You are welcome to visit Jones Hole NFH at any time of the year. Dust off those boots as you hike to Dinosaur National Monument in the spectacular surroundings or try your luck landing 'the big one' in Jones Hole Creek. Be sure to bring your binoculars and test your wildlife knowledge while hiking or fishing.
Jones Hole NFH is located on the Utah-Colorado border, 40 miles northeast of Vernal, Utah. Take Diamond Mountain Road from Vernal, which will merge into Jones Hole Road 20 miles in, until you reach the dead-end at which the hatchery is located. The paved road from Vernal to Jones Hole is periodically closed by snow drifts in the winter months. During the spring thaw, melting snow can become ice on the roadway as temperatures drop below freezing. Please use extra care when visiting the Hatchery during these two seasons. For planning purposes, check climatic conditions in Vernal, as they tend to be very similar to those at Jones Hole. Come prepared for a day of fun!
The Jones Hole Trail is a 4-mile hike (8-mile roundtrip) that begins from the parking lot at Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery. Located on Dinosaur National Monument land, the trail will follow Jones Creek, which begins as a spring at the Hatchery, and through a narrow canyon in the Diamond Mountain range eventually terminating on the banks of the Green River.
The hiking is easy since the trail stays fairly level, changing only about 200-feet in elevation. You should bring your own drinking water (water from the creek is not recommended for drinking), and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Be on the lookout for Bighorn Sheep as they like to hangout close the creek.
During the hike, after you cross Jones Creek on a bridge approximately 1½-miles down the trial from the hatchery, you can find several panels of Fremont petroglyphs and pictographs along the canyon wall. Left behind by the indigenous Fremont people whom made Jones Hole their home 1000 years ago, these pictographs were made with paint created from iron minerals mixed with plant juice or animal oil. Although this paint is durable to withstand the effects of time, it cannot resist the acids on your skin so please do not touch the pictographs.
After two miles, Jones Hole Trail will intersect with Island Park Trail at Ely Creek. A short hike up Island Park Trail will take you to a small waterfall where you can cool off from the heat of the day.
For more information visit the National Park Service Dinosaur National Monument website.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Jones Hole NFH is part of a larger Utah Fisheries Complex with administrative officers in Vernal, Utah.
Rules and Policies
- Pets are not allowed on this trail
- Please carry out all trash
- Collecting artifacts, fossils, or plants is prohibited
- Do not feed or approach wildlife
- Avoid touching the petroglyphs and pictographs
No camp sites are available at Jones Hole NFH for overnight camping; however, Dinosaur National Monument maintains a remote camp site two miles downstream of the hatchery on the Jones Hole Creek trail. Reservations are required and can be made through the Monument by calling (970) 374-3000.