Thanks to improved research technology and an exploding interest in the field, paleontologists are digging up new dinosaur species around the world at a rate of 10 to 20 each year.

Utah's quarries have been at the forefront of this trend, producing such discoveries as a strange duck-billed herbivore, a new horned quadruped, plus evidence that some dinosaurs tried to fish.

So in early September, I drove the length and breadth of Utah -- 978 miles -- past red bluffs, towering hoodoos and multicolored mesas. Here are my favorite stops.

ST. GEORGE DINOSAUR DISCOVERY CENTER AT JOHNSON FARM

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail and Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackway (Maob)

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry (Price)

Utah Field House of Natural History (Vernal)

BYU Earth Science Museum (Provo)

North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point (Lehi)

(Note: Dinosaur National Monument, near Vernal, would almost certainly have made Martin's list, had the quarry there been open. The quarry building has been declared unsafe and needs to be rebuilt. A date for the construction and reopening has yet to be announced.)

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