There are some great developed campgrounds to choose from inside Dinosaur National Monument, but if reservations were not made ahead of time it may be difficult to find an open campsite during the peak summer season. Back country camping is also available inside the park, but a high ground clearance vehicle or a long hike will be necessary for getting to these remote spots. Fortunately there are BLM dispersed camping options along the Green River that are fairly easy to access and this camping option is close to the main entrance gate.
The best place to find out about the local BLM camping options is the Jensen, Utah Visitor Center on Highway 40 next to Dinosaur National Monument. I actually discovered this information center by accident when I wearily thought it was the National Park welcome center after doing a very long drive. As it turned out, the case of mistaken identity turned out to be real benefit, because information about all parks and attractions in this region was freely available.
The visitor center hosts were very informative and when asked about BLM camping options in the area they sure did have some good answers. The hosts were also aware of the volume of traffic in the park and mentioned that plenty of open campsites were available, since it was autumn and the slow off-season had begun. After thanking the Jensen Visitor Center hosts, a decision had to be made because there were open campsites inside the park, which was totally unexpected. Checking out the local BLM camping options along the river before setting up camp inside the park ended up being the plan.
The Jensen, Utah Green River dispersed camping areas are very easy to find. Red Wash Road is located on off of Highway 40 on the east side of the Green River and this road parallels the river for several miles going south. After passing by a few ranch houses, there are open areas with shade trees to be found along the banks of the river. There are short dirt roads that that go to these sites and some are smooth enough for an RV camper. Basically, you will know if you are in the right place when you see a stone fire ring, which indicates an existing camping spot.
Since I decided to do a luxurious campout at a developed site inside Dinosaur National Monument, taking a lunch break and a little siesta under a shade tree by the river was well within order. The blazing sunlight in this region charged the solar power battery and the time spent also provided clues as to what kind of crowd is attracted to this place. It was obvious that these riverside campsites were intended for fishing ventures and local folk on the weekends. Catching some fresh fish for dinner sure is a pleasant thought for any outdoorsman, so be sure to keep the Green River option in mind when touring Utah's dinosaur land, especially if you dream of napping in the shade with a fishing line tied around the big toe!
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