America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Jurassic National Monument, Utah
On March 12, 2019, what used to be known as Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry jumped the proverbial dinosaur when President Trump announced its status had been elevated, along with four others (Camp Nelson, Mill Springs Battlefield, Medgar and Myrtle Evers Home, and St. Francis Dam Disaster), to National Monument designation. That was somewhat of a surprise, as the President had been less than stellar in his approach to national lands to most, but the addition of this park, with its paleontological history dating back to those prehistoric dinosaur days, was warranted and well worth the new designation. It will be administered by the Bureau of Land Management, not the National Park Service, with an already built and established visitor center, trails, and tours into quarry world. Yes, you'll see dinosaur bones and where they came from, and if that's what you like, there's plenty at Jurassic and other sites along the Colorado and Utah Dinosaur Diamond National Scenic Byway. Photo above: Dinosaur exhibit inside the Visitor Center at Jurassic National Monument. Courtesy Bureau of Land Management.
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Info, What's There Now, History Nearby
Jurassic National Monument, Utah
How large is the monument and what's been found in its dinosaur bones quarry? Two thousand, five hundred, and forty-three acres. Seventy-four dinosaurs found, including a Stegosaur in the Visitor Center. Twelve thousand separate bones and a dinosaur egg. Seventy-five percent of those bones from carnivores, which is still a mystery to the scientists who uncovered them since 1927 and still study them. Which carnivore is most prevalent? Allosaurus fragilis for those that know what that means.
Remember, this is hot Utah, so be prepared with the right clothes, sunscreen, and liquid when you hike or visit here. No, the dinosaurs no longer bite.
Image above: Dig inside building at Jurassic National Monument. Courtesy Bureau of Land Management. Below: Visitor Center. Courtesy Bureau of Land Management.
Where Is It
The Jurrasic National Monument is located thirty-three miles south of Price, Utah off Route 10 in an area known as the San Rafael Swell and near the Utah version of Cleveland. Follow the signs from the highway. The park is remote with not many facilities or lodging nearby, so have plenty of gas and bring some food. The closest town is Cleveland, ten or so miles away, and that town has under five hundred people. Closest lodging is in Wellington, fifteen miles from Cleveland, or further away in Price. Manti La Sal National Forest is a possibility for camping, but not too close either.
Where is it in relation to Moab? It's just short of one hundred and fifty miles away.
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What is There Now
The designated monument is 2,543 acres large (some reports state 850 acres so we're not sure which is correct), with walking trails and a Visitor Center with exhibits and orientation, which also extend into a second structure known as the Quarry Building. It is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
There are picnic areas and self-guided walking trails, too. Drinking water is also available.
When Open and How Much
Jurassic National Monument is normally open early April until the end of October on Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, under 16 free.
Fees subject to change.
Jurassic National Monument
Dinosaur Diamond National Scenice Byway
Manti La Sal National Forest
There's plenty here along the Dinosaur Diamond National Scenic Byway to see both in paleontology terms, or just those spectacular Utah national parks of arches and vistas and recreation. We'll cover some of the paleontology sites along the byway below, but suffice it to say, you'll have plenty of things to see, just not enough time.