Tucked in the northwestern corner of Colorado with views that rival those of the Grand Canyon, Moffat County is your next destination en route to the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
A little off the beaten path and away from crowds, Moffat County encompasses the towns of Craig, Maybell, Hamilton, Massadona and Lay and is home to two-thirds of Dinosaur National Monument.
The monument is a breathtaking collection of river canyons, fossils and petroglyphs. Inside the Quarry Exhibit Hall, see more than 1,500 dinosaur fossils on a cliff wall and touch fossils from 149 million years ago.
The Green River and Yampa River confluence in the middle of Dinosaur National Monument, and the canyons are a sight to see by river raft or in your vehicle.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” says Tom Kleinschnitz who serves as Moffat County tourism director. “The views along the Yampa and Green River corridors and on the Yampa Bench Road in Dinosaur National Monument match or are better than the overlooks at some places in the Grand Canyon.”
On the monument's eastern edge is Deerlodge Park where visitors can see hundreds of elk year-round.
“There are times in the middle of the winter where they’ll bunch up into a herd of 300 to 500,” Kleinschnitz says. “So that’s an opportunity for people to really take incredible pictures.”
Then head east to Maybell and north to the Sand Wash Basin area where one of the largest wild mustang herds still roam. Their genetics can be traced back to horses brought over by early European explorers.
For more information:
Moffat Tourism Association, 250 W Victory Way, Craig, Colo. www.visitmoffatcounty.com