The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway is a 512-mile-long National Scenic Byway in the United States, covering Utah and Colorado. The highway forms a diamond-shaped loop with vertices at Moab, Helper, Vernal, and Grand Junction. Within the Diamond you can get off the beaten path and take a walk or drive and find Indian artifacts from arrow heads to old structures. Along the path you can view Rock Art and Petroglyph along the designated Byway.
The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is a showcase of intrinsic qualities. Its world-class dinosaur, fossil, and archaeological resources, including rock art, are second to none. Its recreational resources alone attract people from all over the globe. The Dinosaur Diamond's natural and scenic resources are so spectacular that two national parks and two national monuments embrace only some of them. The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway delivers discovery and exploration at several sites filled with science and history. The two-state Byway combines opportunities to see dinosaur bones being excavated and prepared by paleontologists for museum display. Visit the museums along the Byway that showcase reconstructed skeletons and fleshed-out recreations of dinosaurs found in the area.
The Dinosaur Diamond's most dramatic resources—the dinosaur, fossils, and archaeological sites—are non-renewable treasures that must be protected for everyone for all time. They form the foundation for an ecotourism based management approach that enables rural economic development and the simultaneous protection of these non-renewable resources.
- What's a Scenic Byway?
Under the Byways Program, certain roads are recognized as scenic byways based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities.
America's Byways are a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories, and treasured places. They are roads to the heart and soul of America. All the roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation are considered part of the America’s Byways collection.
To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the six intrinsic qualities (historic, cultural, natural, scenic, recreational, archaeological). The features contributing to the distinctive characteristics of the corridor’s intrinsic qualities must possess regional significance. To receive an All-American Road designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant, and contain one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road must also be considered a “destination unto itself.” That is, the road must provide an exceptional travelling experience so recognized by travellers that the primary reason for their trip would be to drive along the Byway.
The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway (Dinosaur Diamond) is located in eastern Utah and western Colorado.
Three-quarters of the 512-mile loop are within Utah. The segment within Colorado was designated the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway by the Colorado Transportation Commission on October 27, 1997.
The segment within Utah was designated the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway by the Utah State Legislature in 1998. The Dinosaur Diamond embraces an enormous geographic area and travels through several communities. In Utah the Dinosaur Diamond travels through Vernal, Roosevelt, Duchesne, Price, and Green River.
In Colorado the Dinosaur Diamond travels through the City of Grand Junction and the communities of Fruita, Rangely, and Dinosaur. The Dinosaur Diamond's physical and thematic area of influence is yet larger, and includes the Utah communities of Moab, Monticello, and Blanding as well as the Colorado community of Delta. The Dinosaur Diamond intersects with U.S. Interstate 70 near Green River, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado.