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Step into the Old West in Dinosaurland

Take a trip back in time and explore the wild west in Dinosaurland. Over 100 years ago, the area around Vernal was home to only the most hardworking pioneers and the bravest outlaws. With most settlements being days away from the nearest town, those that chose to live in the wilderness of Dinosaurland were exemplary in their hard work and self-sustainability. Today, many of the remnants of this period are still standing and available to tour. From living quarters of hardworking settlers to hideouts of famous outlaws, these historic sites provide insight into what life was like for settlers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Josie’s Cabin

Josie’s Cabin

Photo Credit: The National Park Service

Josie’s Cabin is a quaint log cabin hidden in the forests of Dinosaur National Monument that is filled to the brim with rich western history. The cabin was the home of Josie Bassett Morris, a close friend of legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy and one of the only women associated with the famous fugitive clan the Wild Bunch. Her cabin was frequently used as a hideout by the Wild Bunch when on the run from authorities.

Josie’s Cabin is a perfect specimen of outlaw life in the wild west. Visitors can tour the historical site and discover how outlaws lived while on the run, while also marveling at the serenity of the surrounding evergreen forests. Walk along box canyon trail, or hog canyon trail – two short hikes near Josie’s Cabin perfect for families and all abilities. 

John Jarvie Ranch Historic Site

John Jarvie Ranch Historic Site

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management

Situated on the meandering banks of the Green River, the historic Jarvie Ranch provides a glimpse of what frontier life was like in the Old American West. In 1880, rancher John Jarvie constructed the 35-acre site as a residence and place to offer goods to those that were passing through the remote area.

Now, visitors can tour the property and explore Jarvie’s original stone house, corral, blacksmith shop and general store. This ranch is a great spot to step back in time and learn how ranchers lived off the land over 100 years ago.

Swett Ranch

Swett Ranch

Photo Credit: Visit Utah

In 1913, Oscar Swett moved his family to the isolated community of Dutch John, Utah to establish this 14-acre ranch. From its founding, Swett Ranch used only horsepower and manpower to work the area for 58 years, keeping to the pioneer tradition even through technological advances. The ranch is a shining example of the American pioneer lifestyle that used minimal modern technology to survive.

Swett Ranch is nestled on the base of the Uinta Mountains, beside the picturesque Red Canyon and Lake Flaming Gorge. The historical site contains two cabins, a five-room house, a meat house, a root cellar, sheds, a granary, and a barn, which can all be toured. Swett Ranch is an ideal spot to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery as well as the historic insights into unique 20th-century rural living.

Explore Historic Sites in Dinoland

Dinosaurland is rich in history — both from millions of years ago and hundreds of years ago. From daring outlaws to humble farmers, Dinosaurland was a home for anyone looking for an adventure. These historical sites offer a unique way to peer into this country’s fascinating past and be awed by pioneers of the old west.


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