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Jones Hole Trail

This popular trail has much to offer - a scenic canyon, several Fremont Indian archeological sites, bountiful wildlife and great fishing. It is an easy trail that wanders along the creek from the National Fish Hatchery to its junction with the Green River. This is a beautiful fall hike, enhanced by the chance to see small herds of bighorn sheep along the trail.


Trail Map

4545 E. Highway 40
Dinosaur, CO 81610
970-374-3000 (Gen Info)
435-781-7700 (Quarry Visitor Center)
970-374-3003 (Fax)
8 miles
Time to Allow

Customizable Directions


From Vernal, proceed north on US Hwy 191. About a mile north, looked for a marked right-hand turn. Follow this paved road about 40 miles to the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery. Park here and wander down through the concrete fish rearing pens. Look for the trail register and signboard - the four-mile trail starts here following Jones Creek , which begins as a spring at the National Fish Hatchery. Shady box elder trees and lush greenery surround along some portions of the trail, on other short stretches you find dry grassland flats sprinkled with sagebrush, juniper and cactus. The hiking is easy since the trail stays fairly level, changing only 200 feet in elevation. The walls of the canyon tower overhead almost 2,000 feet high. After about 1 3/4 miles, a short marked side trail leads you to remnants of the ancient Fremont Indian culture (shelter site & pictographs). After 2 miles, Ely Creek comes in from a side canyon and some picnic tables make for a great lunch spot. Jones Hole was named by famed explorer John Wesley Powell on his historic 1871 expedition down the Green River. But local residents say the name really took hold after an incident in 1883 involving a burly fellow named Charlie Jones. Believing that he had killed a man, Charley hid out here for a winter. When he later heard that the man had lived and he had not killed anyone, Charley in relief exclaimed, "You mean I can finally get out of this Hole?" And thus the name.


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