Sunday, May 29, 2011
Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Date Hiked: May 29, 2011
Distance: varies, but short
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Directions: Echo Park is located off of Echo Park Road, a beautiful dirt road. From the Canyon Visitor Center off Hwy 40, head north on Harpers Corner Road until you see the sign for the Echo Park turnoff. Take Echo Park Road down the canyon and bear left at the fork. Follow the signs pointing to the Echo Park Campground.
Echo Park is not really a hike as much as it is an exploration of one of the prettiest spots in the park. The Echo Park Campground is the main destination here but the area is situated at an oxbow in the Green River just after it meets up with the Yampa River. Towering overhead you'll see Steamboat Rock, one of the park's most iconic resources. From the campground there are various social trails and dirt roads that follow the shoreline and lead up to the striking red rock canyon walls. If you get the opportunity to camp here, take it, the spot is magical.
The road leading to Echo Park is one of the more adventurous aspects of visiting Echo Park. Do not attempt to drive the road in the rain as it turns into a dangerous mud flume. The switchbacks just after Harper's Corner Road can get a bit hairy and steep but the rest of the road is typically fine for passenger cars, check in at the visitor center for the latest info on conditions.