Blue Mountain Road runs through the open countryside next to Dinosaur National Monument and all along the way the panoramic views of this amazing landscape are nothing less than spectacular to see. This long dirt road begins in the Utah side of this National Monument near the petroglyph site on Cub Creek Road and it goes east to Harpers Corner Road over by Echo Park in Colorado. Once in Colorado, the Dinosaur adventures become even more interesting because both Harpers Corner and Echo Park are prime time attractions that simply beckon to be experienced.
Just like the sign says at the beginning of Blue Mountain Road near Cub Creek, "Passenger Cars Not Advised and No Trailers." Signs like this are no joke, yet there are people who disregard the warnings, then they find out all too soon just how pricey the backcountry stranded vehicle extraction fees can be. Through the years I have seen RV campers, trailer haulers and small cars get stuck in places where these vehicles never should have been in the first place, especially at Canyonlands National Park. Getting stranded due to sheer ignorance definitely is something to avoid, since the backcountry vehicle extraction fees start at $175 per hour and if specialized winch trucks are involved, the bill can end up being well over $10,000. For this reason, only a rugged high ground clearance vehicle or a 4x4 should be chosen for taking on Blue Mountain Road. I did the trek in a high ground clearance Jeep 4x4 and the entire trip went off without a hitch.
Starting in Utah, Blue Mountain road winds its way through an interesting series of rock outcrops as the trail gradually goes uphill into the BLM Public Lands. The trail lugs through a few dry washes and bare bedrock patches before reaching the mountain ridge line that overlooks both the Green River Valley and the desolate Dinosaur National Monument backcountry. From this point onward, it is literally one majestic view after another for the next few miles, so be sure to take it slow and enjoy the ride! The dirt road then follows the contour of the mountain and passes through several juniper forests. There is some amazing red rock scenery to view along this stretch before the trail traverses an easy gravel road pass over Blue Mountain. From this point on, it is nothing but sagebrush ranch country all the way to the end point at the intersection of Harpers Corner Road.
The entire trip on Blue Mountain Road from Cub Creek to Harpers Corner Road is only about 15 miles, but it will be slow going because some sections of this road do get a bit rough. Of course taking the time to soak up the majestic views will call for extra time too, so it is best to set aside at least a half day for the venture. The best part about finishing the Blue Mountain Road trek at Harpers Corner Road is it will only be a short drive to the Echo Park access road and a good place to take a siesta will be within reach.
Camping in Echo Park next to the Yampa River truly is an amazing experience and by doing so, a trail rider will be in a good position to take on the very lengthy Yampa Bench Road the next day. For those who yearn to go where few others have gone before, Yampa Bench Road goes through the amazing Yampa River canyon terrain all the way to Dinosaur, Colorado. Some of the most famous geological features in Dinosaur National Monument are found along this road, yet there are very few tire tracks to be seen because the going is so rough. As can be guessed, more articles about this end of Dinosaur National Monument are upcoming, so please stay tuned!
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