Analysing terrain data
"The dinosaur fossil beds (bone beds) were discovered in 1909 by Earl Douglass, a paleontologist working and collecting for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History," [according to Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_National_Monument).
The area was designated as a national monument in 1915, and today, you can still see incredible dinosaur remains embedded in the rock! Dinosaur National Monument doesn't cover a huge area, so why not soak it in just a little bit more by leaving the car parked in Vernal and instead riding your road bike? The pavement on Brush Creek Road running from Vernal to the monument can be of questionable quality, so if you do have a gravel bike or fatter tires for your road bike, a little extra cushion and traction won't be amiss! Once on the road near the monument, the pavement quality increases considerably. As you pedal through the monument, you have the option to stop at a few key attractions: the boat landing, which offers a beautiful overlook of the river; the visitor's center; and the quarry (accessed via a short, steep climb).
All of these stops are well-worth the time, but the quarry is especially noteworthy.
Here, you can park your bike in one of the racks and take some time to actually examine thousands of fossils exposed on the rock wall of the original quarry—now enclosed in a glass building.
Aside from the steep climb to the quarry and the steep descent to the boat landing, the pedal to and through Dinosaur National Monument is quite flat and relaxed.
A few mellow climbs add a touch of challenge to the ride, and at certain times of the year, the winds can really whip across the desert.
With these caveats aside, this road ride is very beginner-friendly.
It can easily be shortened by parking closer to the monument or using the boat landing as your turn around point.
The route mapped here turns around at the end of the pavement in the park, with gravel roads continuing beyond this point. Alternatively, if you _are_ riding a gravel bike, you could easily continue onto the gravel roads, adding more mileage and—very soon—much more climbing, as the road ascends to a soaring rock rim. However you choose to explore Dinosaur National Monument, you're in for a treat!