In Search of Old Bones in Colorado: Dinosaur National Monument

So I’m all about having our children learn something new when we go camping as a family.  When we were out in Colorado, we discovered that there are national monuments as well as national parks.

Okay, we said to the park ranger, so what’s the difference between the two? 

Ladies and gentlemen, please note: Park ranger programs deeply enhance any visit to these national treasures whether you have a family or not.
A park is set aside by an act of Congress, the ranger told us. After approval from Congress, the president’s signature is required to make the land a national park.
The family on a quest to
                touch the ancient past and
            learn about dinosaurs!

A monument is established by presidential proclamation only. No vote in Congress necessary, the ranger said.

You can learn much from the official National Park Servicewebsite.

Everything seems bigger out west in the United States according to our children. I tend to agree. The fossils at Dinosaur National Monument are no different. These bones turned to rock of dinosaurs and other Jurassic period creatures that roamed this land when it was once a sea millions of years ago are on vivid display here. The fossil grounds are so big in fact that the park spans two states: Colorado and Utah. 

Dinosaur National Monument is a unique park in that most of fossils are still in the rock. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the Jurassic period and the land and life of hundreds of dinosaurs. Don’t worry. You can see many of these rock-encased fossils at the Quarry Exhibit Hall. You can learn how paleontologists find fossils in their natural resting places and how paleontologists are attempting to preserve the fossils for future generations. There are a few dinosaurs reassembled at the museum. Park rangers offer full tours and talks during the summer months.
This was once a sea with mud
                 when the dinosaurs died.

Depending upon the season, you may have to take a shuttle to enjoy the park. Many national parks and monuments are resorting to free shuttles within park boundaries. This cuts down on pollution inside the park as well as travel congestion and parking issues. The shuttles also allow visitors the opportunity to look around during the drive and drink in the natural beauty of their surroundings. Shuttles can be picked up at the visitor centers of major parks.

I love hands-on learning for both myself and our children. But you don’t need to visit a national park or national monument if there aren’t any nearby. Take the family to a natural history museum or any museum to discover something new along with your children. Do you have any favorite museum you like visiting?
Thank you so much for visiting Camping with Kids. Enjoy your holiday season!

6 thoughts on “In Search of Old Bones in Colorado: Dinosaur National Monument”

  1. That's so cool. I didn't know that a monument is established by presidential proclamation only and that no vote in Congress necessary. That's fascinating. As for a museums that I like, there are the museums in DC and the Franklin Institute. I'm a Science buff.

  2. I love science too, Michelle. I've taken my children to the Franklin Institute. I've always loved that museum. I went with my class in school. I'm not sure they do as many class trips as they used to. Thanks so much for visiting Camping with Kids and leaving a note. It's appreciated more than you realize. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. It is a scary situation, isn't it Bill. However, I'm putting my hope in the rejuvenating power of life to keep our planet going, be it plant, animal, or human. All the best to you, sir. Thanks for stopping by Camping with Kids and leaving a note.

  4. This place is worth visiting, for recreational as well as educational point of view. I have been there twice. Once with my kids and once with my other kids (school kids). 🙂

  5. Hello and welcome to Camping with Five Kids! Thank you for your comment. I truly appreciate it. Yes, Colorado is definitely a place worth visiting, and all kids like dinosaurs. At least my kids did!

    Again, thanks for your note on Camping with Five Kids. Please stop by again.


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