We were way off of the beaten path we are usually on in May, in Dinosaur National Monument. The monument is in both Colorado and Utah, and it gets close to Wyoming. It was a long drive to get there, but our sites at the Split Mountain Campground were well worth it. We had the place to ourselves, and it's one of the darkest places in the United States (as in lack of light pollution). We all slept well and started our day early.
It was an unhappy surprise to find the gas station closed that was fairly close to our campground. So, we gassed up in Dinosaur before going to the Canyon Visitor Center. We picked up maps and couldn't wipe the grins off of our faces as we started our first day.
The trail was paved the entire way, so it was less of a trail and more of a wide road suitable for a motor home. It was definitely gorgeous, though.
We stopped at all of the overlooks, and though some were better than others we enjoyed all of them. The views were so big, with deep canyons and wide valleys below us.
When we got to the end, we parked in a practically empty parking lot. Most of us did the hike to the end, and it was worth it. The hike itself was a nice start, a good way to stretch our legs and get out of our vehicles. Then the views at the end were spectacular. Mike even spotted some petrified wood in the rock, which was pretty cool.
It was noon by the time we got back to our vehicles, so we stopped for lunch. There were picnic tables and bear-proof trash cans, so we had a pretty civilized lunch for our group. Once we finished, we headed over to Echo Park to get some dirt under our tires. This was going to be a great vacation!