Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry; Small Museum, Big Fun.

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Emery County, Utah

Phone: BLM - Price Field Office: (435) 636-3600


Whenever Roy and I have traveled up to Wellington to explore Nine Mile Canyon, continued up to Price to visit the CEU Prehistoric Museum, or simply go shopping, we often passed by the sign "Dinosaur Quarry" on Route 6/191.  We always said, "One of these days, we'll get there".  Well, one of those days finally came around on Saturday, June 13th and are we so happy it did!  By the way, I usually don't post the day we travel anywhere, but I wanted to mention the two ladies that were working that day.  I didn't get their names, but they were outstanding!  Smiling, so friendly, knowledgeable about the entire museum and quarry; they made the experience even that much more fun.  So a big hello, and thank you, goes out to them!!!

From Interstate 70, take Exit 157 which is Route 6/191; it's a 41.5 mile drive to the quarry entrance (left side of road and there's a sign). Stop at the informational board and read it!  There are also two roads, take the one to the right for the quarry; it's a more scenic and adventurous road than taking the mostly paved road out of Price.

The landscape along this road is very different from Grand or San Juan Counties as the hills are a grey color, rather than the reddish sandstone we're used to.  At 2.5 miles, we began to see a few interesting formations in the distance; at 3.6 miles we got up close and personal with them.

Typical road conditions: sand, dirt, gravel.

This road is not just grey hills and sagebrush; we passed an alfalfa field which was a stark contrast to the grey hills behind.  A huge, and I mean huge, dead cottonwood tree took up residence on the other side of the field.  In its own right, this was the remain of an old dinosaur.  An occasional valley view, and colored layers within the hills, were a lovely palette for the eye.

Numerous roads beckoned to us, but we stayed the course to the quarry.  There are directional signs all along the way to help you choose the correct split; here's a listing we made:

5.6 miles - go left
9.6 miles - go right
12.2 miles - go left
16.2 miles - go left
19.2 miles - go left
20.7 miles - go left
25.9 miles - go left; the right will take you to the Jump hiking trail that descends into
                                Humbug Canyon.

26.8 miles - the entrance gate to the quarry and the prehistoric landscape is certainly dominant here.

A mere 3/10ths of a mile and the museum building came into view; we'd reached our destination and were looking forward to a dinosaur hunt of our own.  Now, while the museum and quarry surroundings are small compared to the CEU Prehistoric Museum in Price, they are big on fun.  As I mentioned above, we were greeted by two of the friendliest ladies and they made our visit at the museum that much better.  They answered all our questions happily, and truly knew their stuff!  Unfortunately, we were having so much fun, I forgot to ask their names, or take their photo.  By the way, there is a picnic area outside among the huge boulders; wish we'd known before hand, as we would have taken advantage.  Next time for sure!

Picnic Area

Allosaurus (carnivore) was the dominant dino in this area.
As you leave the building through the rear exit, there is a map of the three hiking trials (easy, moderate, difficult) and the lengths; pick one or do all three.  We headed off first to the excavation buildings to see what an actual "dig" looks like.  Some of the bones are casts as the real bones were sent off to the museum(s); but some of the actual bones are there to ponder over.

Short Answer is "No!"; Long Answer is "Still No!" - that's right, there will be no DNA, available from this fossilized egg,  for creating a Jurassic Park.

We decided to take the shortest (8/10ths of a mile) of the trails, Raptor Point, back to the museum, and our vehicle. It was not difficult for us, but it does have loose dirt and rocks to maneuver over, so watch that footing if you decide to take it.

Crystals inside a split rock.
Firewheel Blanketflower (Aster family)

Red Blooming Prickly Pear Cactus

Afterwards, we followed the road to Elmo, then into Price for some good pizza and salad at the Pizza Hut; followed by shopping at Walmart, and Smith's Supermarket...they carry fresh seafood and at reasonable prices!  This was simply a wonderful day out for us; adventuring at the quarry, late lunch and shopping in Price; then back home...all in all, it was a 12 hour day, and truly awesome!!!

Mary Cokenour

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