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Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
9.50 mi (15.29 km)
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The Jones Hole Trail in Dinosaur National Monument follows the entire course of Jones Creek as it flows out of the ground at the fish hatchery and travels 3.5 miles to the Green River. In Dinosaur National Monument, most of the roads that access the more remote sites are graded (or not so graded) dirt. The drive out to the Jones Hole Fish Hatchery and the Jones Hole Trailhead is a welcome exception. It is a 40-mile drive from Vernal on a very nice paved road, but it is still a long drive, so not the area is not heavily visited. This is a shame because the hike down to the river from the fish hatchery is a fine and easy route that is delightful to hike.

There is plenty of parking and restrooms at the hatchery, which produces over 1.5 million fish a year for planting in area lakes and streams. The trail is a very gradual downhill all the way to the river. Along the way there is a very nice set of petroglyphs just past the footbridge at about mile 1.5 and shortly after a spur trail to the Ely Creek Falls, a very worthwhile quarter-mile side trip.

The trail meets the Green River in Whirlpool Canyon, where there is a primitive camping area and day use area for river rafters. In fact, for much of the Jones Hole Trail the only foot traffic bound to be encountered is from rafters heading up to see the falls and petroglyphs. Be on the lookout for bighorn sheep that frequent the area and may even be lounging on the trail itself!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Beautiful creek and canyon. Easy grade. Waterfall. Petroglyphs.

Cons

Long drive to the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

5,600.00 ft (1,706.88 m)

Net Elevation Gain

600.00 ft (182.88 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Fishing

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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Uintah County

Uintah County is a hidden gem of adventure and discovery just three hours east of Salt Lake City, Utah. Home to three state parks, world-class river rafting and one of the most productive dinosaur quarries in the world, Uintah County has something for everyone. Visit dinoland.com for more information.

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