These pages provide a virtual tour of the "Quarry" and the "Tour of the Tilted Rocks" at Dinosaur National Monument, Utah. The Monument includes portions of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado. The Quarry and Tilted Rocks are accessible only from the Utah entrance east of Vernal, Utah. It's a fascinating site for paleontologists as well as the general public.
(Dinosaur National Monument)
|The Quarry: Here, a
building has been erected around the feature attraction... the quarry
wall. It's a wall because geologic uplift has inverted the once flat
river bottom. The dinosaurs of the Quarry lived in the middle of
the Age of Dinosaurs, about 150 million years ago. They roamed
the area died from natural causes or fights with other dinosaurs.
During rains or floods, their bodies were carried down the ancient river
where they came to rest on an obstruction in the river - presumed to be
a sand bar. Subsequent river deposits buried and fossilized the dinosaur
skeletons for our viewing pleasure today. The Quarry has quite a
history. Dinosaur bones have been extracted here for many years and
have found their way to museums around the world. Only 15% of the
original dinosaurs are still in the Quarry wall, yet as you see on the
virtual tour (link below), that still leaves many dinosaurs. Read
the summary of the "Tour of the Tilted Rocks" (below), then proceed to
Tour of the Tilted Rocks: On this 22-mile round trip tour, you will learn about the geology of the surrounding area. It's includes very complicated stratigraphy which I will attempt to explain as best I can. The Monument provides a auto tour booklet and many signs at the numbered stops. Unfortunately for the geologists and paleontologists, the booklet and signs explain more of the present wildlife and petroglyphs than they do of the geology. We hope this blatant omission on the part of the National Park Service is correct soon. It is called the "Tour of the Tilted Rocks", right? Not, the "Tour of the Current Critters and Indian Drawings". [No offense intended to archaeologists or fauna watchers.] As I learn more about the geologic formations, I will add to the image captions. If you can help with this or see errors in the image captions, please CONTACT. Now, proceed to the virtual tour (below).