At the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum in Vernal, you’ll find interactive, family-friendly exhibits with a wealth of information about Jurassic dinosaurs and many others. You’ll also be educated on the area’s geology, and what makes it prime digging grounds for dinosaur bones and skeletons. The museum is an excellent complement to the Quarry and Visitor Center, as it can give further story and content about the creatures that used to live here and their surroundings. The exhibit hosts an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils from several different sites. Murals give visitors a sense of what the area was like millions of years ago.
The museum’s giant rotunda houses a giant Diplodocus skeleton, measuring 90 feet long. In addition to the Diplodocus, the Grand Jurassic Gallery includes two other gigantic dinosaur skeletons. Among the dinosaur museum’s attractions are a stone wall where visitors can try to spot fossils, and a simulated dig site that demonstrates how archaeological fossil fieldwork occurs. Visitors can even brush away sand to discover fossil replicas.The facility also has rotating exhibits and a classroom facility.
The exposed rock throughout Dinosaurland shows more layers of the geological time line than almost anywhere else in the nation. Learn about the tales of the Jurassic dinosaurs by exploring the museum’s interactive exhibits. And don’t forget to visit the gift shop to find a dinosaur treasure of your own!
Featured Dinosaur Skeletons
Diplodocus: A full skeleton of this gigantic beast dominates the central rotunda of the museum. This dinosaur lived throughout the West at the end of the Jurassic Period, between 154 million and 152 million years ago. At the time, there were many giant dinosaurs with long necks such as this one. This plant-eater walked on four legs and is one of the largest known dinosaurs, possibly reaching up to 170 feet in length from head to tail.
Allosaurus: This bipedal carnivore looks a bit like a smaller cousin to Tyrannosaurus Rex. This Allosaurus reaches about 28 feet in length, but others may have grown as long as 40 feet. It was the top predator of the region, ruling from 155 million and 150 million years ago.
Stegosaurus: This heavily armored dinosaur lived during the late Jurassic period between 155 million and 150 million years ago. It lived throughout the West but also occupied parts of Europe. It had easily recognizable plates on its back, leading back to sharp spikes on its tail. It had a tiny head in comparison to its huge body.
Brontotherium: Also known as Megacerops, this giant rhinoceros-looking creature roamed the plains of North America between 38 and 30 million years ago, long after the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was about 16 feet long and weighed between 1 and 2 tons. It had two blunt horns on the end of its snout, which may have been used to fight rivals of the same species.
Your children will enjoy the many interactive possibilities at the Field House. There are dinosaur books to read and puzzles, toys, games and models to play with. They will have the opportunity to be a paleontologist for a day! Kids will explore a realistic excavation site, touching real dinosaur bones and using brushes to uncover buried fossils.
Hours & Info
The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum is located at 496 E Main Street, on the corner of Main Street (U.S. Highway 40) and 500 East in Vernal, Utah. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children and seniors; children 5 and under are free. Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 Days a week 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 435-789-3799.