Dinosaur National Monument has to have dinosaurs, right? Of course it does, and luckily the dinosaur quarry is accessible and very interesting. The monument was originally just 80 acres, established in 1915 to protect the “vein” of dinosaur bones that contributed over 400 complete animal skeletons to dozens of museums around the country. Expanded to over 210,000 acres in 1938, today's monument is so much more than dinosaurs, but the quarry is a must-see attraction when visiting the park.
The quarry is open all year round, but it requires a shuttle bus ride during the busy summer season. In the off-season, it is often possible to drive up to the quarry building with a ranger on duty. The exhibit is a massive span of rock wall with all of the original dinosaur bones embedded as they were found, but exposed for all to see. Two floors of observation areas and some interactive screens help visitors identify the bones on the quarry wall. There are well-done displays, including a fully reconstructed skeleton of an Allosaurus, and these help inform visitors about the quarry and how so many dinosaur bones came to be found here. One of the best exhibits shows a graphic layout of the original quarry diagramming where dozens of full animal skeletons were found and noting the museum where each now resides.
There are a few short hikes from the quarry, including one back to the visitor center.