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Thread: Dinosaur National Monument

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    Default Dinosaur National Monument



    Just got back from the Dinosaur area, and 14N / Yampa Bench Road is now my favorite dirt road in all of Colorado. We were chased by huge sheepdogs on county road 23 between Meeker to Elk Springs, they are SCARY! We were going about 25mph, it was the fastest we could, and they were gaining on us until they just stopped for no apparent reason. They were Kuvas, I think. 14 and 14n from Elk Springs are about the same difficulty as Thompson Canyon near Onion Creek in Moab, and very similar. Similar terrain and the same super tiny dust that gets in everything. It's full of Bentonite, you could not drive it when wet, but it was easy enough when dry. It starts with just a long drive on a nice desert road, and then descends some switchbacks into the monument. I can't really describe how pretty it all is, it looks a lot like the Moab area but more lush. It's enough of a trail to keep your attention and make you make choices, but it's easy, no real obstacles. Washboards, ruts and isolation are the biggest things. As you go along from East to West the road gets progressively easier once you reach the first overlook. The whole thing is an overlook. Echo Park was stunning, there is an old ranch you can check out, a cave called Whispering Cave that blows cold air (nice in the desert heat!), a dirt roof shack, petroglyphs, and just the beautiful desert all around. Echo Park road is just a dirt road with washboards and four water crossings that have been filled with concrete to make them car-easy. It is stunning though, especially the switchbacks going up to Harper's Corner Road where you can see back over the Yampa Bench road. Meeker is a great town, very nice people and a good mexican place. OHVs are street legal there, so much so that most of the roads out of town are really trails, and there is an OHV route that starts on Market Street in the same place a sidewalk would usually be. We also drove Thornsberg road, part of Sleepy Cat, and took CR13 / West Rifle Creek road on the way home, a gorgeous part trail part road that leads to Rifle Gap State Park and Rifle Falls. We also went to the Fish Hatchery and took Grass Creek road to New Castle on the way out. I cannot recommend this area enough! More pics and videos ASAP.
             

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Told you there was a lot to see. Glad you enjoyed it.
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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Paul previously posted:
    "I cannot recommend this area enough! More pics and videos ASAP."

    I've been to the last and second to last picture spots. Your comments cement the desire to spend time in the area. Thanks!

    Looking forward to your pictures and videos.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Looks like a great place to check out!
    Thanks for the pointer good sir.
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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Nice trip! Thanks for the photos. I’ve also been there and enjoyed it very much.

    Road 23 near US 40 is close to where my buddy and I used to hunt cow elk in the winter season after Christmas.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    The only thing on 23 is an outfitter https://www.shootelk.com/

    We were there about an hour after sunrise and saw elk and deer all over, and a herd of pronghorn crossed the road infront of us, you can sort of see them in the first pic. The first part of the road has been graveled, further on near the ranch it's more typical of the area. The second pic is a less motivated sheepdog at the ranch gate. As long as I'm posting screenshots the last one is inside the monument on Yampa Bench rd.
           

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Paul previously posted:
    "The second pic is a less motivated sheepdog at the ranch gate."

    Who promptly, after sizing you up as you drove past, got on the radio to notify the pack that some newbies just drove by and to get ready.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    He works smarter, not harder.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    This looks like a lot of fun. Considering taking the Subaru and the family out here in July for a couple days. From the photos and report, it looks like the outback should be sufficient for all of these roads. I need to research the roads you mentioned and plot a route.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Supposed to be some good wild horse viewing in the vicinity as well.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    I think you would be able to get your Subaru through it. The Jeep would, ofcourse, have a much easier time.

    The two things I'd really recommend are the Flat Tops Scenic Byway from Yampa https://www.colorado.com/articles/co...lat-tops-trail to get there,



    and West Rifle Creek on the way out. That is a road from the town of Meeker to Rifle Gap State Park and Rifle Falls.



    This was the plan precorona, we cut a lot of it off when we went due to seasonal and covid closures.

    Highway 131- paved
    CR21- paved
    CR17- dirt
    CR132- dirt
    CR8 North Fork Road- dirt changes to pavement
    CR115 Windy Bill Road- dirt
    FR250 Sleepy Cat Trail- easy 4x4
    CR250 / CR49 Uranium Peak Road- easy 4x4
    CR15 Thornsburg Road- dirt
    Highway 13- paved
    Highway 64- paved
    CR7 Strawberry Creek Road- paved
    CR57- dirt
    CR23 Cedar Springs- dirt
    Highway 40- paved
    CR14 Bear Valley Road- dirt
    CR14N Mantle Ranch / Yampa Bench Road- easy 4x4
    CR156 Echo Park Road- dirt
    CR161 Harpers Corner Road- paved
    Highway 40- paved
    Highway 64- paved
    CR122 Calamity Ridge- dirt
    CR20 Barcus Road- dirt
    CR5 Alkali Flat Road- dirt
    Highway 64- paved
    Highway 13- paved
    CR13 Flag Creek Road- paved changes to dirt
    CR252 West Rifle Creek- dirt
    Highway 325- paved
    CR226 Grass Valley Road- paved
    CR245 Buford Road- paved
    Main Street, New Castle- paved

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Of course taking the Jeep is an option. It just gets tiring to drive so far with all of us in the Jeep, so I only take it when it is clearly the right tool for the job. Thanks for the detailed road list, that will help me research.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Something else in the area I've been wanting to find but haven't done it yet, maybe you can beat me to it...

    This is actually called the Fremont Lookout Fortification Site, it's on public land but they do not publish the location. I know it's in the eastern part of this self guided tour in Rangely https://chambermaster.blob.core.wind...uided-Tour.pdf and you can see people near it on a trail near a dirt road. I've spent some time on Google Earth but so far I have no idea where it is.



    and as long as you have the Subaru, this is Calamity Ridge by Rangely


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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    This Subaru went by us with two Toyotas. I think you'll be fine.
         

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Paul previously posted:
    "This is actually called the Fremont Lookout Fortification Site, it's on public land but they do not publish the location."

    Could the mountain ridges in a couple of the background scenes be of help?

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Could this be what you are seeking Paul?

    Longitude and Latitude from the pdf you linked.

    39°57'44.3"N 108°50'16.5"W
    https://goo.gl/maps/Hp6tsFqH4PhguY998
         
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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. You'd think the proximity of the road and the shape of the mountains would help until you start looking around on Google Earth and realize it all looks like that. Tom that is not it, the name is similar but I do believe it is in that vicinity, somewhere on the eastern edge according to the web. google "Fremont Lookout Fortification Site Colorado", the location is public but kept private like False Kiva in Canyonlands.

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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    Paul previously posted:
    "Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. You'd think the proximity of the road and the shape of the mountains would help until you start looking around on Google Earth and realize it all looks like that. Tom that is not it, the name is similar but I do believe it is in that vicinity, somewhere on the eastern edge according to the web. google "Fremont Lookout Fortification Site Colorado", the location is public but kept private like False Kiva in Canyonlands."

    Well at leqst I know where false kiva is.
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    Default Re: Dinosaur National Monument



    https://www.ksl.com/article/46377796...alism-incident

    My wife and I were lucky enough to hike to it years ago, and even then we encountered an idiot with a huge off leash pitbull that ran up at us and almost got itself shot. He claimed it was a service dog because he had moderate hearing loss in one ear, which entitled him to have his dog offleash anywhere he wanted in Canyonlands. People...

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