Utah Is Getting 2 New State Parks — and One Is Named After the State Dinosaur
One will honor the state dinosaur, while the other will be around a popular reservoir.
Utah is getting two new state parks — and one of them comes with a serious roar.
Utahraptor State Park, named for the state's dinosaur, and Lost Creek State Park, around the Morgan County reservoir, will officially become the state's 45th and 46th state parks, as Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill designating $37 million to establish them earlier this month, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Located about 15 miles north of Moab, Utahraptor State Park will be in the Dalton Wells area in Grand County, where the dinosaur fossils were first found in 1975, according to The Spectrum. The feathered dinosaur that dwarfed the velociraptor, made famous by Jurassic Park, had nine-inch claws and could grow up to 20 feet tall, the Deseret News explained. After tossing around different names — including spielbergi for the movie's director, Steven Spielberg — they decided to honor the state with Utahraptor ostrommaysi, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The hope is that the new status will help with fossils being stolen from the area, Fox 13 Salt Lake City reported.
"This bill has been over 100 million years in the making, and its time has come," Steve Eliason, Utah state representative, said on the house floor back in February. The 6,500-acre site also has 50 miles of multiuse trails, including the Fallen Peace Officer Trail and Sovereign Singletrack trail system, as well as camping facilities, The Spectrum reported.
The area was also used as a Conservation Corps Camp and "relocation" center during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the support letter explained.
Meanwhile, Lost Creek's new status takes it from its previous name of Lost Creek Reservoir to Lost Creek State Park. Located about 10 miles northeast of Croydon, it's a popular spot for fishing rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as boating and water sports.