Dinosaur Natinoal Monument celebrates its 100th anniversary this weekend. Activities start tonight at the monument and will take place on both the Utah and Colorado sides. The monument was designated in 1915, and expanded in 1938 through presidential proclamations. The Centennial will be celebrated this weekend with tours, camping, stories, and activities. Entrance fees will be waived on Saturday and Sunday to encourage everyone to join. The anniversary has been recognized in Congress, and the celebration will be attended by local officials. You’ll find a complete list of the activities taking place this weekend below.
Dinosaur Turns 100
On Friday, October 2nd from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, the Uintah County Heritage Museum will host a closing reception for the Dinosaur Centennial Art Exhibit. Meet several local artists who have been inspired to capture the beauty and diversity of Dinosaur’s landscapes. The exhibit includes paintings from A.D. Shaw and photographs from Kim Barton, Mark Fuller, Randy Fullbright, Bill Mitchum and Peter Williams. The Dinosaur Centennial Art Exhibit is now open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays and from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays through October 3. The Uintah County Heritage Museum is located at 155 East Main Street in Vernal, UT.
On Saturday, October 3rd the Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall will be open extended hours from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Visitors may drive their vehicles directly to the quarry from 9:00 AM to 12:55 PM. From 1:00 to 9:00 PM, visitors will park at the visitor center and a free shuttle to the quarry will run every 15 minutes. Cake will be served at the Quarry Visitor Center starting at 1:30 PM. Presentations in the Quarry Visitor Center auditorium will feature a talk by Mary Douglass titled Growing Up with My Grandfather at 2:00 PM and a fossil show and tell by current Park Paleontologist Dan Chure from 2:15 to 3:00 PM. A kid-friendly dinosaur-themed birthday party will take place in the Quarry Exhibit Hall from 2:00 to 4:00 PM with a costume parade at 3:00 PM. Dinosaur costumes and other fun attire is encouraged! Starting at 5:00 PM, the festivities at the Quarry Exhibit Hall become more formal with a Twilight Open House from 5:00 to 9:00 PM and the Dinosaur Centennial Ceremony starting at 6:00 PM. Speakers at the ceremony include members of Earl Douglass’ family, several local elected officials, Park Paleontologist Dan Chure, and Superintendent Mark Foust.
On Sunday, October 4th the Quarry Visitor Center, Quarry Exhibit Hall and Canyon Visitor Center return to regular hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Join a ranger at the Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 AM for a Harpers Corner car caravan and hike. Participants will drive their own vehicles up the 31-mile paved road and drive back on their own pace. The optional hike on the Harpers Corner Trail is two miles round trip. Bring water and snacks and dress for changing weather conditions. Cake will be served at 1:30 PM at both the Canyon Visitor Center and Quarry Visitor Center. A special Junior Ranger program at 2:00 PM at the Canyon Visitor Center and the Quarry Exhibit Hall will recognize the role the next generation has in preserving Dinosaur into the next century.
Additionally, two Dinosaur Centennial Employee Reunion events are scheduled specifically for past and present monument staff and volunteers. This includes an informal Meet and Greet in Vernal and an Employee Reunion picnic potluck in the Split Mountain Campground. The rain location for the picnic is the covered pavilion at the Jensen Park. Please contact the monument for more information on the employee reunion events.