Population: Home to approximately 300 + or -
Proximity: 86 miles west of Craig, Colorado: 18 miles NW of Rangely Colorado: 33
miles east of Vernal Utah. 3 miles to Utah State line.
Employment base: Rangely Oilfield, Federal Government.
Early settlers to the Dinosaur area were as rugged as the surrounding countryside.
Stories related to me by old timers such as Stanley (Bud) Biles and Emmett Martin
painted a picture of extreme hardship. Poor grazing land with little water, hot summer
days and terrible wintertime blizzards. I heard stories of the early days, before
the town built a jail, when the local law enforcement officer would handcuff a prisoner
to a tree as a form of encarceration.
The town came to life in the 1940's and was named Artesia, perhaps because of the
artesian well that supplies the town with near perfect water. The name change to
Dinosaur came later in what was a hotly debated issue. Many folks hoped that the
newly formed Dinosaur National Monument ties would bring more tourism into the area,
and others expressed a problem with mail delivery - much of the local mail ended
up in Artesia NM.
Sometime during the 40's or 50's, Wiley's Resort - best described as a gambling,
dancing and drinking establishment came into being just west of the town of Dinosaur.
On my last visit to the area the last remnants of the overnight cabins were being
dismantled. Perhaps some of you would be good enough to share more information on
Wiley's by e-mail.
Gasoline/Light Groceries: Gateway Conoco 970- 374-2366
Restaurant: B & B Restaurant 970-374-2744
Motel & Liquor Store Terrace Motel 970-374-2241
Corrections and/or additions are welcome to this page by e-mail.