Dinosaur Bone Wall in Dinosaur National Monument

A Dinosaur Bone
Jennifer standing next to a large bone on the dinosaur bone wall.

There is a place where a person can step back in time to see the bones of long-extinct creatures. This magical place is aptly named Dinosaur National Monument. Many fossils of dinosaurs were excavated here and have made their way to many of our nation’s best museums. The most amazing part is that fossils remain here and in a very large quantity in the Dinosaur Bone Wall.

Dinosaur Bone
The many bones on the congested Bone Wall.

The main attraction of the monument is the dinosaur bone wall which was excavated in place and then the Quarry Exhibit Hall was constructed around it. The Dinosaur Bone Wall is a stone wall that measures over 150′ in length, it is over two stories tall and has more than 1,500 exposed bones. This place allows visitors to discover these bones not as reconstructions like most museums, but in the natural state in which they were originally discovered over a century ago.

Dinosaur Bone Wall at Dinosaur National Monument
A section of the 150′ long Dinosaur Bone Wall.

The Morrison Formation

Dinosaur Vertebrae
The vertebrae of a dinosaur.

The historic environmental conditions were perfect for preserving the petrified bones of these massive creatures. This layer of soil is known as the Morrison Formation. Scientists have placed this formation in what is known as the late Jurassic Period, which is thought to have been about 150 million years ago. What was flat ground due to tectonic plate movements through the millennia has now been turned vertically. The Morrison Formation has been exposed as a vein on the surface of the earth making it easier for ancient fossils to be discovered as in many cases natural erosion unearths them.

Dinosaur National Park Ranger
A ranger leads the way on the Fossil Discovery Trail.

In fact, there is a guided hike in Dinosaur National Monument along the Fossil Discovery Trail, where rangers will point out several naturally exposed bones sticking out of the hillside.

Dinosaur National Monument

Visitor to Dinosaur National Monument
Jake being a Dinosaur.

When I was growing up I was fascinated by dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was my favorite movie as it brought these behemoth creatures to life. Still being somewhat of an adult child, I find exploring Dinosaur National Monument to be an amazing adventure. The Dinosaur Bone Wall is definitely the star of the monument, but there is a lot to love about this park hidden on the northern border of Colorado and Utah. The park has massive canyons and eroded formations named by John Wesley Powell. The Native American Ute and Freemont people also called these canyons home and have left some amazing rock art.

The Dinosaur Bone Wall
The skull of a Camarasaurus on the Dinosaur Bone Wall.

 

 

More Images of the Bone Wall

If you want to check out more of the Dinosaur Bone Wall you can take a look at the digital version of the wall that the Quarry Exhibit has started. It has info on about 500 of the more than 5,000 bones on the wall.

Dinosaur Joint
A close-up look at the joints of a dinosaur on the bone wall.
Dinosaur NM - 61
More dinosaur fossils.
Big Dinosaur Bones
Fossilized vertebrae.
Dinosaur NM - 63
A veritable log jam of Dinosaur Bones.
IMG_0322
The fossilized vertebrae of a Dinosaur.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. MARK HYRE says:

    tremendous and interesting photos and information. great.

  2. Liesl says:

    Thanks for your great pictures and description of The Dinosaur wall! As part of the team representing the Dinosaur National Monument, we love to hear about some of the great experiences people have visiting our corner of the world.

    1. momentsbeyond says:

      Thanks. I do love the Monument and look forward to returning again one day. I hope I can do some rafting next time.

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