This travel blog acts as a travel guide that helps you to discover the best things to do in Vernal, Utah. You will find the most popular and best places to visit in Vernal, Utah. Also, you will read the best time to visit in Vernal, Utah, shopping spots, best cheap restaurants, best hotels in Vernal, Utah and also our travelling tips.
If you are a person who enjoys the nightlife, then read the places marked as “Things to do in Vernal, Utah at night”. In case, if you are travelling with kids, then make sure that you read places marked as “Things to do with kids in Vernal, Utah”
You don’t need to search for “tourist destinations near me” on google once you land at Vernal, Utah, because you can find the nearby tourist attractions/places in this post itself.
So let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- Video On “Things To Do In Vernal, Utah”
- Facts about Vernal Utah
- History of Vernal Utah
- Vernal Location and climate
- Special annual events in Vernal, Utah
- Top place to visit in Verna, Utah
- #6. Flaming Gorge Dam
- Restaurants in Vernal, Utah
Video On “Things To Do In Vernal, Utah”
Many of us always choose to spend their time in style, visiting areas with fun things to do in Vernal Utah and attraction sites, among other things. Many tourists have always found something to take back home and share with their friends and family. Yes, we understand there are several fantastic tourist destinations. But believe us when we say that there are parts of the world you haven’t covered.
If only you could include the theme in your list of top places to visit, you shall have covered several tourist destinations by the time you’ll be getting to the 50s. Today, we shall tour the city of Vernal, Utah. Don’t miss somewhere to spend your holiday when there are many things to do in Vernal Utah.
Facts about Vernal Utah
According to the United States statistical records, Vernal is the largest city found in Uintah County, and its located on the northeastern side of Utah. It’s also found on the western side of the Colorado border 20 miles (32km) away. Also, it’s 175miles (280 km) eastern side of Salt Lake City. The census conducted in 2010 discovered that the Vernal city had a population of 9089. However, the number has grown to 10370; that’s according to the 2018 population estimate.
History of Vernal Utah
From the historical records of early settlers of Utah towns, none of them point out Mormon settlers’ existence in Vernal. It’s in 1861 that Brigham Young sent a scouting party to the Uintah Basin area. The report wants that pleasure as they recommended that the place was ideal for hunting ground, holding the world together and nomad purposes. The site was set aside as Uintah Indian Reservation by President Abraham Lincoln in the same year.
Pardon Dodds, appointed as the Indian captain, constructed a cabin by 1868. Later on, many settlers flooded the area and built other houses on different sports near Ashley Creek. The “Hard Winter” of 1879 almost killed many of them. But they lived another day to make the so famous Vernal City we know today.
Vernal Location and climate
Vernal is found in Uintah Basin and is bordered by the Uinta Mountains on the north, Book Cliffs to the south, while blue mountain lies on the east side. Moreover, Vernal city rests on Ashley Valley (a valley named after a (William H. Ashley) trader who managed to go through Green River using a bull boat in 1825). As per the United States Census Bureau, Vernal city has 4.6 square miles (11.9 km2).
Vernal, Utah, is categorized as a cold semi-arid climate with low humidity in terms of weather. Its annual average temperature is often 45 °F (7 °C); however, the mean high temperature is estimated at 61 °F (16 °C) while the mean low temperature gets to 29 °F (−2 °C).
Special annual events in Vernal, Utah
It doesn’t matter which time of the year you are visiting this city. The fact is that you’ll always find something unique to do. This includes the annual events that are still celebrated. Joining the locals in commemorating these events can help you learn the historic and interact with the locals as you make friends too.
Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo
It’s an annual event celebrating since 1930, and it’s very famous to Vernal Residents and the whole world. It’s been featured among the top 5 yearly events. To your surprise, almost 500 contestants sign up for the events every year. The event is usually organized yearly in July, the second weekend. If this time of the year finds you in Vernal, Utah, attempt to attend for you’ll be amazed.
Games, Anime, and More
Let’s hope you are getting us correctly; think of what could occur in such an event. Cartoons, video games, costumes, tournaments, and tabletop games are a few of the activities that dung this event. It’s a bi-annual event that takes place in March and August every year in Uintah county. Vernal hosted the event in 2015. Such an event can help you to relax and display your skills as you become a champion.
The Gun & Knife Show
One kid-friendly thing to do in Vernal Utah includes taking part in The Gun & Knife Show. And they will love the entertainment in the area. If you travel with your kids to Vernal, UT, this can engage them. In such an event, your kid can learn some self-defense tactics at a teenage age.
No! Don’t be baffled; it’s safe for them. They can’t injure one another and mark you; they don’t even use real weapons; it’s more toys that make them feel like the Bulletproof Monk trying to save the scroll. The event takes place on the first Sunday and Saturday of March.
The Home, Garden & Outdoor Sports Show
An annual event is usually hosted by KVEL and KLCY radio stations. You should expect this shoe to include home improvement, outdoor equipment, gardening, and related information. If you have a passion for learning gardening techniques from a foreign land, then you can always be present at the vent. This happens every first Friday & Saturday of April.
Tournament of Champions wrestling
Vernal has been hosting the Tournament of Champions wrestling tournament (for high school students) since 1973. In Utah’s entire state, Vernal is the only place where high school wrestlers come from all over the intermountain region states. Always check out if there is any tournament because it never misses.
Outlaw Trail Festival of the Arts
No one hates entertainment, that’s what we are sure of. The only problem is what kind of entertainment you will be watching. Well, this is a show to watch as there are juries to preside over the art competition, the performance is always excellent, and you’ll meet able and upcoming events with dreams of changing the music industry, their innovation d and talents. This show has been held in Vernal for the past 26 years, and plays take place in June of which it runs for several weeks.
Other key events
Outlaw Trail Theater: If you are the kind of tourist who loves watching stage plays, then you can benefit from this event, which takes place every summer, that’s in June & July.
Pioneer Day: this is the day when the people of Utah celebrated the founder of the state. The activities include Parades, fireworks, rodeos, and several other activities that will make your day fantastic
Uintah County Fair: take place on the second week of June, Thursday to Saturday each year
Dinaland Car Show: watch racing cars every year in July
Ashley Valley Farmers’ Market: the best shopping season which occurs between July to September
Top place to visit in Verna, Utah
Verna is considered a cradle of history as there are many things you can do and see in the city. Briefly, Dinosaur National Monument, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, and Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History Museum are just about the best tourist sites you should never leave Vernal without visiting. Let’s look at these best things to see and do in Vernal Utah.
#1. Dinosaur National Monument
For centuries now, Dinosaur National Monument has held the historical information of the ancient animals in the area. When narrated as a story, one would believe that Dinosaurs ever existed in this universe. But when you get the opportunity to visit Dinosaur National Monument, the information will completely change, and you’ll find a story to tell for the days of your life.
If you are looking for the best place to visit with kids or take an educational tour in Vernal, Utah, this is the best place. Why are there over 1500 dinosaurs engraved in the face of the rock wall, that’s if you get to visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Over 11 species fossils have been preserved in this location. Believe us when we say this place is not only dinosaurs, there are a lot more to learn.
As we have said, the exhibit hall was constructed in this very monument that was set aside to protect the area as the primary source of the dinosaur foliose were all being excavated from this area. Aside from the fossils, you will encounter impressive scenic drives, a tour of Tilted Rocks, and the Indian petroglyphs. This place is found on the Utah/Colorado border towards the northwest corner of Colorado. Things to do in Dinosaur National Monument include hiking, rafting, riding, and driving.
Camping in Dinosaur National Monument
Suppose you want to spend a night or two, then you want to have a problem finding a space. However, you should know that there are no restaurants or logging around, although there is a high stand campground where you can spend a happy time with your family or friends. However, getting to this place will require a pass. Pedestrians and cyclists pay $10; motorcycles pay $15 while vehicles pay $20; that’s a 7-day pass. Also, you’ll need to apply for a backcountry permit, especially for backcountry camping. However, you don’t have to pay a cent to get it.
Split Mountain Campground: the campground is located 4 miles to the eastern side of the dinosaur quarry. During summer, the camp only takes reservations for group camping charged at $25 per night. 0only 20 people are allowed per site challenging during other times of the year, the camp ones for individual camping. Water, restroom, shades, firepits, boat lunch, and tables are among the advantages you get. You can make a reservation by clicking Split Mountain Campground or calling 877-444–6777
Rainbow Park Campground: the company is located towards the end of Island Park road 28miles aways from the dinosaur quarry. It’s a two-tents site that’s always open all year round, and no reservation fee is required. No RV is allowed; no water or pit latrines available in the area.
Green River Campground: the best campground if you are looking f0or a space to intermingle with many tourists. It has sufficient space for 80 sites for Rv and tents. It’s found on the east of the dinosaur quarry 5 miles away. It includes various essential amenities. You can make your reservation for April to October, and the fee is $12 per night. If you need to make a reservation, you can visit the Green River Campground reservation or call 877-444–6777 or
#2. Fantasy Canyon
For those who love nature and wish to see the existing wonders, then the spectacular rock formation at Fantasy Canyon will surprise. You can take amazing pictures until you run out of your storage because they are too fantastic. Moreover, you should visit when the sun isn’t too harsh as you’ll get enough light to illuminate your pictures. You may think you are in a movie while, in reality, you are walking and watching a gift nature has awarded Vernal city.
Located south of Verbal, this best Vernal tourist attraction site will make your day a dazzling one. Mark, you’ll only need 1 hour to get to the place while coming from Vernal. Expect to see the red rocks with sediments; if you look around, you’ll realize that more stores are attached to each rock formation. There is a 4-mile dirt passenger car-friendly road that will take you to the parking lot. From the packing, you can start gazing at the miraculous rock formations.
Assume you are a team, and you want to take a challenge; you can assign yourselves the task of finding the rock formations. Though you don’t have to do this if your time is limited. There is a map that defines how you can identify the rock formations through the trail system. Some of the unique landmarks you have to see include The Screaming Man, The Flying Witch, The Diving Otter, and The Yawning Lady.
You’ll be surprised to see how massive the rock formations have devolved, almost 10ft high with spires, crannies, curves, and nooks. It wasn’t someone’s work; they are all-natural creations. if you aren’t sure, then you can check on the metal marks to identify the unique rock formation for the Fantasy canyon
We think the person who named this best tourist attractions in Vernal Utah, didn’t do it some justice. With all those fossils and dinosaur replicas, why wasn’t it just called the Dinosaur Museum? Well, that aside, it’s not our role to question the naming of the museum. But this place is a hotbed of preserved historical artifacts that existed back in the days of Pennsylvanian and Pleistocene. But a visit to this scenic location will enable us to have a clear picture of how the dinosaurs looked like.
Outside the museum, there is a Dinosaur garden, regarded as a prehistoric zoo filled with full-size replicas of dinosaurs that range from Pennsylvanian to Pleistocene. You’ll also see a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus having 6-inch knife-like teeth, six-ton Stegosaurus, horned Triceratops, winged Pteranodon, plus other animal replicas. The museum I located 175 miles on the east side of Salt Lake City in Vernal City.
The museum is a gigantic structure with 22000 square feet of space whose aim was to preserve Utah’s Uinta Basin’s history. Aside from the dinosaur fossils, there are also cultural and education material displays. We would say Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History Museum is among the top scene with kid friendly things to do in Vernal Utah. To get to the museum, adults need to pay an admission fee of $7, but if you are Utah resident,
you pay only $3.5. children pay $3.5 unless they are less than five years in which they will be admitted free.
Restaurants near to Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History Museum
After spending your time at the Utah Fieldhouse of the Natural History Museum, you may need the best restaurants from there. You can take some fantastic dishes. Luckily, some restaurants within the area will provide you with the best meals to quench your American, Mexican, or Italian Cuisine appetite. The restaurants include King Tut & Dinosaur Cafe, Eleven Ranch Restaurant, Plaza Mexicana Restaurant Inc, Quarry Steakhouse, Vernal Brewing Co, La Cabana Restaurant, Dinosaur Brew Haus, and Bettys Café.
#4. Red Fleet State Park
Many tourists often look down upon this fantastic place bearing in mind that’s been shadowed by the Flaming Gorge and the Dinosaur National monument. Moreover, it is located 12 miles away to the north of Vernal Utah. While innocently resting on the east side of Flaming Gorge. If you want to travel safely without any problem to the best place to visit in Vernal, UT, then you can opt for a rented SUV to make for easy and comfortable commuting. There is a large reservoir about 650-acre that provides enough space for locals and tourists to entertain themselves without worrying about overcrowding.
Things to do at Red Fleet State Park
Anytime you set your feet on this land, you’ll not regret visiting Vernal as there are fun things to do near Vernal Utah. There is a massive rock slab imprinted with over a hundred dinosaur footprints. The main activity you could do in this please is hiking. Step back in time 200 million years ago as you hike on the dinosaur footprints. Interact with nature as you see the different plant species and animals found within the area. Besides hiking, opt for mountain-biking trails, and at the far end, you’ll find yourself at the beach.
Aside from hiking, water sports activities are also popular in this area. Don’t worry about how you’ll get your canoe or kayak for enjoying the water activities. You’ll find stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canes for hire within the site at an affordable cost. If you need some training, then you can still get lessons. If you believe you can be a good fisherman, then don’t be disappointed; finishing in Red Fleet State Park is an everyday activity.
We can’t underrate this area because it has a well-maintained dock that accommodates bigger boats. You don’t have to go home because there is a larger camping area for anyone who wants to view the dazzling moon as they breathe the fresh air within these fantastic tourist attractions in Vernal Utah. Things to do in Vernal Utah in the winter include snowmobiling.
#5. Moonshine Arch
Moonshine Arch is the best tourist attraction site for those who love making new discoveries for themselves. Moreover, it’s located 8 miles north of Vernal; you may choose to drive to the destination, but at the time point, while traveling, go the Moonshine arch, you’ll need to walk to the site to get a better view. The winding path may be tiresome, and you think you have lost your direction until you come across the many metallic green makings.
As you move around, these markings will guide you up to the last winding. Only then will you encounter an enormous Moonshine arch, 40 feet high and 85 feet long. It’s not a famous scene. As a result, it’s not been fenced; neither does it contain railings or any improvements. When visiting the place during the summer, we recommend coming with your pack lunch and sufficient water because you may not find nearby restaurants.
From the arch, you can take a perfect picture of the Steinecker Reservoir plus other areas around Moonshine Arch. When you are tired and feel like you should relax, check out the caverns behind the Moonshine Arch and rest before you begin your return journey. Additionally, you can take the challenge and climb the arch, but you should be careful to slide. But if climbing isn’t your thing, then you can also walk under the arch.
#6. Flaming Gorge Dam
Having been completed in 1964, Flaming Gorge Dam has now become more than a water storage area and hydroelectric power. Many tourists flood this area as it features the best things to do in Vernal Utah to see the scene with a relaxed and refreshing breeze. Moreover, the US Bureau of Reclamation manages the dam, and, so far, it’s the only hydroelectric dam within the Green River system.
What’s more, visitors center where a massive 3D model stands; film and interpretative displays also fill the place that acts as education contents and entertainment pieces. Free things to do in Vernal, Utah, includes a free guided tour from April 15 to October 15thdd, beginning from 9-5 pm daily. On the northern side of the parking lot, you’ll get visitors to the Dam Point Trial, a place with the best fishing ground and pectin area.
#7. Uintah County Heritage Museum
A place that preserves the history of the area can give you a clear picture of life during those times when power and electricity were imagined. Uintah County Heritage Museum is within the main street in Verbal, Utah. There are no admission fees required for entrance; in fact, your kids may benefit from this tour more than you can imagine. Outside the museum, you’ll see a military memorial. This recognizes all soldiers and heroes from Vernal, Utah, who fought in various USA wars. Also, from the outside, a helicopter suspends, and it can be seen from a passing car. The problem could be the only place with kid friendly things to do in Vernal Utah
There is something for your kid at the front desk, you know what that is, okay, when the kid gets in, they get an alphabetical scavenger Hunt and visual scavenger hunt challenge. This can be the best way to keep your kids active as they search through various materials to accomplish their quests. If the kids complete, perhaps they may win a treat to reward their efforts. Uintah County Heritage Museum has two floors, all crowded with unusual artifacts of all time.
From the first floor, you’ll set your eyes on the artifacts that focus on Vernal history. These include tools, early explorers, technological advancement, and transportation. There is also another section that strictly addresses Native American history. This place contains various information about the industries and businesses in Vernal. It’s not yet time to leave; let’s get to the upper floor where you’ll see weapons and firearms. Also, the glass case has proclaimed dolls of the first ladies.
#8. Ashley Valley Community Park
Ashley Valley Community Park is not only a place for kids to play but also a fantastic place where you can bring your loved one. It’s probably the most giant pack in Vernal, and you’ll find lots of amenities, including a parking lot, drinking water, bathrooms, and a picnic area. It’s also friendly for pets to not leave your pet behind when entering the park. The design in which this park is made featuring both community and family needs in which you’ll never miss something to keep you occupied and entertained.
The vast playground areas and picnic space are essential for those seeking to spend some quality time in the afternoon with their family or friends. When you don’t feel like running in the field or letting your kids enjoy time in the playgrounds, then you can still relax on the gazebo. Included are four baseball diamonds, three fields, a bike/skate park, horseshoes, and sand volleyball pits. To connect to the management, you can call them on 435-781-0982
#9. Jarvie’s Ranch
This fantastic ranch was built by a Scotsman named John Jarvie along the Green River. It was a place where travelers and locals in this wild area used to keep their goods. This strategic location was ideal for fur trappers, Indians, residents, and travelers who used to cross the river. You could find the post office, store, cemetery, and river ferry on the ranch. Today, you’ll find a one-roomed stone house constructed by outlaw Jack Bennett.
There are other amazing things to see and do in Vernal Utah famous ranch, including the original safe broken down by robbers that murdered Jarvie, a replica of the shop built in 1881, and two-room dugout, a place where John and his wife Nellie lived at first. Take your time and watch some videos that explain how the site looked like in the days of John Jarvie.
#10. Ashley National Forest
This fantastic natural position of Vernal is found in the northeastern part of Utah and Wyoming. It covers 1384132 acres (96223 acres in Wyoming and 1,287,909 acres in Utah). The elevation is within the range of 6000-13300 feet. This can be the best Vernal attraction site if you prefer spending some moments in the natural forest. You can also enjoy climbing, bird watching, and fishing.
There are amazing animals including moose, bear, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, elk, and antelope. There are various camping grounds that you can spend a night or two at, but remember the area is undeveloped, so you have to come with your caravan. Hiking can be a significant activity in this area as you walk along the forest’s 1000 miles trails.
Top things to do near Ashley National Forest
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: to get to this place it will require 1½ hr. Drive from Vernal. It is located close to Utah and Wyoming’s border, and its beautiful look welcomes visitors year in year out. Prepare for fishing, boating, hiking, and camping.
Red Cloud Loop: this is a dirt road located 15 miles to the north of Vernal. It’s a perfect route that gives you clear views of Uinta Mountain. Driving through the 70miles loop may take you 3 hours, but along the way, you’ll see open mountain meadows, colorful canyon walls, thick trees plus rugged & varied landscape.
Petroglyphs: this is an ancient artistry technique in which drawings were made on stones. The drawing gives an idea of the tribes that lived and hunted in this place long ago. For centuries, the drawings have been preserved, and for the current generation, you can sympathize with those who lived in the past. Life was so simple, and there was no complication; they had no complicated technology our artists live Octavio uses today.
Restaurants in Vernal, Utah
It doesn’t matter where you are heading, but we understand the need to find somewhere unique to take your breakfast, lunch, or supper. Only the best restaurants can offer that. As a result, we have compiled a list of top restaurants you can find in Vernal.
- Cafe Rio: when in need of fast-casual Mexican food, this is the pace of visits. The potions may be huge, but you’ll enjoy them. Please don’t leave without ordering their delicious tortillaQuarry Steakhouse: this is a marvelous place for taking some great local beer and good food. It’s downtown of Vernal.
- Dinosaur Brew Haus: this is a lovely place of looking for some tasty fish and chips plus unique beer to top it up.
- Betty’s Café: don’t spend much when you can satisfy breakfast at an astonishing price here.
When we talk about the top 10 things to do in Vernal Utah, you’ll realize that you can spend over a month but still won’t cover all these great Vernal tourist attractions. However, organizing your journey can be a way of ensuring you cover all tourist attractions in Vernal Utah. It’s also good to ensure you have booked accommodation in time to get a peaceful resting moment. If visiting the place during the holiday, they may overcrowd and ensure you avail yourself in time, but if there is a booking option, they make some reservation so your RV can get somewhere to pork.
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