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Journeys Through Canyons and Rivers

Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway connects you to the canyons and rivers of northwest Colorado. Here you can choose a Heritage Journey to view time in the geology of the land, discover the painted pictographs and carved petroglyphs of the Fremont and Ute Indians, see where wild horses still roam, or stand 2,700 feet above the Green and Yampa Rivers. You may observe a twenty-five foot waterfall, the Gates of Lodore, or experience the solitude of a wildlife refuge.

Irish Canyon Journey:

Irish Canyon dates back to the Pleistocene time when a stream pirated from Vermillion Creek began the formation of the 1,000-foot deep dry gorge. Irish Lakes represent one of the few natural playa or dry lakes in this part of the state. Rock art sites abound in the canyon.

Canyon Pintado Journey:

Striking rock art of the Fremont people dates back to 1200BC and abounds in the “Painted Canyon.” Later the Ute Indians added their art to the canyon walls too. Look for figures called carrot men, flute players, horses, handprints, white birds, corn, and weapons.

Browns Park Journey:

Appearing much as it did one hundred years ago, this high desert valley formed by the Green River, was a favored wintering place for the Ute and Shoshone. In the late 1800s cattlemen arrived lured by its mild winters, game, grass, and water. Due to its remoteness and access to three state borders, outlaws—Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, Isom Dart, Tom Horn, and Matt Rash—also frequented the area. Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963 and offers wildlife viewing and scenic solitude.

Journey through Time:

Orient yourself at the Dinosaur National Monument Visitor Center, then travel through open rangeland to arrive at the Monument’s canyon lands. If you’re bold, make the steep descent to the river bottom on Echo Park Road. At Harpers Corner, stand at the precipice above the convergence of the Green and Yampa Rivers and trace where the John Wesley Powell Expedition ran the Green River in 1869 and 1871.

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