- 480 miles (772 km)
- 10 hours to drive or 10 days to enjoy the Byway
The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway delivers discovery and exploration at several sites filled with science and history. The two-state Byway combines opportunities to see dinosaur bones being excavated and prepared by paleontologists for museum display. Visit the museums along the Byway that showcase reconstructed skeletons and fleshed-out recreations of dinosaurs found in the area.
In addition to dinosaur sites, archaeological areas scatter the region that encompasses Dinosaur Diamond. Observe prehistoric Native American petroglyphs and pictographs that cover rock cliffs across the northern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Admire fine examples of this rock art, found near the Colorado National Monument in some of the highest concentrations in North America. Survey the natural stone arches and bridges in Arches National Park, internationally famous and truly magnificent.
Take a breather from dinosaur sites and rock art to enjoy outdoor recreation. Whether you prefer hiking, camping, or fishing, acres of public lands offer numerous opportunities for adventures. Grab a mountain bike and brave the Slickrock bike trail that travels through rugged red rock terrain just east of Moab. Go river rafting or kayaking on the Green, Yampa, and Colorado Rivers. Allow beasts of burden to lighten your load as you explore the area surrounding the Byway.
Enjoy the natural scenery along the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway. Red, gray, and green rock formations await you at many turns. Forested mountain passes, canyons, cliffs, rivers, and plateaus adorn the nearby region. Take advantage of wide-open spaces and unobstructed views that reward Byway travelers.
Points of Interest Along The Way
Canyon Pintado (CO)
The Canyon Pintado Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been occupied by humans for as long as 11,000 years. One culture that left a visible mark was that of the Fremont Indians. A number of rock art panels may be seen and they have road signs, parking areas, and interpretive panels.
Colorado National Monument (CO)
Majestic cliffs and canyons on the north end of the Uncompahgre Plateau in the Colorado National Monument offer visitors a good look at Colorado landscape. Some prehistoric Indian rock art is also preserved within the monument boundaries.
Dinosaur is the gateway to the Dinosaur Diamond in Colorado and Dinosaur National Monument.
Dinosaur Hill (CO)
Dinosaur Hill is the field site where 2/3 of the Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) excelus that is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago was excavated. Elmer Riggs and his crew excavated the dinosaur in 1901.
The Museum of Western Colorado is a modern museum with animated life-like mechanical dinosaur replicas by Dinamation. An active paleontological research program is also based at the museum and offers visitors opportunities to watch fossil preparators at work in the museum. A limited amount of actual digging for dinosaur fossils under the close supervision of qualified paleontologists may be viewed by arrangement with the museum.
The Dinosaur National Monument headquarters and visitor center provides displays and brochures explaining the geologic history,natural history, and human history of the area. This side of the monument is referred to as the "canyon country" side because of the major canyons cut by the Green and Yampa Rivers. Harper's Corner is a magnificent viewpoint of the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers at Echo Park.
Dinosaur Welcome Center (CO)
The staff at this State of Colorado visitor information center is happy to answer questions and provide brochures to visitors entering Colorado.
Douglas Pass (CO)
Douglas Pass is a mountain pass at 8,240 feet above sea level. A scenic pullout offers you with views of the Grand Valley of the Colorado River 25 miles away, Colorado National Monument 30 miles away, and even of the La Sal Mountains 70 miles away in Utah.
This small town near the Colorado/Utah border annually celebrates the life of a chicken that grew up and grew headless in the area back in 1945. The chicken lived for two years and made it into the Guiness Book of World Records as well as Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Grand Junction (CO)
Grand Junction is near the Colorado National Monument.