Dinosaur Snapshots 2 begins with a continuation of the Journey To Echo Park, which is the final scene in the first Dinosaur National Monument video. The Echo Park Campground is definitely one of the most beautiful back country campgrounds in the entire west and the Green River is right next door. This campground is surrounded by towering sheer vertical canyon walls that do produce echo anomalies in certain spots.
There is a small craft launch ramp for Green River float trips at Echo Park and the confluence of the Yampa River is a short distance upstream. The landmark Steamboat Rock is straight across the river and the best views can be found along the riverbanks. For those who dream of fresh caught trout for breakfast, you will need a Colorado fishing permit for this side of Dinosaur National Monument.
The best part about camping in Echo Park is the convenience of getting an early start for a lengthy tour of Yampa Bench Road at dawn. Be forewarned, a reliable high ground clearance 4x4 will ensure a safe return to civilization, because Yampa Bench Road can be rough and it is impassable when wet. This road traverses a high elevation bench that parallels the Yampa River. The long dirt road continues onward through the hills to Dinosaur, Colorado, which is the gateway to river rafting adventures in the north end of the national monument.
Points of interest along Yampa Bench Road include Castle Park, Harding Hole and Wagon Wheel. Each features a roadside overlook on top of a towering cliff that offers views the Yampa River canyons way down below. The majestic scenery is simply breath taking, so be prepared to stop and stare for quite a spell. These are the places that landscape artists dream about, so be sure to pack a camera or an art palette for the ride.
The little town of Dinosaur, Colorado offers a chance to fuel up and find some relief. The next leg of the tour certainly will rack up some mileage through one of the most desolate areas in the west, so be sure to top off the tank.
Deer Lodge Park is the eastern most point in Dinosaur National Monument and it is a convenient place to camp when river rafting. Both the Little Snake River BLM boondocking area and Cross Mountain Canyon BLM are right next door. All three of these destinations are featured in this video, since they are worth checking out while in the neighborhood. Both Deer Lodge Park and the Colorado Parks launch site on the other side of Cross Mountain are good places to start a Yampa River float trip through Dinosaur National Monument. As can be seen in the video, Cross Mountain is also a good area for early morning elk rut season viewing!
The final scene showcases the Gates Of Lodore, which is the Green River float trip launch site on the north side of Dinosaur National Monument. The Gates Of Lodore refers to the monumental canyon mouth that river rafters first pass through on the way to Echo Park and Jenson, Utah way downstream. The ominous look of the river passage through the towering mountains does have a way of saying "you must experience this" and it is easy to see why this very remote spot is such a popular destination. Organized Green River rafting tours can be booked in the local gateway towns, so be sure to check it out prior to arrival.
Much more information about all these Dinosaur National Monument points of interest can be found in the Destination West website.
Echo Park 0:14
Castle Park 2:53
Harding Hole 5:52
Wagon Wheel To Dinosaur, CO 9:01
Little Snake River BLM 17:51
Deer Lodge Park 18:47
Cross Mountain Canyon BLM & CO Parks 20:30
Gates Of Lodore 22:54
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*This website will be going through renovations soon. Separate destination articles will be combined after the videos replace the outdated photo gallery system. As many readers know, most of the writing was done on the fly while camping, so many articles read like a rough draft. The articles will be cleaned up and edited. Many of the old photos were straight out of the camera due camping limitations as well, so you will finally see full living color images, just like in the new videos. Another goal is to make navigating the index pages easier and condensing the articles will help. This website will continue into the future and your patience is greatly appreciated!
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