Dinosaur National Monument - Tilted Rocks self-guided Tour

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North America » United States » Colorado
April 5th 2012
Published: April 6th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

The Fremont Indians lived in the canyons in Dinosaur National Monument 800 - 1,200 years ago.

Following the Fremont were the Ute and Shoshone, who still inhabit communities in the area today. Spanish explorers crossed the region in the 1700s. In the 1800s, settlers from Europe and the eastern United States arrived in the area and left their mark on the landscape with their homesteads. Those who had access to the rivers and a constant flow of water survived, while others dried up with drought and moved away. Now, many of the remains of homesteads are found alongside the Indian art work of the past.

Remember that you are in the desert! Bring plenty of water, a good sun hat and sunscreen. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are due back, especially if you are hiking in a remote area. Pets are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry. Please make arrangements for your pets before planning to hike wit hin the monument.

Tour of the Tilted Rocks self-guidedtour (11 miles one-way, accessible by bus): Along this route, one can discover pictographs (painted designs) and petroglyphs (scratched or carved designs) from the Fremont Culture, tilted rock layers, and an historic homesite. Numbered posts along the route correspond to information printed in the Tour of the Tilted Rocks guide (available for $.50 at the visitor center or in an honor box just after the entrance station). Two other brochures, Josie Bassett Morris and Petroglyphs and Pictographs provide more in-depth information about the sites along the route. At the end of the route, two hiking trails lead into box canyons that Josie used to corral her livestock. The trail into the box canyon named Box Canyon begins at the restroom. This trail is a shaded, easy ½ mile, one way, route that reveals nice exposures of the craggy sandstone of Split Mountain. The trail into the box canyon named Hog Canyon begins by the pond. This ¾ mile trail, one-way, is also easy and shaded for most of the route. A spring-fed creek runs through the canyon and numerous wildflowers bloom during the spring season.

Canyon Visitor Center in Colorado
(970) 374-3000

Quarry Visitor Center in Utah
(435) 781-7700

Dinosaur National Monument
4545 E. Highway 40
Dinosaur, CO 81610-9724


Josie Morris Cabin (Image in Gallery)
Josie established her homestead here in 1914. She raised and butchered cattle, pigs, chickens and geese. She canned vegetables from her large garden. Her source of heat for her cabin was wood, her water came from a spring, and light from an oil lamp. Josie lived a 19th century lifestyle well into the 20th century. For Josie, the benefits of isolation she experienced living here were solitude and the beauty. In 1964 Josie suffered a broken hip while feeding her horse on frozen, slippery ground. Shortly after Josie's accident she died at the age of 90

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