Seniors Search For Old Bones in Vernal, Utah

Vernal_Utah I read an article in the morning paper that has a story on Vernal, Utah,  this senior had not heard of that town, so it’s due for a blog.

Vernal, the county seat and largest city in Uintah County, is located in northeastern Utah about 175 miles (280 km) east of Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) west of the Colorado border. The population runs just over 10,000.

Vernal, unlike many Utah towns, was not settled by Mormons. Brigham Young sent a scouting party to Uintah Basin in 1861 and received word back the area was good for nothing but nomad purposes, hunting grounds for Indians and “to hold the world together.”


Today Vernal’s economy is based on extracting natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, phosphate, and uintaite, more commonly known as Gilsonite. This has led to the establishment of branch offices of major companies such as Halliburton and Schlumberger.

Seniors Enjoy the Scenic views and Petroglyphs


Vernal is proud to be the original home of James Woods, a film and TV actor. There are many scenic views in and aroung Vernal, but the big T-Rex pink dragon will certainly catch your eye upon arrival.

TripAdvisor has paid a visit to Vernal and has some activities all lined up for senior visitors. The nearby McConkie Ranch and its hiking trails rates very high with folks who enjoy a good walk and who are interested in the ancient Dry Fork Petroglyphs. With Holiday River close by, river rafting is lots of fun in Vernal.

The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum is another major  attraction. Senior visitors can discover the prehistoric world, dig for fossils, and explore the dinosaur garden. Within an 80-mile radius of Vernal is evidence of the entire Earth’s history and is visible at the Museum. Utah Field House reveals this geologic story with hands-on exhibits and activities.

Dinosaur Footprints and Fossils


Utah is famous for its ancient dinosaur fossils and the Vernal area is one of the best places in the state to view them first hand. Fantasy Canyon, an area composed of unique erosional features, is located about 27 miles south of Vernal.

Red Fleet State Park features a 750-acre reservoir and a fossil trackway of dinosaur footprints.  The canyon and the park draw in many visitors from all across the nation.

Sheep Creek Geological Loop is an awesome scenic drive at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Northeastern Utah. The Loop features an interesting display of unique rock formations that can be seen along the fault, including towering monoliths along with rock that has been fractured, jumbled, discombobulated

I have always loved that word. Seniors, get undiscombobulated  in Vernal. Spend a few days in town and take in the many nearby sites. -jeb

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