Last weekend, we had the luxury of going to Dinosaur National Monument. I use the word 'luxury' because Dinosaur is so remote that very few people have achance to see the amazing beauty of this monument.
We'd hoped to see dinosaur bones, but found that they were 1) in the quarry, and 2) the only access to the quarry is through a condemned visitors center. (We're told that stimulus money has been allocated to reconstruct the visitor's center and open the quarry. Take a virtual tour of the museum and quarry.)
Instead of bones, our friends Jen and Steve encouraged us to visit the junction of the Yampa River and the Green River. This location is the site of one of environmentalists first win over the power companies.
And what a win it was.
I've never seen a more beautiful canyons. The grandeur of this canyon humbles Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and even Bryce Canyons.
I took a bunch of photos to share with you. The photos are a little 'whited out' because it was just starting to spit ice flecks and snow.
Green River Canyon
Yampa River Canyon
Yampa River Canyon
It's hard to gain a perspective on the scope of these canyons. We hiked 1 mile into a point to see the junction. We're over 7,000 feet. The river is bright florescent green and the mountains seen to go forever. There's a sense of unreality and timelessness to the place.
How could something so amazingly beautiful go so unnoticed?
I was particularly fascinated with this part of the Yampa Canyon. It looks as if the original continental plates smashed together at this location. Over the millennium, the river had worn away at this secret junction to expose the thrust to the heavens.
In this shot, you can see the river winds behind these gorgeous canyon.
This photo shows the Echo Park area they were going to fill with water.
We had a wonderful time. We saw no one the entire time we were there. And we will definitely be back.
If you're ever driving through Utah, I'd strongly encourage you to take a little detour to this National Monument. The views are spectacular, humbling, and well worth the journey.