Dinosaur National Monument
Date Hiked: May 29, 2011
Distance: 9.5 mi (RT)
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Directions: From the Canyon Visitor Center off of Hwy 40 just east of the town of Dinosaur, head north on Harpers Corner Road. The trailhead is about 1 mi north of the turn off to Echo Park.
The hike out to Ruple Point is a fantastic National Park hike. The trail itself can get a bit monotonous, but the viewpoint destination is amazingly incredible. This is THE view in the park. The trail is the longest trail in the park but you should not leave Dinosaur without hiking out to Ruple Point. For 4 miles, the trail rolls steadily along with nice views of the desert floor beyond the canyon to the North. The vegetation is interesting although there is very little shade. Once you get about 4 miles in you’ll descend down and reach your first canyon wall. The view from here will give you the first taste of what's to come, keep on hiking. Bear right and climb a rocky trail following the edge of the canyon. Before too long you’ll pop out of the brush to Ruple Point and your head will simply explode…
The view looks down several thousand feet to the Green River below as it cuts its way through Split Mountain Gorge. Rafters will look like tiny little ants swimming in the Green River. Across the river, the red cliffs meld with green vegetation creating an otherworldly landscape. To the south the Green River carves it's way through Split Mountain. This is truly a National Park landscape. There is nowhere to go from this viewpoint so after you’ve soaked it all in, if that’s even possible, head back the way you came.