Dinosaur National Monument to undergo winter road maintenance

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17 2013 4:13 p.m. MST

The first snowfall means winter has arrived at Dinosaur National Monument, and visitors' access to some areas of the monument may be limited.

Paul Foy, Associated Press

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DINOSAUR, Colo. — The first snowfall means winter has arrived at Dinosaur National Monument, and visitors' access to some areas of the monument may be limited.

On the Utah side of the monument, the roads around the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall are maintained to provide access to the buildings. The Cub Creek Road is plowed to a parking area 1.3 miles past the Chew Ranch. The road to Josie Morris Ranch is now gated for the winter but is open to hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, if snow conditions permit.

On the Colorado side, Harpers Corner Road from the Echo Park Road turnoff to the end of Harpers Corner is now closed. Harpers Corner Road will be kept open to the Echo Park Road turnoff until Dec. 31 so hunters can access nearby lands outside the monument.

On Jan. 1, the road will close at Plug Hat Butte, which is 5 miles from U.S. 40. Once the road closes to vehicular traffic for the winter, portions of Harpers Corner Drive will be open to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Other roads, including Echo Park Road, Yampa Bench Road, Island Park Road and the road to Gates of Lodore are not maintained and travel on them is not advised during the winter.

The Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall north of Jensen are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for Christmas and New Year's Day. Due to limited staffing, access to the Quarry Exhibit Hall is by car caravans at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Canyon Visitor Center is closed for the winter.

Dinosaur's weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Road maintenance may be very limited during storms or on weekends.

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