Today we’re continuing on our Mountain West Trip that I’ve been sharing. Click >>> Mountain West Trip 2019 Posts to see more from this trip.

As we drove through Vernal, I snapped a few more pics as we headed to Jenson, UT.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Our first stop was Dinosaur National Monument. Since the boys are older, they weren’t super thrilled about it. I enjoyed it, because the teacher in me still geeks out over this kind of fun stuff. Exhibits at the Quarry Visitor Center introduce the variety of resources and places to explore within the monument.

The Quarry Visitor Center is about 20 miles from Vernal, UT where we spent the night. Exhibits at the Quarry Visitor Center introduce the variety of resources and places to explore within the monument.

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

We didn’t spend much time in there at first, because as we came inside they announced the shuttle was there to take us out to the Quarry Exhibit Hall and the world famous wall of dinosaur bones, which you can see in the pic below. The building is actually built up against the wall. That wall is where they discovered dinosaur bones. Instead of completely removing the fossils, they cleared around it and left them in tact so you can see what it’s like to find fossils.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

The picture right above and below show dinosaur bones that are still in the wall. I found this to be such an amazing way to see fossils.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

There are 3 levels to the Quarry Hall. Lots to see, read about, and learn. We probably stayed there 30 minutes or so. After that we got back on the trolley and headed back to the Visitor Center. As we rode back they pointed out the hiking trails that are available, but it was pretty hot.

This was after we had been in Colorado for a bit. When you start seeing these snow spotted mountains, we get excited and anxious to see more! 39°27’31.128″ N 107°15’44.82″ W
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

We opted to continue on our way.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

We stopped real quick at Taylor Draw Dam so Alex could use the restroom. Taylor Draw Dam was constructed to alleviate flooding caused by ice jams in the White River. The bottom picture is of Kenney Reservoir and I couldn’t believe how still that water was.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

This was after we had been in Colorado for a bit. When you start seeing these snow spotted mountains, we get excited and anxious to see more! 39°27’31.128″ N 107°15’44.82″ W
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

We took a little bit of a different route towards Denver, so that we could stop in Aspen. Last time Rob and I were in CO, we wanted to see Aspen, but we ran out of time. This is such a nice, clean town with lots of cute shops and restaurants.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

With over 3 hours of road to get to Denver and the fact we would be driving through the mountains and wanting to stop, we continued on. This is some of what we saw!
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

We stopped at Linkins Lake Trail to get a few shots. When we pulled in we saw a car with an Auburn Tigers sticker on it (see pic below – back window). We wrote a note on a sticky note and left I on their window, saying War Eagle from Auburn or something like that.

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Independence pass as another place we wanted to get to last time we were in this area, but couldn’t get there because roads were closed. We stopped here for quite a bit. Alex played in the snow. I took pictures. Rob read about the area. Really we were just soaking in the mountains surrounding us and loving the chilliness of the air.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

From Independence Pass to Denver is about 140 miles, so we got back on the road. Another highlight along the way was driving through Leadville, CO a former silver mining town. Cute, little spot.
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

And they get these views everyday!
Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

When we got to Denver, we ended up at Chili’s because we don’t have one of those in Auburn anymore and so that’s a place we stop at in big cities if we’re missing it. That night and the next night we suffered through our stay at Hampton Inn – Speer Blvd. The AC cut off at a certain temp and would never really get the room cold. In fact that first night, we all slept with the covers off. When we complained to them they were like we might be able to look at it today. What? Unacceptable! We do not recommend this hotel!

If you’d like to see more pics from our day click>>>Day 8 Pics

More posts from this trip>>>Mountain West Trip 2019 Posts

And guess who I can get to see while in Denver!?!? Watch for my next post, next Tuesday where I’ll show you. 😉

Mountain West Trip: Roadtrip from Vernal, UT to Denver, CO

Camera Info:
Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
iPhone 7