Our longest travel day of the entire roadtrip, heading from Zion National Park to Dinosaur National Monument in one push. As the crow flies this didn't look like a long trip, but when you add various terrain and one lane roads to the mix, it became an all day affair. But wow, it was sooo worth it.

This is the third post in a continuing series about roadtripping and camping throughout the western United States with kids during a two-week trip.  To read the last post we wrote in this series, click here.

When I woke up warm in my sleeping bag in the crisp mountain air of Zion National Park, I had no idea what a long driving day we were in for, but we’re pretty hearty, so off we went.  After breaking camp and packing up, we said goodbye to Zion National Park.  Of course on the way out we needed to stop for obligatory hot cocoa and a cup of strong coffee for my navigator, then we headed out.  But leaving the park on the road out to the I-15 took time, less time to get out than to get in as we took a different way.  Once on the I-15 north, it was smooth sailing but we would only be on that fast freeway for a couple hours.  

This picture was taken as we drove the I-15 northeast from Zion to our turnoff at Spanish Fork.

Once we made it up to Spanish Fork (Utah), we headed right onto SR-6 and started picking our way through various turnoffs, canyons and passes as we worked up toward Dinosaur.  The drive took us most of the rest of the day.  We had looked over the maps and knew there wasn’t many small towns along the way (full gas tank recommended), but we moved along nicely anyways.  Once you’ve put in most of the drive, you will get to Vernal/Naples, which is a fairly large town with all modern services and great shopping.  We didn’t stop as we were pushing for Dinosaur during daylight, so the drive continued.

This was snapped as we stopped to pee.  It’s looking back up the very long valley we had just come down and would continue to follow down for the next hour or so (probably the 191).  About four hours from Dinosaur.

Again, we had only found (and booked) a tent camping spot for one night, so we wanted to get up into the monument in time to see the exhibit, make camp and cook dinner in the light if possible, so we pushed hard on the roadtrip throughout the day.  The drive was one of the longest I’ve done lately, but also one of the prettiest.  After an all day drive including some rain, we made it safely to Dinosaur National Monument.  Read our next post for pics and story specifically about Dinosaur. 

Spanish Fork, Utah is a very large, modern town with all the amenities you might need.  The highlight of our drive through town was stopping to grab Michelle some coffee at an actual Black Rifle Coffee Company store. 

-If you do this drive, most of the way is through the Uintah/Ouray Reservation.  There are limited opportunities for gas but the drive is gorgeous.

-Also along this drive, between the towns of Roosevelt and historic Fort Duchesne is the infamous Skinwalker Ranch, which has featured in various tv specials about alien landings and such on the property.

-Lastly, like I said above, the final larger town before Dinosaur National Monument is Vernal/Naples, which had very modern shopping, there’s little you won’t find there.


Here’s the last several posts we’ve written for this series:

Roadtripping and Camping In The Western US With Kids-1

Roadtripping and Camping In The West With Kids (Zion)-2

A quick shoutout to our friends Rhonda, Michelle, Marisol and so many others who have kicked some cancer butt!  Wanna buy us a cold one? Check out our Patreon Site. 

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