Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum
If you’re looking for things to do near Vernal, Utah, check out the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum.
Sitting at the center of Dinosaurland in Vernal, Utah, the Field House allows visitors of all ages to see and learn about dinosaur fossils and what life was like in the Uinta Basin millions of years ago.
Dinosaurland, in Vernal, Utah, has been a dinosaur hotspot for years, with many fossils and footprints being discovered here.
The Field House of Natural History State Park Museum was founded to conduct paleontological research and teach and entertain dino-enthusiasts about these prehistoric creatures.
There are a variety of interactive exhibits, displays, and activities available at the dinosaur museum that are great for guests of all ages.
What Dinosaur Fossils Are at the Utah Field House?
The Utah Field House Museum houses an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils from several dig sites around Utah. The specimens include a:
- 90-foot-long Diplodocus skeleton
- Six-ton Stegosaurus
- Brontotherium (Megacerops)
- Near-complete Haplocanthosaurus
- Towering Allosaurus
Besides the complete dinosaur skeletons on display, museum guests can also try to spot different fossils still left within a stone wall exhibit.
Look closely! It’s amazing to realize how much of the past can be found in the layers of geology right below our feet—especially in Dinosaurland, USA. There may be some dinosaur bones right beneath your feet!
Ancient plant fossils are also displayed, providing clues to what Vernal and the rest of Uintah County, Utah, were like millions of years ago, when most of the area was covered with water.
What Other Attractions Are at the Utah Field House?
The fossil exhibits alone are incredible and make a trip to the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum well worth it! But there are even more unique attractions available that you don’t want to miss out on when you visit.
Watch real paleontologists at the Fossil Lab
You can see active paleontology research taking place at the Utah Field House. Check out the Fossil Lab viewing area, where you can see people working on real fossils. You may catch the live uncovering, preservation, or casting processes. It’s something you don’t see every day!
Uncover fossils at the Morrison Dig
You can do some fossil-finding yourself! The Morrison Dig exhibit lets visitors experience a real dig site. Grab a special brush and help remove the debris covering a deposit of bones.
Explore the Fluorescent Mineral Room
Along with the fossils found in Dinosaurland, this area of Utah also provides an incredible look into its geological history. Did you know there are special rocks that glow under UV light?
The Fluorescent Mineral Room in the Utah Field House displays a variety of rocks that appears plain and boring under normal light. But under ultraviolet light, they radiate! You have to see it for yourself to truly appreciate it.
Discover prehistoric Utah at the Museum Theater
The dinosaur museum also includes a theater, where guests can enjoy short educational films about paleontology, dinosaurs, and prehistoric Utah.
Younger visitors will also enjoy the various puzzles, books, and other activities found throughout the field house.
Walk among giants in the Dinosaur Garden
Just outside of the Field House Museum is the famous Vernal Dinosaur Garden. This unique attraction contains 14 full-size replicas of dinosaurs set among local vegetation. Wandering through the Dinosaur Garden gives visitors an idea of what it might have been like to come across these giant creatures in their natural habitat. It’s breathtaking how big some of them actually were!
Field House Visitor Information
Location: 496 E Main Street, on the corner of Main Street (U.S. Highway 40) and 500 East in Vernal, Utah.
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 Days a week 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: $6 for adults, $3 for children and seniors; children 5 and under are free.
For more information, call 435-789-3799.
Want more dinosaurs? Don’t forget to also check out Dinosaur National Monument, just 15 miles away!
How long does it take to go through the Utah Natural History Hall?
Most visitors like to spend two to three hours in the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. You can stay for as long as you like up until 5 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Final entry to the Utah dinosaurs museum is at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
What year did the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum open?
Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum opened in 1948. But the area had been famous for its animal fossils as early as 1870.
In 1909, one of the world’s largest concentrations of dinosaur remains was discovered near Split Mountain near Vernal. This discovery is now part of Dinosaur National Monument.
Local people wanted somewhere to display some of the fossils to the public. In 1945, paleontologist Arthur G. Nord led the group that came up with the idea for the Field House Museum.
The aim was to create something more than a fun dinosaur park. They wanted to help people learn about what life was like here millions of years ago. By 1998 it had welcomed more than six million visitors.
Are There Dinosaur Fossils in Utah?
Utah is famous worldwide for its dinosaur fossils. The state has one of the most complete fossil records on Earth. The only place where more dinosaur species fossils have been found is China—and that’s a whole country!
But it’s not only dinosaurs that are featured. You can also find fossilized sea creatures, plants, and ice age mammals like mammoths.
Why are Dinosaurs preserved in Utah?
In the late dinosaur age, the area in and around the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah was a coastal floodplain teeming with life.
The area’s geography meant new rock and sediment were regularly deposited by rivers and the sea.
This created the perfect conditions for quickly burying and fossilizing many prehistoric animals that died there. The rock and sediment eventually became part of the fossil-rich Morrison rock formation.
Over millions of years, the area’s geography changed dramatically. Today, it is a high desert with lots of exposed rock. This makes it easier for paleontologists to find fossils that might have remained deep underground.
How many dinosaurs have been found in Utah?
The fossilized remains of more than 100 species of dinosaurs have been discovered in Utah.
More than 2,000 dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Dinosaur National Monument alone. A further 70 were found in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in east-central Utah. Both sites are part of the larger Morrison Formation.
Discover More Dinosaurs in Utah
Get your tickets for the House of Natural History today. Want more dinosaurs? Don’t forget to also check out Dinosaur National Monument, just 15 miles away!