Explore the most popular hiking trails in Dinosaur National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
11 days ago

Our family loved this hike! We walked to the waterfall then to the river and back for a total of nearly 9 miles with a 9 and 12 year old who hike occasionally. Not a difficult trail and saw lots of wildlife! A herd of Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep, some deer, lizards, etc.
The views were amazing!
The petroglyphs were very near the main trail and easy to find.
The trail is nicely shaded most of the time.
Easiest way to get there is 500 North in Vernal - just follow the road east. Simple!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely wonderful trail! If you do it clockwise it starts out walking down a dried up river channel and moves into more difficult terrain once you start going up the dirt canyons! If you're with a family you could do this first half but I would turn around here as the next few kilometers are challenging and not good for kids or inexperienced hikers. You do quite a bit of bouldering and the the trail gets really steep in some places! All the unique terrain in 3.5 miles makes this hike awesome! It would be very hot in warmer months, definitely bring water, sunscreen, and maybe a hat! Parking lot is pretty small and there aren't any trailhead facilities but there are some at the centers! It does cost $20 to get into the park however but it's worth it because there's so much more to explore!

hiking
1 month ago

I wouldn't really call this a hike just a walk up. Great petroglyph

Spectacular. Lots and lots of petroglyphs. And a view out into the valley that is also fantastic. And to top off our visit, a family of 6 or 7 turkeys. Do not miss this 10-30 minute excursion.

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful hike theough so many different mini ecosystems. went from red clay to bouldering to sand. great opportunities to climb megaliths for spectacular views. very clean trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Stopped at the Visitor Center and hiked this enroute From Salt Lake to home.

hiking
7 months ago

Easy out and back day hike from the fish hatchery to the waterfall. Water is plentiful for filtering, but very cold for swimming. There really aren't swimming holes along the trail, but easy to dunk your body in the heat of the summer. We have seen bighorn sheep along the trail. Ride to the trail up Diamond Mountain is fantastic. Facilities at the trailhead including picnic tables and some sparse shade. Great place for a fly rod if you can make short casts.

Hiked this in early October 2017. I met one other couple during the entire hike! The hour drive from Vernal to the fish Hatchery trail head is a beautiful trip in itself.

There is one older composting toilet about 1.5 miles into the trail along with a couple of picnic tables. Otherwise I did not see any other facilities along the way. Use the public restroom to the northwest of the visitor parking lot before heading out.

Trail is consistently dirt until the sandy beach at the edge of the Green river. Well marked in all of the right places with mostly flat terrain. Came across some mule deer and several different birds, but did not see big horn sheep.

Beautiful hike. Lots of shaded areas. Be sure to bring a camera. Some of the large rocks on the hike even have fossils visible on the top.

We started this hike around 6 am. This was a beautiful hike...especially early in the morning. Loved all the red rock and the diversity in the trail as we hiked. Saw evidence of big horns, but no actual animals. There was minimal shade. I cant imagine doing this during the heat of the day. Highly recommend!

hiking
10 months ago

My husband and I did this trail toward the end of the day, and we saw like 2 more people. It was stunning. Great views, and the informational plaques were actually pretty cool and inspiring. It seems longer than 3 miles depending on when you do it.

Short walk. Well preserved petroglyphs.

trail running
10 months ago

Ran this midday and it was pretty hot, but generally runable. Lots of terrain change from the river, to the dirt mounds to the up and downs of the bag before the big boulders at the end where you get the best views. Climbing fown the rock side was unique.

Loved the hike so beautiful...

on Sound of Silence Trail

hiking
11 months ago

Close to 3.5 miles in total. Pretty easy. Can be hot. Bring water. Fine views and landscape changes. We saw a snake.

But If you have been to Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands or Arches, you might not rate this trail very high.

walking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Interesting petroglyphs close to the road, also gives nice elevated views of the area. Located on the way to Josie Bassett Morris homestead area, Box Canyon, and Hog Canyon Trails.

hiking
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This was a great hike, although the location is pretty remote. Dirt road leading to location has several miles of heavy switchbacks at a 10% grade, but it is passable with a passenger car. On a Friday hike, we saw very few people north of Ely, but two large groups south of the falls. Fishermen came later in the day, but overall the trail was not crowded but there was some traffic.

We started at the fish hatchery, and our hike included the side trail to the petroglyphs and two visits to Ely Falls (aka Butt Dam Falls). The majority of the hike is shady, although south of Ely you will hit some wide open spots.

Jones Hole stream is from a spring, and is crystal clear. The stream is very scenic, and the cliffs rising on each side provide some good photo opportunities. We saw a variety of birds, small mammals, and a couple small snakes, but no sheep or bears.

The path to the petroglyphs is well-marked. The side trail goes along the cliff face only a few hundred feet from the main trail. There are several squiggles that a river guide passing by told his group were symbolic of fish nets, but there are some other more interesting glyphs as well. The glyph trail merges back into the main trail just north of the path to Ely Falls.

The sign to Ely Falls trail says it's half a mile, but I would guess that is for the round trip. It is a very short trail that brings you right underneath the falls. There are two tables just south of the trailhead for picnicers, or plenty of room at the top of the falls for a snack. The trail goes beyond the falls as well, but we turned back after a short walk down it so I'm not sure how far it goes.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Not really a trail, but more following a canyon and a creek bed. Very challenging and you really need a good GPS to not get turned around. Very pretty, though.

hiking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

for those fishing it is a stream no large fish but lots of little and fun. The trail is easy with lots to see. my kids love to hike it. lots of mosquitoes and few harmless snakes.

hiking
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

I combined this with Desert Voices. Sound of Silence had a lot of wildflowers that were extravagant, plus a lot of rabbits and lizards. This trail has lots of ups and downs and there is one place that I almost had to scramble. Beautiful place.

backpacking
Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Excellent, easy backpacking trip that's beautiful in spring. The fishing looks great as well (I didn't get a chance to fish because I forgot my pole). Lots of wildlife and great side trails. I wrote a report here:

https://backpackingnerd.com/2016/05/02/jones-hole/

hiking
Sunday, April 03, 2016

Very pleasant hike. At the mid point, the trail appears to stay straight but the markers guide to the right. Go right to stay on course and follow the cairns over the rocks. Truly beautiful.

hiking
Saturday, December 26, 2015

As the name says, one of the most wonderful and quiet places I have been hiking. The canyon is extremely beautiful and full of color.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The sign at the trailhead had this marked "Moderate to Difficult". The first 2 miles or so were relatively easy and flat, so it seemed like we had been misled. The last stretch though is definitely substantially more difficult. There are some steep climbs & descents - I was glad I bought hiking boots the day before. There are some great views of the surrounding area from the peaks.

Monday, May 04, 2015

just hiked 5-2-2015 great trail and lots of trout in the creek. just look in the water and you'll see 20 to 24 inch trout. the trail is a very easy hike, just remember to bring lots of water. we saw and photographed about 20 big horns from about 15 feet. never have I been closer, not even in a zoo! highly recommend this hike.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jones hole is not good for fly fishing. The fish are way to small... if you like catching Twinkies go fish there.

hiking
Saturday, January 14, 2012

I've hiked this trail seven or eight times. I've taken my Scout Troop over it four times. It is best done in the Fall. Spring is good too, though the weather is more unpredictable. My preference is to start at the Island Park end. The trail head is at the old Ruple Ranch. The BLM has maps. Drive 30 miles from Vernal, mostly dirt road. We hike to Ely Creek where we reserve the campsite through Dinosaur National Monument. That's is eight miles. We spend the night there. Then we hike two miles out on the Jones Hole Trail to the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery, where we have someone pick us up. If you go in the Summer, go early because the central portion of the trail is in the open and gets hot. Take plenty of water. The trail is braided in some spots and a bit faint in others. Be proficient in map and compass or better yet take a good GPS.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jones Hole is one of my favorite places on the planet! The deep canyon affords breathtaking views at every turn. The trail is well established and easy to hike. I like to fly fish Jones Creek and use the trail year-round. My most recent trip was on December 30, 2011. There was about 4" of snow and we hiked all the way to the Green River where we caught monster rainbows in the fast water of the Green. A mile of our trip the trail had been broken by a cougar. The creek is spring fed and never freezes. In the hot summer months a dip in the creek or a "Power Shower" at Ely Creek Falls is a must. (Plug off the creek at the top with somebody's derriere while the showerer approaches for a deluge below! Great fun! Hang on to your shorts!). Ely Creek is a small tributary of Jones Creek which enters the larger stream about two miles from the trail-head. The water fall is about a half mile up Ely Creek. This trail, too, is well groomed and is an addition to the four miles mentioned. Further exploration up Ely Canyon into the Labyrinth is great fun.

There are pictographs and petroglyphs near the trail. Don't miss a tour of the Fish Hatchery. The trail ends at the river making it an eight mile round trip to cover the entire trail. Big Horn Sheep frequent the canyon. If you're lucky you might see a big "curl horn."

Rafters use the campground at the Green River in the Summer. One small camp site is available at the confluence of Jones and Ely Creeks. This can be reserved by contacting Dinosaur National Monument at 435-781-7700. Remember, this campsite is 2.2 miles from the trail-head.

hiking
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jones Creek is entirely spring fed. It runs from the spring (Jones Hole Fish Hatchery) four miles to the Green River. The water temperature is constant all year making it an excellent fishery. Access by road from Vernal or by rafting the Green River.

hiking
4 days ago

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