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One of the Top 50 Small Cities in the U.S.

While the Uinta Basin was originally founded on agriculture and ranching, the area is now a major hydrocarbon producer, and Vernal City serves as the hub of these vast natural resources in northeastern Utah. Vernal’s present economy revolves around the oil and gas industry, enjoying the prosperity that comes with boom years, but suffering periodic busts as well. Among the other products mined from the earth here are Gilsonite, coal, phosphate, oil shale, and asphalt.

Vernal is also a starting point for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists who visit Ashley National Forest, the High Uinta Mountains, with their sparkling natural lakes, and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The wild Green River watershed, including Split Mountain, Yampa, and Echo canyons, attracts river runners from around the world.

Dinosaur National Monument, established in 1915 after the discovery of an ancient dinosaur fossil bed, lies fourteen miles east of Vernal. The Utah Field House of National History and Dinosaur Gardens, which showcase numerous prehistoric artifacts, call Vernal’s Main Street home and attract thousands of visitors annually. This archeologically-rich region is known as Dinosaurland and provides Vernal with its Apatosaurus-like mascot, Dina.

Not to be outdone by their predecessors, Vernal residents today still take pride in their city. As one of the best equipped inland cities in America, Vernal was named to the top fifty list of small cities in America in 1993 and again in 1995. By 2002, the city’s population has grown to approximately 7,000 residents in a county of 25,000 people. Civic and government organizations continue to be actively involved in the community, promoting economic growth, supporting youth programs, and undertaking city beautification projects, such as the establishment of Cobble Rock Park.

This is #11 of the 21 stop history walking tour in downtown Vernal, Utah. See the other stops on this page:

This marker is located at Cobble Rock Park, which is at 25 South Vernal Avenue in Vernal, Utah.