Dinosaur, Colorado

To Dinosaur National Monument

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.

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