Gumbo was visiting Dinosaur National Monument, specifically the Tilted Rock/Cub Creek portion in Utah. Congratulations to George G and PortMoresby, who recognized where Gumbo was.
We've previously discussed the world famous Fossil Quarry located in this area of Dinosaur National Monument -- in the Utah portion, not in Colorado (where 75% of the monument is located). In addition to visiting this fossil-rich exhibit hall, there is an interesting drive through the Utah desert which demonstrates the lovely scenery of the region.
(Map courtesy of the National Park Service)
From the Fossil Quary Visitor Center, we drove the Tour of the Tilted Rocks route along Cub Creek Road, a 12 mile one-way journey. There are some terrific views and opportunities to see several interesting features.
Some of the highlights of this drive are:
Swelter Shelter Petroglyphs
Swelter Shelter is a covered area at the base of a rocky cliff with views of petroglyphs and pictographs by the Fremont people. It's one of Dinosaur National Monument’s oldest known sites of human habitation.
Split Mountain And Green River
This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful section in this portion of the monument.
A short spur road takes you to the Split Mountain Boat Launch where you can walk along the Green River as it leaves Split Mountain Canyon or watch river rafters arriving after a several day journey through the monument.
A plaque commemorates the famous river journey of Major John Wesley Powell through this region. Powell is best know for his pioneering boat trip through the Grand Canyon.
The Split Mountain and Green River Campgrounds and day use picnic area are located nearby on the banks of Green River.
Turtle Rock And Elephant Toes Butte
Both of these rock formations resemble animals, eroded into the sandstone.
Turtle Rock, as the name implies, looks like a turtle:
Elephant Toes Butte, originated as a tall sand dune about 200 million years ago:
The Fremont petroglyphs are 1,000 years old and easily spotted.
The most prevalent of the designs in this grouping is of large lizards, rare at other petroglyph sites in the Monument.
Josie Bassett Morris Homestead
Built in 1913. Josie was a self-reliant woman who lived and farmed here for 50 years. She raised livestock, fruits and vegetables, and some grain crops. Her simple cabin has been rehabilitated and you can explore evidence of her life on the grounds surrounding the cabin. After Josie's death in 1964, her property became part of the National Monument.
There are a number of hikes in the region, but as it was blazing hot when we visited, we didn't do anything but a few short walks to explore the terrain. In cooler weather it would be nice territory in which to hike.
Wildlife may occasionally be seen, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and many bird species. Even if you don't spot any of the bigger animals, the views of the desert are well worth the journey.
Fuel, food, and other services are not available along this route, so be prepared. And be prepared for intense heat in the summer.