Western Colorado's Dinosaur National Monument is set to reopen the monument visitor centers and Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall effective tomorrow (June 30).

Portions of the monument have been open for some time. Increased access to camping and river use began June 7. According to a press release from Dinosaur National Monument, as of Tuesday, June 30, Dinosaur will reopen the Canyon Visitor Center near Dinosaur, Colorado, and the Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall near Jensen, Utah.

What are the hours of operation? The visitor centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and the exhibit hall will be open 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily throughout the summer. The theaters in the monument visitor centers will not be open. Sorry, but no movie.

You'll be able to enjoy exhibits, visit the information desk, and shop sales outlets for the Intermountain Natural History Association. If you plan to ride the shuttle to the Quarry Visitor Center on the Utah side of the monument, please remember social distancing practices will be observed. Thirty people can ride the shuttle at intervals of 15 minutes. Parking capacity at the Quarry Visitor Center will be closely monitored.

It's been a while since I've visited Dinosaur National Monument. What else is there to do? You might want to visit:

  • petroglyph sites
  • hiking trails
  • Josie Morris Homestead Cabin
  • campground,
  • river trips
  • backcountry camping

If you're like me, you prefer to visit attractions such as this during the slower hours. According to the Dinosaur National Park Facebook page, the busiest hours at the Quarry Exhibit Hall are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing. Guests are also encouraged to wear face masks.

Now for the bad news. With the reopening of the visitor centers and the Quarry Exhibit Hall, the charging of monument entrance fees will resume. Entrance fees are required of all visitors recreating in the monument whether they are visiting the Quarry Exhibit Hall or not.

According to the Facebook page, the monument would prefer payment with credit or debit cards rather than cash. Payments can be made online with the new digital pass at recreation.gov.

A handful of operations will remain suspended at this time. Those would include:

  • All ranger-guided programs (including night sky programs)
  • Theaters in the visitor centers

Of course, with things being the way they are, the park's operations could change at the drop of a hat. You are encouraged to check the Dinosaur National Monument's webpage frequently for updates.

Google Maps

If you're tired of being cooped up, perhaps a trip to Dinosaur National Monument is just what the doctor ordered. The drive from Grand Junction to the monument comes in at just over two hours. Looking at the calendar, it appears there's a holiday weekend coming up. Why not fire up the face mask and enjoy this awesome Colorado attraction?

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