As I said before, we were busy during our stay in Vernal. It is a good sized town (about 9000 people) that seems a little rough around the edges. It's economy largely depends on extracting natural resources such as oil, natural gas and phosphate and to a lesser extent tourism, as it is home to a large site of ancient dinosaur fossils.
The Green River cuts a wide, brilliant green slash through the otherwise sagebrush covered plains. The Uinta Mountains rise and run east and west sheltering rich deposits of dinosaur bones and the longest corridor of Fremont Indian petroglyphs in the world.
|the Exhibit hall is built into the side of the hillside containing the fossils|
Nearby Red Fleet State Park has a large area of fossilized dinosaur footprints in an area that was once a sandy beach. We arrived there quite late in the day so we didn't make the hike around the lake to see them but saw their location from across the water.....next time we'll get ourselves around or even kayak across to see them.
|the slanted red slab was once a sandy beach|
One of our days we combined an off road jeep trip and a short hike to see Moonshine Arch.
|it was a long way up this rough trail|
I was really happy to finally reach the shade of the arch, I haven't hiked in quite awhile and the final uphill section in the brilliant sun nearly took me out! I'm soooo glad I persevered, the arch was beautiful and its setting unusual.
The arch is about 85 feet long and 40 feet above the ground. I sat beneath it and caught my breath.....
There was a deep alcove along one side with an unusual hole in its end. Its ceiling was a study in beautiful swirls and channels.
Moonshine Arch truly is a hidden gem so very close to Steinaker State Park.