Dinos and Dunes in the Colorado Desert - June 6, 2019 - Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Photo by Balazs Busznyak

Dinos and Dunes in the Colorado Desert

from $2,330 USD per person for 6 days, 5 nights
  • Max Group Size: 9
  • Moderate
  • Road Trip

Venture with us into the Colorado desert to unearth the mysteries of the enormous beasts that once roamed this very same ground. On this six-day road-trip adventure, we’ll dig into the prehistoric past of this wild and rugged terrain, traversing canyons, mountains, deserts, and dunes as we go.

  • Full-day fossil dig
  • Remote hot springs
  • Giant sand dunes
  • Dinosaur experts


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 6. DMNS is located a 35-minute drive from Denver International Airport (DIA). We recommend you arrive in Denver on the evening of Wednesday, June 5 or by 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 6. Our trip concludes on the morning of Tuesday, June 11 back in Denver. Hotel checkout is at 11 a.m, though we’re happy to help extend your stay if you would like to enjoy Colorado on your own. 

Activity Level

This tour will be moderately physically demanding. Participants should be able to hike between 3-5 miles per day at high elevation. There will not be significant uphill hikes, except for people wishing to climb the sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park. We will also be outside in the sun for our full-day dinosaur dig. Sunscreen and water will be provided, but we recommend breathable clothing that covers your skin, along with a wide-brimmed hat.


We’ll be staying at several different hotels and resorts on our journey and there are a variety of rooming configurations available. Single travelers should be prepared to share a room with travelers of the same gender, depending on the composition of the group. A limited single supplement of $180 is available for single travelers who prefer a single room for our nights in Fruita and at the Dinosaur Hotel in South Denver. While at the Joyful Journey Resort, travelers will have the option of staying in heated yurts or in double-occupancy hotel rooms. Most travelers will need to share accommodations at the Joyful Journey. 

Health & Safety

Most of the places visited on this itinerary are above 7,000 feet, which can make physical work feel more demanding. Altitude affects some more than others. Especially if you are sensitive to altitude, we encourage you to arrive a day or two early to acclimate.

Dates and Prices

Jun 06–10, 2019
Shared Room
$2,330 USD per person
Single Room
$2,510 USD per person
The total cost of this trip is $2,330. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space. The deposit is non-refundable after three days. The final payment of $1,830 will be due by April 17, 2019. All reservations will be final after this date and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip's Terms & Conditions. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations in Fruita and Denver, an additional $180 will be due at the time of the final payment.
  • Five nights of lodging in double-accommodation rooms, heated yurts, or private desert lodge rooms.
  • Three breakfasts, daily picnic lunches (don’t worry, we’ll have lots of yummy options), and daily dinners.
  • A guide with deep dinosaur knowledge, and access to local experts.
  • Private transport throughout the trip, in a 15-passenger van.
  • A brand-new headlamp for our after-dark excursions.
  • Entrance to all national parks, museums, and activities.
  • A full-day fossil dig at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry.
  • Recommended reading materials, packing list, and pre-trip information packet.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura dinosaur enthusiasts, excited to learn more about the storied history of Colorado’s western slope.
  • If arriving by air, flights to and from Denver International Airport (DIA), and transportation to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Sand sled rental.
  • If applicable, applying for a U.S. visa.