Utah Adventures with Maverik: Utah’s Best Dinosaur Sites to Visit This Summer

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Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes

Jurassic Park, get moving! Utah’s dinosaur scene has real bite, and you’ll want to check it out faster than Jeff Goldblum in the back of a Jeep Wrangler.

Did you know that Utah is home to the largest collections of mounted dinosaur skeletons in the world? It’s true. These collections, along with the Dinosaur Discovery Sites, include some of the hardiest concentrations of dinosaurs ever discovered. Take that, John Hammond!

While the training of true raptors may not be in the cards (until greedy scientists start drilling into tree sap for dino DNA, that is), there are plenty of places throughout the state to get your dinosaur fix. From trail sites, museums and quarries to state parks and national monuments, there’s something for everyone.

So if you’re looking for prehistoric adventure this summer, stop by Maverik for fuel, food, and drink before heading to some of Utah’s most dino-mite dinosaur experiences.

National Dinosaur Monument

National Dinosaur Monument covers over 210,000 acres and is ready to be explored by holding, biking, rafting or camping. But if it’s the crown jewel of Utah’s dinosaurs you’re looking for, then you won’t want to miss the treasure trove of fossils to see, especially in the Dinosaur Quarry.

Track Sites

Few things can match the excitement and wonder of seeing a dinosaur track in the wild, and luckily for Utahans, there are plenty of track sites to visit.

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, thousands of dinosaur tracks and other fossils found here tell the story of dinosaurs walking, running, crouching, swimming, wading and fishing while living near the shores of a large ancient lake, named Lake Dixie , the Utah Geological Survey Explain.

Dinosaur Tracks Trail near Moab is a popular site to see some of the best Allosaurus tracks in the country. Located above the Colorado River, this is an easy site for families who want to hit the trails together.

Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Track Site, located near Kanab, is undoubtedly one of the most impressive concentrations of dinosaur tracks on the planet. Surrounded by scenic sandstone cliffs, there are hundreds of dinosaur tracks of at least six different species to discover on this short 0.5 mile hike.

Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracksalso near Moab, is a great place to see tracks in the red rock probably left by Diplodocus and Apatosaurus.

Red Fleet Dinosaur Track is another well-known trail site located in Red Fleet State Park and Reservoir. Towards the end of the trail, and located on the smooth rocky shores of the reservoir, you will find impressive Diloposaurus tracks dating back nearly 200 million years ago.

Utah Adventures with Maverik: Utah's Best Dinosaur Sites to Visit This Summer
Photo: Chippymunk7/Shutterstock.com

Museums

If museums are more your thing, then you’ll love the number of dinosaur-related museums Utah has to offer. With five museums in northern Utah and four in southern Utah, you could spend years enjoying all the curated collections and dinosaur finds on display.

Northern Utah

George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, located in Ogden, is a fun way to spend time with the family. With its impressive indoor museum, animatronic dinosaur recreations and massive outdoor dinosaur exhibits, walkways and playgrounds, it’s hard not to please the whole family here.

The Museum of Ancient Life Thanksgiving Point is another great place to get the family out of the house to do something new. Make it more than just a highway waypoint and enjoy 60 complete dinosaur skeletons and over 50 interactive exhibits, including an erosion table and quarry dig.

The Utah Museum of Natural History is a classic, but it’s still an important contributor to the state’s dinosaur history. Located at the University of Utah, this museum features impressive exhibits of paleontology, spanning millions of years. With over a dozen dinosaurs on display, there’s a lot to love here.

Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, located in Vernal, is a must visit for any dinosaur fan. Vernal, aka “Dinosaurland,” is known for its high concentration of fossils and dinosaurs, and this 22,000 square foot museum sums up that story well.

Utah State University Museum of Eastern Prehistorylocated in Price, is one of the most impressive dinosaur museums in the world, housing more fossils of more dinosaur species than any other museum in the country.

The Paleontology Museum at BYU was built to “prepare, display, and house the rock and dinosaur fossils collected by Dr. James A. Jensen and his crews”. The Harvard-trained scientist known as “Dinosaur Jim” developed the modern method of mounting dinosaurs so they could be displayed without visible supports.

Southern Utah

Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm in St. George has more than thousands of dinosaur footprints. There are other fossils of dinosaurs, plants, fish and more that you won’t want to miss.

Blanding Dinosaur Museum is an underrated gem located near the Bears Ears National Monument. It’s the perfect stop on your way to Arches National Park and Moab. Featuring unique dinosaur exhibits like dinosaur eggs and fossilized skins, this dinosaur museum is one of Utah’s best-kept secrets.

The Moab Giants Dinosaur Park and Museum is set in a breathtaking backdrop of Moab’s red rocks and is one of the most technologically advanced museums in the state. This museum features life-size dinosaur replicas and lots of cutting-edge features like a 3D movie, interactive displays, and touch screens. Oh, and be sure to check out the windows for the real researchers working on their dinosaur projects.

Utah Adventures with Maverik: Utah's Best Dinosaur Sites to Visit This Summer
Photo: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock.com

Careers

The quarries are perhaps the most authentic way to see dinosaur bones. Exposed and left as they were when the dinosaur died, it’s haunting to see them still there millions of years later. Here are some of the best to visit.

The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is a truly impressive collection of bones. Located in the northern part of the San Rafael swell, this quarry is a final resting place described as “the densest collection of Jurassic-era dinosaur fossils ever discovered.” This collection includes more than 12,000 bones belonging to at least 74 different dinosaurs. It’s an amazing sight and worth a visit.

The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry is another amazing display of dinosaur bones, but it’s probably best suited for more serious dinosaur hunters. Located in Capitol Reef country, it’s well worth exploring for the more advanced adventurer with an all-terrain vehicle.

Utahraptor State Park

Last, but not least, is the new Utah Utahraptor State Park! Recently designated as a state park, this area about 15 miles northwest of Moab is a great place to explore and search for ancient dinos. Be aware that much of the area is undeveloped and under construction, so amenities may be limited when you visit.

From north to south, east to west, Utah is full of jaw-dropping dinosaur experiences the whole family can enjoy. Explore today!

Start every Utah adventure with Maverik

Whatever your destination, be sure to refuel and grab some food from one of the Maverik locations throughout Utah. Right now, Maverik’s Enhanced Nitro Card lets you save 10 cents on every gallon, every day, with great value added benefits on its wide selection of tasty foods, beverages and snacks, including premium hardwood smoked meats in breakfast and lunch burritos, two-meat treat and made-to-order tacos, quesadillas and nachos.

To save on every gallon of gas and get special offers on Maverik’s freshly prepared BonFire foods, beverages and snacks, download the Maverik app to join the Adventure Club and activate your Nitro Card.

Utah Adventures with Maverik: Utah's Best Dinosaur Sites to Visit This Summer
Photo: Maverik

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