Eons ago, a large river system drained across what is now the center of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). Towering conifer trees, understory deciduous trees and shrubs, and terrain and temperatures similar to present-day Louisiana framed an ecology dominated by 40 foot-long dinosaurs. Buried in the sediments of that ancient river, the forgotten skeleton of one of these behemoths has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in 75 million years.

On Monday and Tuesday, July 19 and 20, join GSENM scientists as they travel back to those long vanished times to unearth the skeleton of a crested duckbill hadrosaur, also known as a Parasaurolophus. Currently, the skull, various vertebrae, ribs, and limb bones have been uncovered at the remote site, representing one of the most complete Parasaurolophus skulls ever found in the United States.

Adjacent to the dinosaur excavation, tour participants will view an extensive Archaic Period (8,000-2,000 year old) archaeological site with a variety of artifacts. Sites such as this provide details into the lives of the Hunter-Gatherer peoples who lived here prior to the agricultural period of the Fremont and Anasazi, and represent an earlier manifestation of the lifeways practiced by the Paiute at the time of Pioneer and Euramerican contact.

The two-hour-long tours are by reservation only and will depart hourly from the parking lot at Grosvenor Arch starting at 9:30 a.m.; with the last tour leaving at 3:30 p.m. each day. Transportation from the parking lot to the site will be provided. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and hiking shoes, and bring their own water and sunscreen. Hats are also recommended.

Space is limited.  To make your reservation, or for more information, call 435-644-4680.