Keystone Science School will be taking a group of 12-14 year-olds to Dinosaur National Monument for a week-long camp. They will be hiking and whitewater rafting during the day and learning about astronomy at night. For more details see the link at the bottom of this post.

Colorado has adventures around every corner. Plus, we’re driving distance to all sorts of additional places to explore, camp, and experience the joy of being outdoors. However, if spending the night under a starry sky is your goal, you need to go to Dinosaur National Monument.

Off the beaten path, Dinosaur National Monument is on the border of Colorado and Utah. Its gorgeous canyons are carved through the sandstone by the Green and Yampa Rivers.  The Unita Mountains force the rivers into tight channels that create rapids enjoyed by rafters and kayakers. The powerful current of the river reveals the evidence of the Mesozoic Era creatures that earned the park its name.

Since this gem of the Park Service remains under the radar, it doesn’t receive the crowds of some of the nearby National Parks. While there are hiking trails, the smaller crowds allow for off-trail travel in most of the monument. This backcountry access allows for the opportunity to “get into the heart of the wilderness” that John Muir pursued.

Besides the wonderful reasons we’ve already discussed, the reason to go to Dinosaur National Monument is to take in the night sky. The remote location makes it one of the darkest places in the United States. With limited light pollution, the night sky appears in colorful, vivid detail that is no longer visible in most of the places we live.

So often we go into the outdoors to have experiences that inspire, challenge or transform us. The awe of taking in the cosmos is a life-changing experience fewer people experience today. When thinking about your next summer adventure, Dinosaur National Monument should move to the top of your list.  

The information for this post came from National Parks Service Dinosaur National Monument’s Keystone Science School’s Dinosaur National Monument camp. For more information, visit

For more information on Keystone Science School’s Dinosaur National Monument camp click here.