About This Trip
Dinosaur National Monument – the name alone conjures a host of images: dinosaur bones preserved in ancient rock walls, deep rivers that cut indecorously through desert canyons, ancient sea beds full of prehistoric fossils frozen in time.
As you descend the Yampa River, you have the fascinating experience of actually traveling through the canyon’s various layers, each one representing an entire age of the earth’s development: the rise and fall of major mountain ranges, the arrival and retreat of oceans at least 12 different times, the alternating development of deserts and swamplands. A billion years are captured in these canyon walls, along with the remnants of various life forms that existed long before humans. Our pathway through time showcases some of the oldest exposed rocks in the world, ones that have been folded, lifted, and split by eons of geological forces.
Besides this fascinating scientific value, the Yampa’s geology is also responsible for the beauty of its canyon home: vertical yellow and red sandstone walls that tower as high as 1000 feet and squeeze the river through a surprisingly narrow gorge, tiger-striped walls alternating in blonde rock and black manganese oxide, clear creeks tumbling out of shady side canyons, sheltering sandstone caves, and more.