Thing to Do

Drive the Harpers Corner Road

The paved Harpers Corner Road winds around yellow sandstone buttes dotted with desert shrubs.
The Harpers Corner Road is winding and steep in some places.

NPS / Molly Swindle

The Harpers Corner Scenic Drive is a paved 31 mile (50 km) road that starts at the Canyon Visitor Center and ends at Harpers Corner. The road is typically closed in winter, and reopens in spring when conditions allow.

While there aren't any dinosaur fossils in this section of the park, Harpers Corner Road offers a perfect getaway for those looking to escape noise and crowds. The road is lined with striking viewpoints and overlooks into Dinosaur's scenic canyon country. The last section includes views from as high as 2500 feet (762 m) above the Green and Yampa rivers. Harpers Corner Road is also the jumping-off point for several paved paths and hiking trails. All overlooks along the route are wheelchair accessible.

Driving Conditions: 
The road is accessible for most RVs and trailers. It is winding and ascends nearly 1,600 feet (484 m) in elevation. Low gear is required near the Plug Hat Butte Area. Steep drops away from the road are visible in several places.

Amenities:
Fuel, food, water, and other services are not available along the Harpers Corner Road. The nearest services are in Dinosaur, Colorado, two miles west of the Canyon Visitor Center on U.S. Highway 40
Details
Most visitors take about 45 minutes to an hour to drive the Harpers Corner Road one-way, without stops. Round-trip, this road usually takes a minimum of 1.5 to 2 hours to drive. Recreational activities, such as hiking and stopping at sites of interest, will add more time to your trip.
Leashed pets are allowed at all overlooks and picnic areas. Leashed pets are also permitted on the paved trails in the Plug Hat Butte area. Pets are not allowed on the Ruple Point Trail or the Harpers Corner Trail. 
Visitors must pay the park entrance fee or show a valid pass at the Entrance Station or Quarry Visitor Center. There is no separate or additional fee for this activity.
The Harpers Corner Road begins at the Canyon Visitor Center near Dinosaur, Colorado. From here, the road runs mostly in a north-south direction for 31 miles (50 km). The road ascends, winding along outcroppings of sandstone until it ends at the Harpers Corner Parking Lot and Trailhead.
Harpers Corner Road is typically open from late spring through fall. Regardless of the season, inclement weather can render the road impassable. The road is typically closed in winter. 
Accessibility Information
Wheelchair Accessibility:
All overlooks along the drive are paved and wheelchair accessible. The Plug Hat Butte Area and Iron Springs Bench Overlook both offer relatively flat, paved paths about 3 feet wide. Wheelchair users generally find them accessible, although some assistance may be required. 

Restroom Information:
Restrooms with flush toilets are available seasonally at the Canyon Visitor Center (they are not open in winter). Vault toilets are located at the following locations along the drive: 
  • Plug Hat Butte Picnic Area
  • Canyon Overlook
  • Island Park Overlook
  • Echo Park Overlook
  • Harpers Corner Parking Lot
The longest stretch of road without a restroom is between Plug Hat Butte and Canyon Overlook, a distance of 16 miles (26 km). 

Dinosaur National Monument

A map showing the length, features, and sites of interest along Harpers Corner Road.
The Harpers Corner Road offers scenic views of Dinosaur's rivers and canyons. It also serves as the jumping-off point for several paved paths and hiking trails.

NPS

Last updated: December 1, 2021