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Dinosaur National Monument

Utah > Northeast Utah > Vernal Area


The Dinosaur National Monument is famous for being one of the best Jurassic period finds of dinosaur fossils in the world. In the Monument, there is a quarry where you can view many of the fossils. The Monument also contains the impressive Split Mountain which is cut in half by the Green River. Split Mountain looks like a labyrinth of sandstone walls which keep building on themselves to form a mountain, capped with many towers (many of which are probably unclimbed). The Monument also contains an "auto-tour" which is basically a road with a number of stops to view different features of the Monument.

As for regulations for climbing: Bjornstad mentions that a climbing permit may be required. We asked a ranger about this and her response was, "Climbing?!? You do realize that this is sandstone right? It isn't granite!" So, it didn't seem like one was needed. But it is important to keep our impact as small as possible to prevent any future problems. No power drills are allowed in the monument, and if you are going to use chalk, it would be best if you could use the colored chalk.

One last note, the ranger was right about it not being granite, the rock is soft, loose, and scary. Most of the rock is Navajo sandstone. The quality of the climbing is nothing amazing, but the beauty of the area, the seclusion, and adventure of it all make it well worthwhile to explore.

Getting There

Continue on 40 through Vernal until Jenson is reached, once in Jenson be on the lookout for signs for the turnoff for the Dinosaur National Monument. The Monument is 7 miles north of Jenson

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There is some good rock and decent climbing if you know where to look.
[Hide Photo] There is some good rock and decent climbing if you know where to look.

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Jason Haas
Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] Rob Pizem and I tried to free Kor's route on Steamboat Rock over the weekend. Unfortunately after all our effort, due to unforseen circumstances we had to leave a Ball Nut and a green Alien two-thirds of the way up the first pitch.

While most won't care, a few climbers have been wondering about the free potential of this route for quite some time. For those interested, the first pitch goes free to the 70% mark (above the bolt ladder) at 5.13a. We did not free the last bit of the upper part of the pitch and deemed it most likely unfreeable (the overhang/roof is impossible (at least to us)). The rest of the route, from pitch 2 on goes free as well. Best of luck to whomever booties the gear and I hope you have more success in freeing the line than we did. Note: You need a "play permit" to cross the river. It's free and can be faxed to you, but must be obtained ahead of time from the park service. Aug 23, 2009
Dustin B
[Hide Comment] Just curious jason, did you guys free the roof leaving the alcove on pitch 4? Amazing work as I couldn't fathom free climbing beyond 30' up the first pitch. Aug 24, 2009
Jason Haas
Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] Dustin, pitch 2 and above actually went free before we ever got there, although I gotta say they were a strong party so we were nervous about the likelihood of P1 going free after they had been unsuccessful with it. Aug 26, 2009