COLORADO,  Road Trips,  UTAH

Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument

Echo Park

Echo Park

Echo Park is a small canyon which is part of Dinosaur National Monument. It’s located on the Colorado side of the park and is a great little fishing hole with the view of Steamboat Rock dead center.

It’s gorgeous for photographers and has rafting, floating, and fishing accommodations. You will need to get a fishing license from the state of Colorado for this location. There is a cabin on site that a park ranger stays in so trying to get away with fishing without one is almost impossible. The ranger on site will come ask for it, I’ve never not been asked. Because this area is on the Utah/Colorado border I’d recommend getting a fishing license for each state so you can fish in several locations along the river.

Echo Park Fishing, Dinosaur Monument
Fishing Licenses

Colorado’s Fishing License can be purchased here.

Utah’s Fishing Licenses can be purchased here.


Getting to Echo Park is really easy. There are several entrances into Dinosaur National Monument but to get to Echo Park by road you’ll want to start at the East Entrance. This segment of the Highway is known as Stegosaurus Freeway.

You’ll see the signs for Dinosaur National Monument and one of the visitor’s centers. There isn’t a gate here so you want have to pay an entrance free to get up on top of the monument. If you’d like to get a park pass to visit the Dinosaur Quarry it’s $25 for a 7-day pass but I suggest getting A National Park Annual Pass. They’re $80 but they get you into every National Park and Monument in the country for an entire year. It’s well worth the cost considering you’ll pay that to enter three parks.

Take a screen shot of this, you’ll want to be able to refer to it when your phone loses service which will happen along the drive.

About Echo Park

Echo Park is where the Yampa River merges with the Green River. The rock formations were created where the two rivers meet along a fault line. This gives it such a unique geological texture.

If you follow the river you can see where the brown color of the Yampa river blend into the emerald shade of the Green River.


Weather and snow can make the canyon difficult to pass, if there’s any concern about your trip you can call the visitor’s information about road conditions. (970) 374-3000

Hour’s and Access

The park is open year round but there is no maintenance for the dirt road so if weather’s a factor it may not be accessible. You’ll want a high clearance vehicle to avoid bottoming out. RV’s are discouraged along the dirt road because of such sharp turns, rough patches, and it’s steep grade.

Echo Park, ColoradoEcho Park Colorado

This is the overlook at the top of Echo Park. You may recognize it from Dashboard Destinations cover photo.

Elk herds have been seen crossing this plateau on several occasions so keep an eye out, it’s quite the site to see.

Native American Sites

Once you turn down Echo Park road there canyon is beautiful and there are two stops you should make on the way to the river side. The first is a petroglyph panel that’s a must see. It has some of the worlds best dotted petroglyphs.
Petroglyphs Dinosaur Monument

Petroglyphs site

Petroglyphs Dinosaur MonumentWhispering Cave, Dinosaur Monument


The second location is Whispering Cave. It’s a small cavern off to the side of the canyon and is more interesting once you’re in it than it looks from the outside..

Whispering Cave, Dinosaur

Whispering Cave, Dinosaur Monument


There are 22 Echo Camp Sites available that are suitable for tent camping. Only one is handicap accessible so if you’re not handicapped please refrain from using this one.

There are four walk-in sites that you’ll have to pack gear to but they’re not far. There are picnic tables, fire pits, and an outhouse toilet.

Drinking water is available between May and September, $10.00 per site, per night. Without water the campgrounds are $6.00 per site per night.

Free camping is available on BLM land, also known as Public Land. If you would like to camp for free check out 7 Tips For Free Camping for details on where in the area has public camping.

Echo Park, Dinosaur Monument

Floating the River

Rafting any of the river’s in Dinosaur National Monument requires a permit. There are guided tours which I recommend if you’re not familiar with the area.

Most of the float is calm enough for Paddle boards, my young nieces have taken the paddle boards several times and they were safe.

Fishing Echo Park, Dinosaur MonumentFishing

We caught several catfish while we were there but there are other fish that are endangered and should be released as soon as possible with as little as damage as possible.

For example, the Colorado pike minnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub, and bonytail. The rangers will have a pamphlet with pictures so you can reference them if you’re unsure.

Don’t take just my word for it, here are some TripAdvisor Reviews to give you an unbiased look.

There are so many pictures so if you want to see more check out Dashboard Destinations on Instagram.

As per usual, I took way more pictures than I could possibly post on here so if you’d like to see more I have several accounts that I’ve posted more images on.

P interest

Echo Park, Dinosaur Monument

As Always, Happy Travels
See you out there.

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  • Groomy Dude

    Hey there Norma Jean,

    This is an amazing site you have put together! I have bookmarked it for future use. I am an avid camper/survivalist and enjoy practicing my survival skills through primitive camping. I have built a dune buggy that can get me to places that are a bit further out and have the gear I will carry in. 

    Your site has so much detailed information on some really good locations I am going to try to explore. I am about 1100 miles east of you but have been wanting to make the journey out west and will use your information when I do. 

    Echo park looks amazing through your wonderful photos. I have got to see this for myself! 

    Thank you for sharing your beauty!


    • NJKuhr

      When you do, message me, Uintah county has a lot of deep country secrets that aren’t as well known and if you’re interested I’d be happy to tell you about them. Echo park is just one of many, you could spend a month out here exploring and never see the same thing twice. dinosaur tracks, elk, moose, the dam is beautiful, and we have some spectacular canyons. 

  • Lily

    Thanks for the Echo Park post! Glad you provided the link to where we can pay for a Colorado fishing license! I don’t think any prudent person would ever want to pay $25 for 7-day access to the park when all that’s required for a yearly park entry access is $80. Whenever I want to pay a visit to the Dinosaur Quarry, I’ll keep in mind to go for the yearly entry access.

    I’ll surely read your seven tips for free camping so I can figure out where public camping is available. Thanks for the informative post!

    • NJKuhr

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad I could help. I’ve wasted a lot of time and money simply because I didn’t know. With any luck, this will make your trips more pleasant. 

  • Jude

    Hi Jean, thanks for this interesting post. I find the dinosaur national monument really interesting. Echo park in particular is a really cool place for tourists and a great place to network as well. rafting, I particularly enjoy the fact that floating, and fishing accommodations are available. Thanks for giving me a heads up about the fishing license.

    • NJKuhr

      You’re very welcome, I’m glad to peak your interest. This area has struggled with more people visiting southern Utah but I hope this helps both you and Uintah county. 

  • Mike

    Hello there! Wow, this is like the perfect road trip for me. I really enjoy fishing and just being with nature. On top of that, I grew up with dinosaurs so to be able to go to a place named after them sounds exciting. You really planned and thought this trip out well in detail, I definitely would have forgotten about the loss of phone signal when in the area so I am glad you reminded traveler’s about taking a picture of the directions to get there. Great job and thank you for that.

    • NJKuhr

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve made the mistake of getting to used to having phone service, i didn’t save the directions and then couldn’t access them when I need it the most so I try to remind others to save the directions so they have them when internet isn’t available. 

  • Stratos K

    Nice photos you have there. I love to go to natural parks and we have many where I live so looking at this one really made me want to go there. And there seem to be a lot of things to do there with all these small caves and caverns. Interesting place to visit and one to keep in mind for the future. Thank you!

    • NJKuhr

      I hope you do, it’s easily overlooked but this area is amazing and everyone who visits is happy they made the trip. If you have any questions about the area I would be happy to help you out. 

  • Kokontala

    Hi, this is a very interesting article. I am pleased to come across Echo Park, it’s a very beautiful place. It seems a very important place for photographers,  I like the fishing accommodations too. These are kind of places which are inspiring and stress relieving. Our leisure times are worth enjoying, this can be aced by going to the best places and doing the best activities.

    • NJKuhr

      Exactly, we’re losing so much of our wild places, i want to preserve as much as is left as possible. It’s a great resource that should be protected and Dinosaur national park is a special place.

  • Rose

    I like your choices of destinations. I am getting to love your site overall.

    You have shown again another prehistoric art to visit – the Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument. I have also read your article about Petroglyphs and that is a bonus for travelling in this side of Colorado. It will be a great place to visit, the nature, the fresh air and the adventures. I see the calmness of the place even in fishing and rafting, taking note of your advice about the weather.

    I think this is one of the places my husband and I would be visiting. He dreams to travel 7 years from now, I intend to shorten that period through my journey at Wealthy Affiliate. 

    • NJKuhr

      That is a great goal to have. I hope you do get to visit this place, it’s such an underestimated area and deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

  • Jerry

    The USA is a country full of beautiful nature and seeing pictures or movies never ceases to amaze me. It makes me want to go over there immediately. Although I live in Thailand, which has some impressive scenery too ( beaches, jungle), I still like these rough areas in the US. I myself have been up to Seattle and went to see Mt. Rainier, which was impressive, even in November of that year. The view from the overlook at the top of Echo Park is just amazing. And if it is a national park, it also means that it can be altered for whatever reasons. What a heritage!

    • NJKuhr

      Exactly, it’s part of the national monument so it’s protected. I love the Washington and Oregon corner. Everything is so green and fresh but the American southwest is something entirely unique. I hope you get a second chance to come to the US. Utah is one state that really should be a trip all to itself.

  • Kokontala

    Hi, I went through your post n Echo park, dinosaur national monument. I found it very interesting and eye-catchy. I’ve never been to this place before but, by the look of these pictures you posted here, it looks really amazing and makes me feel I’ve missed a lot to have not travelled to this place. Thanks for sharing this amazing piece of writing with us, I will be sharing it further too.

    • NJKuhr

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. This corner of Utah is vastly underestimated and overlook for the 5 national parks to the south, but it deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

  • Steve

    Is rock climbing allowed? I would kill for a bird’s eye view from atop that rock. Though I would have to learn rock climbing first!

    The pictures make this park look like the perfect off grid excursion an introvert like me could use from time to time, very peaceful and perfect for just connecting with nature and escaping the drags of daily life. The caves also seem the ideal spot to just chill off from the hot sun.

    • Norma Kuhr

      Yes, you can. The rock in the main image of this article is called steamboat rock and there is a decent path with anchors already set for climbers. There’s several areas in and around Dinosaur National monument for climbing. Thanks for asking, I should make an adjustment to this article to include this information. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

  • Rachel

    Thank you for sharing this review of Echo Park. I did not know about the National Park Annual Pass but it definitely sounds like a steal if you plan on going to several parks in one years time. I love visiting caves and places to take good nature photos so this sounds right up my ally. I’ll definitely have to look into that National Park pass and see what all falls under that category as I’m not entirely familiar with all of our National Parks.

    • NJKuhr

      It’s a great pass, it’s every national park and monument in the entire united states for a year. Most park’s have an entrance fee of $25 dollars, some that’s only for a day and others the one time fee is valid for 7 days but the Park Pass is every one in the nation for an entire year for $80. so once you visit at least three parks or monuments the pass is already paid for. Dinosaur is one of the most underrated of the US monuments. It’s phenomenal and a place I believe deserves a lot more attention.

  • Rob Keller

    We were supposed to be at Dinosaur National Monument this week. But with all the Covid rules we couldn’t get tickets to the Quarry so we changed our plans and headed to Price, Utah instead. Hoping to see some dinosaurs in this area. 

    We will definitely be putting Echo Park on our must see list for next time. Your article is very informative. On our previous visit to Dinosaur National Monument we only had one day so we just did the Quarry. Next time we will be spending at least a week in the area and glad to find your article to help with our planning on other things to see and do. 

    One of our interests are petroglyphs so we really look forward to seeing the ones there. Today we drove the 46 miles of 9 Mile Canyon near Wellington, Utah. So many petroglyphs there. Have you been through this area?

    Thank you for putting out such an informative article


    • NJKuhr

      Ya, this last year was a mess but I’m glad you want to come back. The quarry is the most well know part of the monument but there’s a lot more available. There entire valley is covered in petroglyphs. It sounds like you’re going to have the time to visit some other very interesting places. I’d recommend adding, Jones hole, The McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs, Fantasy Canyon, and Red Fleet state park, which has a cliff on the lake side you can jump from, it’s a ridge that starts in the water and rises up, you can jump from a few inches for little ones to 10-20 feet depending on how far up the ridge you want to go. The cool thing about this spot is there are dinosaur tracks embedded in the sandstone so you’ll literally being walking in their steps while enjoying the best swimming and beaches in the Basin. Rent a kayak or paddle board and head up the north canyon for a fun day out on the water. It’s the locals favorite watering hole and it’s beautiful. 

  • Parameter

    Hello Jean.

    Thank you for this detail outlook on Dinasaur National Park. Although I am not a professional photographer, but I like nature and mountains and rivers are my major point of attraction. Like you pointed out that the park is open all year round but I will have to watch out for a favorable weather and also it’s very much affordable and even have a free camp option. I will consider a visit this year or early next year 

    • NJKuhr

      The Basin is a great place to visit, and has so much to offer. Outlaw’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid used this area to hide out in between bank robberies, the natural history museum is one of the best and most unique in the country. and we have more outdoor recreational activities than you could fit in a month. I hope you get a chance to see it. 

  • LineCowley

    I’ve never been to Dinosaur National Monument or Echo Park, but from your post and photographs, it seems like a must to visit. You have given me some great tips on how to get the best out of visiting national parks. Buying an annual pass to visit the parks is a no brainer when you only have to pay $80 for the entire year, rather than $25 per visit. 

    Very good advice about getting 2 fishing licences as well and about endangered species that have to be released. Great post.

    • NJKuhr

      Agreed, the park pass is the best deal out there. I take full advantage of mine. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you get to visit. It deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

  • Nina

    I’ve never visited Colorado before. According to your description and presentation, Echo Park is really beautiful and worth a visit. I would love to see the petroglyph panel and Whispering Cave.
    I went to see the pictures again on your Pinterest profile, and I’m thrilled with all the natural wonders of Echo Park.
    Thanks for another great suggestion to visit a beautiful corner of our planet.
    I wish you all the best

    • NJKuhr

      Absolutely. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you get a chance to see it, this place is magic and not enough people even know it’s here.

  • Geoff

    This is a superb introduction to Echo Park.

    You really have made we want to visit.  I love photography and it looks like I would have an absolute field day.

    Fishing isn’t quite my thing, but rafting on the river certainly would be.  I love caves, do that is definitely one place I would go and the native American culture is really up my street.

    Thanks for bringing us this great destination to visit.

    • NJKuhr

      Glad I could help. This place is so underappreciated, and it should be seen a lot more than it does. I hope you do get a chance to come out here, this place has a lot to offer and a beautiful setting to experience it all.

  • Matt

    Thanks for mentioning fishing at Echo Park. I can’t find a lot of info about it. Any suggestions for finding out more? Website? Any tips on good lures or locations?

    • NJKuhr

      Absolutely, as long as you have a fishing license for Colorado you can fish at echo park, the entrance into the park for the turn off to drive to echo park is in Dinosaur Colorado. There’s no entrance fee to enter Dinosaur National Park from this side and not permits needed to fish from the shore. If you have a raft, kayak, or are floating with a fishing boat permits are required and are available at or you can call the national park to get a commercial or private permit to float the Yampa river(435) 781-7700. thanks for such a great question.

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