2014 Dinosaur National Monument Spring Opening & Camp Schedule

dnm raftWarmer weather and longer days invite visitors to enjoy the monument’s diverse resources

COLORADO/UTAH – “With the arrival of spring, Dinosaur National Monument will offer expanded services for visitors. We are seeing more people enjoying the monument everyday with the warmer weather and we are looking forward to a busy season ahead,” announced acting monument superintendent, Mark Foust.

On the Utah side of the monument, the Quarry Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The visitor center features exhibits, a film, sales outlet for the Intermountain Natural History Association, and also serves as the departure point for car caravans to the Quarry Exhibit Hall with the wall of dinosaur fossils and exhibits about dinosaurs. Caravans leave from the visitor center at scheduled times throughout the day. Starting May 3, a shuttle will transport visitors between the visitor center and exhibit hall on Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning May 17, the shuttle will run daily through September 7. For more information on seeing the dinosaur fossils, please visit the monument website or call (435) 781-7700.

The Split Mountain Group and Green River campgrounds will begin offering water starting Friday, April 4, 2014 and camping fees will be charged. For the Green River Campground, the fee is $12.00 per night, per site. The Split Mountain Group Campground has four group sites that can each accommodate up to 25 people and six vehicles. The fee for Split Mountain is $25.00 per site, per night. Reservations are accepted for sites at Split Mountain and Green River Campgrounds through the online system managed by Recreation.gov or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777 (10:00 AM – Midnight, EST). Split Mountain and Green River Campgrounds are located approximately four miles east of the Quarry Visitor Center on the Cub Creek road. More information on camping in the monument can be found athttp://www.nps.gov/dino/planyourvisit/camping.htm

On the Colorado side of the monument, the Harpers Corner Road will open on Friday, April 4 for the season. The Harpers Corner Road is a scenic 32-mile one way drive that leaves U.S. Highway 40 two miles east of Dinosaur, Colorado. The Canyon Visitor Center which is located at the start of the Harpers Corner Road will open on weekends starting April 12 and daily beginning on May 10.

The Gates of Lodore Campground, located 106 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center on the Green River, and the Deerlodge Park Campground, located 53 miles east of the Canyon Visitor Center on the Yampa River, will have water available starting May 3, 2014. On May 16, 2014, water will be available at the Echo Park Campground, located 38 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center. Once the water is turned on, camping fees at all three campgrounds will be $8.00 per site, per night.

Summary of Campground Information
Campground Location Dates Nightly Fee Sites Reservations / Other Information
Green River 4 miles east of Quarry Visitor Center Open April 4 – October 5, 2014 $12 80 B loop sites are available on Recreation.gov. for peak season;All other sites are first come, first served
Split Mountain Group 4 miles east of Quarry Visitor Center Open all year, water available April 4 – Oct. 5, 2014; group campground in summer, open to everyone in off season $25 4 Available on Recreation.gov for peak season
Rainbow Park 28 miles from the Quarry Visitor Center Open all year, road may be impassable in winter or after rain Free 4 First-come, first-served; tent camping only; no water
Echo Park 38 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center Open when road to Echo Park is passable, water available May 16 – Sept. 21, 2014 $8.00 for regular & walk-in sites;$15.00 for group site 22 including 1 group site First-come, first-served
Deerlodge Park 53 miles east of the Canyon Visitor Center Open all year, road may be impassable in winter, water available May 3 – July 27, 2014 $8.00 7 First-come, first-served; tent camping only
Gates of Lodore north end of monument,106 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center Open all year, road may be impassable in winter, water available May 3 – Oct. 13, 2014 $8.00 17 first-come, first-served

Scheduled opening dates are subject to change dependent on weather.

Entrance fees for Dinosaur National Monument are as follows: $10 per vehicle, valid for up to seven days; $5 per person for someone on a motorcycle or bicycle. Frequent visitors to the monument may want to purchase a Dinosaur Annual Pass for $20.00, which is great value for those who come often or bring family and friends when visiting the area. For more information, visit the fees and reservation section of the park website (www.nps.gov/dino/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm) which also includes rates for commercial and non-commercial groups and how school groups can request an academic fee waiver.

Remember that Dinosaur’s weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions. Wildlife, like deer, elk and bighorn sheep, may be seen along the rivers. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads, particularly at dawn and dusk. For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also find us on facebook or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter.

Former UHS Coach Loses Home in North Dakota

Williston, ND – Former Uintah High School Teacher and Coach Eric Pye and Kathleen Warnberg were jolted awake Wednesday when their fifty foot fifth wheel exploded and left them staring into a sizzling hole in the upper bedroom that quickly engulfed their entire Williston, North Dakota residence, their personal belongings and sadly even their two precious cats.

An explosion in Williston, ND left a former Uintah High School Coach and a Vernal Dental Assistant homeless when their 50 foot 5th-wheel and home of five years exploded.

An explosion in Williston, ND left a former Uintah High School Coach and a Vernal Dental Assistant homeless when their 50 foot 5th-wheel and home of five years exploded.

At about 1:30 am we were sound asleep; there was a huge explosion,” Kathy shudders, “It’s been so cold here, down to -30 degrees at night, so we’ve been putting a propane heater under the front of the 5th wheel.” She takes a deep breathe, “We ran out the door in our pajamas, the dogs ran out behind us but we had no time, we couldn’t find the cats.

Pye & Warnberg are former residents of Vernal and still have family and friends in the Uintah Basin. Eric Pye taught Health and American History at Uintah High School. He also coached tennis, football, girl’s volleyball and boy’s basketball. Kathy Warnberg worked as a Dental Assistant for Dr. Jason Monfredi in Vernal, Utah.

According to Warnberg, “It took 25 minutes for the Volunteer Fire Department to arrive; we are renting three acres in a rural area. It’s been so cold, and the roads were treacherous, so it took some time for responders to get to us. By the time they arrived the fifth wheel was gone.” Warnberg elaborated that they were extremely fortunate that earlier evening high winds had died down. Fire fighters broke down side-walls on outbuildings hoping to save the structures and it worked. “The fire melted the side of our Dodge Ram pickup but the truck is still usable.”

About five years ago, like so many in Utah’s Uintah Basin, they decided to take a chance on the booming economy in North Dakota. Their growing business was the sale of manufactured homes for oil field man camps and private owners.

As we speak Kathy chokes up, “With wind-chill it’s -28 degrees today and Eric is outside sifting through the ashes looking for memorabilia and personal belongings that may have survived, you don’t realize what you have lost until it’s gone.

I ask Kathy what the hardest part of this has been and what her greatest needs are, her response is humbling: “It’s hard to accept things from people; we have always been the givers. We can get through this. We have our work, we do our part and never expect anything back, but our kids are telling us we need to accept help if it’s offered.”

If you would like to help, Kathy says the easiest thing would be gift cards. In Williston they have access to Wal-Mart, Maurice’s, Penny’s, Sinclair Gas, Albertson’s Grocery and True Value. If you would like to send gift cards or make a donation to help them out, you can mail small items to:

Eric Pye & Kathleen Warnberg
P.O. Box 2573
Williston, ND 58801

A physical address for larger shipments is:
Eric Pye
5792 128th Dr. NW
Epping, ND 58843

Eric Pye has two sons living in the Vernal area, one drives for UPS and the other works for Anadarko. Kathy’s daughter, Bree Pye posted this note on her Facebook page, “It would be much appreciated if anybody could help them out with warm jackets, beanies, insulated coveralls, socks, boots or anything at all. It has been nearly thirty below zero in Williston for the past week and they are in dire need of warm clothing.”

THIS REALLY IS MY PORCH

When you get to know tons of people, and you serve your community in many capacities, you tend to learn a lot of interesting information.

Some of if is trivial and some of it, at times, can be earth shattering.

I have always been sad that our news in the Uintah Basin is “weekly.” It seems that there are so many items that fall through the cracks that we would all like to know about.

This is a place that I hope will keep many people up to speed on many different subjects. Feel free to drop in anytime to see what is going on in my end of the basin.

If you frequent my blog you are likely to hear about the Uintah County Republican Party, the Community Emergency Response Team, Oil & Gas Issues, Boy Scouts of America, Crime & Bail Bonding, Redneck Family Life, Fly Fishing, Community Service, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Genealogy, the LDS Faith and how to have fun in Vernal.

If you have news, feel free to send it to my email: jonilcrane@gmail.com and I will review it, and see if I can be of help to you in getting your message out.

You don’t have to guess what I am really thinking. I tend to be overly honest and pretty blunt (in a tactfull way). Pull up a rocker and enjoy the view!