In northeastern Utah, the town of Vernal has an exciting array of museums that display everything from dinosaurs to Western frontier history.
Start your day at the famous Dinosaur National Monument. It is located along the Utah-Colorado border. The Utah portion, located just outside Jensen, is home to the famous quarry where a large number of dinosaur bones were found and are still on display.
Its Stegosaurus model was built for the New York World’s Fair of 1964. Now it is a prop for the visitor center; the visitor center, and the quarry nearby, had been completely rebuilt and re-opened in October 2011. The quarry’s dinosaurs are 149 million years old, and include the Stegosaurus, though it is not the dominant species here; the most common species here is Camarasaurus, large plant-eating sauropod.
In town, don’t miss the new Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum and the Western Heritage Museum.
Salt Lake City
At the Utah Museum of Natural History, on the campus of the University of Utah, you can take a journey through Earth’s natural wonders, enjoy collections of dinosaurs, Native American artifacts, rocks and minerals, plus exhibits specific to the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. Also on campus is the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, showcasing an extensive collection of world art.
Explore the Universe at Clark Planetarium, located in downtown Salt Lake. Experience the five-story, 3D IMAX Theatre, the 360-degree Hansen Dome Theatre, and the various exhibits in this 10,000-square-foot space. Be sure to visit the Planet Fun Clark Planetarium store for great science gifts. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days, only.
Located on 30 acres at the northwest corner of Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, the Hill Aerospace Museum features more than 70 military aircraft, missiles and aerospace vehicles, including an SR-71 “Blackbird” spy plane. Don’t miss one of largest aerospace museums in the United States.