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Marsha Maxwell

Utah is Dinosaur Country

By August 8, 2011

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I just got back from a trip to sunny southern California, where I visited the La Brea Tar Pits, a famous fossil site which, I now know, does not contain the remains of dinosaurs (it contains the remains of giant ice-age mammals). Even so, the visit got me thinking about all the dinosaur-related parks, museums and quarry sites Utah has to offer. Here are a few of my favorites:

Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal, Utah: The visitor's center at the monument is currently closed, but it is scheduled to reopen in October this year. Even without the visitor's center, Dinosaur National Monument is a fun place to visit, especially if you plan a rafting trip down the Green River.

Utah Museum of Natural History: This fall is going to be a great time for Utah dinosaur lovers, because like the Dinosaur National Monument visitor's center, the Utah Museum of Natural History will be reopening with a new building and new exhibits. The UMNH has so many fossils that only a small percentage of them are on display. Right now, you can see some of the museum's animatronic dinosaurs at Hogle Zoo's "Zoorassic Park" exhibit.

The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point: The Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient Life contains the world's largest display of mounted dinosaurs. Thanksgiving Point's most popular venues are offering $2 admission on Tuesdays this month.

The Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park: The park features life-size replicas of many of Utah's famous prehistoric residents including Triceratops, Utahraptor, Parasaurolophus and Ceratosaurus, as well as a fun, informative visitor's center.

USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Price: If you happen to be in Price, Utah, this cool dinosaur museum is worth a look. What makes the museum unique is that many of the fossils inside were discovered within 30 miles of the museum itself, at the world famous Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals by State, by About.com's guide to dinosaurs Bob Strauss

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Adventures from Utah.com, with lots more ideas for Utah dinosaur fun

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