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Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

The Jones Hole Trail is located in the northern section of Dinosaur National Monument (DNM) on the Utah side – DNM also stretches across to Colorado. This area and trailhead (TH) is home to the Jones Hole National Fish Hatcherywhere rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout are raised to stock areas in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. The Jones Hole Creek runs alongside the hatchery, and eventually flows into the Green River, where the trail ends. The trail itself is very mellow, gradually descending as it reaches the confluence. Take a short side trip to Ely Falls and the pictographs, before continuing down stream. Big Horn sheep are often spotted in this canyon.

From Vernal, UT use this map.

Head North on Main St., then turn right onto 500 N Street. In 6 miles, veer left onto Diamond Mountain Road. This main road will turn into Jones Hole Road. Stay on this until you reach the Fish Hatchery. The trail starts from the parking lot, on the south side. The road is paved the entire way. There are no public restrooms at the TH.

Distance: 9 miles RT (including Ely Falls)

Elevation gain: 562 ft (on the way back to the TH)

Time: 4-6 hours

Dog friendly? No, dogs are not allowed on this trail.

Kid friendly? No, due to distance

Fees/Permits? None

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

First we checked out the main area, at the Quarry Visitor Center. We camped at the Split Mountain Campground, then headed over to the Jones Hole area, which is about an hour away. Follow Moqui the Vans’ adventures at @sprint2slowdown on Instagram!

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Park in the main lot, then walk towards the SW corner and you’ll see some stairs.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Now you’ll see the official signs for for trail.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Walk alongside the fish hatchery and metal fences.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Pass some more trail signs. Sadly, no dogs are allowed on this trail. Charlie was home with his Dad for this trip.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

You’ll immediately see the creek, and the canyon begins to deepen and the walls get taller.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

This canyon is so pretty!

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

The trail is really easy to follow, and once again the canyon opens up.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Cross the one and only bridge.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Just after the bridge, on your right side, you’ll see some faint side trails leading up to the rock. This is where all the pictographs are located (see map below), This big horn sheep is the most famous out of all of them. Just a reminder that touching or removing rock art is illegal.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

More pictographs, made by the Fremont culture.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Roughly half way to the Green River, you’ll see the trail split sign for Ely Falls. The sign says 1/2 mile, but it felt like 1/2 RT, not one way. It only took us about 15 minutes RT to see it. I would highly suggest stopping by to see them.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

On the way to Ely Falls.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Ely Falls was much smaller and shorter than I pictured, but still a fun side trek. I bet in the middle of summer this would be so fun to stand under and cool off!

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Back on the main trail, you’ll pass the small campsite on your right (not pictured). There’s also a port-a-potty there. You do need a backcountry camping permit to camp there, which can be picked up at the Quarry Visitor Center.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

So nice to be in tank tops in February!

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Eventually the trail opens up more.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Keep following the main trail as you approach the Green River.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Reach the official TH end!

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

Pano of the Green River looking East.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

At the Green River looking West.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

As you know by now, Lindsay will swim anywhere, any time, any month. Be careful of swimming here, as the current is very strong. She walked out far enough to just where she could dunk.

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

 We made it back to the van to meet up with Sarah again – she didn’t hike since she was still getting over a cold.

 

Jones Hole Trail Map

Exploring Dinosaur National Monument

Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

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Hiking the Jones Hole Trail, Dinosaur National Monument

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