Fossils, Canyons, and Wildlife
Almost everywhere in this dry landscape is evidence of the ancient past. The colorful sandstone in this region encases some of America’s richest and most famous fossil beds, the namesake of Dinosaur National Monument and its nearest town. Echo Canyon is Colorado’s answer to the Grand Canyon – broad and braided, carved out of thousands of layers of sedimentary rock by the Green River. On top of the fossil-bearing rock is a mosaic of thriving modern animal and plant communities. On this trail you may find characteristic species of the northern Great Basin, such as white-tailed prairie-dogs and Greater Sage-Grouse, alongside creatures of the southwestern junipers, including Gray Vireos, Scott’s Orioles, and even the rare and elusive ringtail. Along the river bottoms, Lazuli Buntings mingle with the occasional Indigo, and Gray Catbirds vie for song perches with Yellow-breasted Chats and Blue Grosbeaks. Few places can cater so well to both a paleontologist’s and a naturalist’s tastes.