The history of Uintah County goes back to the dinosaur age. Evidences of Dinosaurs, such as bones and fossilized footprints, have been left in the region. Much later, the Fremont Indians and, more recently, the Ute Indians have inhabited this area. Rock art can be seen on many of the canyon walls even today. In 1776 the Dominguez and Escalante expedition stopped here. The Ashley valley was named after William Henry Ashley, one of the early trappers, who traveled many times through the area. In 1861 a group sent by Brigham Young to explore the area declared it a “waste and valueless.” Then in 1873 a group of people entered the Ashley valley to raise livestock an industry that has become very important to the area. Vernal, the county seat, was set up around 1880 when the residents of the area were protecting themselves from a group of hostile Indians.
Today, many visitors visit the area to see the Dinosaur National Monument, a national monument established to protect a major quarry and the surrounding area. In the city of Vernal visitors can see the remarkable Utah Field House of Natural History State Park with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Uintah County provides many scenic drives, such as the Red Cloud/Dry Fork Scenic Backway that provides beautiful vistas, early rock art, and forest views. Nearby Fantasy Canyon provides the visitor a look at rock formations that you’re sure you’ve seen before in storybooks. Two state parks in the county, Red Fleet and Steinaker State Park, help provide water and recreation throughout the year.
More information for Uintah County can be found at the following sites:
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Ghost Towns in Uintah
- Go-Utah.com - Vernal
- Uintah Basin Teaching American History Project
- Utah.com - Red Fleet State Park
- Utah.com - Vernal
- Utah Counties Profile - Uintah County
- Utah History Encyclopedia - Uintah County
- Utah History for Kids - Uintah County
- U.S. Census Quickfacts - Uintah County
- Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce
- Visit Utah - Vernal