Fans of Disney Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” might consider a road trip this summer to Sweetwater County, Wyoming! Here your family can retrace the imaginary footsteps of Apatosaurus Arlo, the star of the new animated movie, which hit theaters Thanksgiving week 2015.

Road trip to Sweetwater County, Wyoming to Trace the imaginary steps of "The Good Dinosaur." Photo credit: Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

Road trip to Sweetwater County, Wyoming to Trace the imaginary steps of “The Good Dinosaur.” Photo credit: Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

Sweetwater County, Wyoming: Retrace Footsteps of The Good Dinosaur

Road trip and dinosaurs? Why, yes you can at Sweetwater County, Wyoming!

Pack up the family and make it a family vacation to Sweetwater County. Located in Southwest Wyoming, this region inspired the scenery for the new animated film, Disney Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.”

“The Good Dinosaur” film explores a concept in which dinosaurs never became extinct, sharing the story of Arlo and his unlikely friendship with a human boy, Spot. Together, they embark on an epic adventure that forces Arlo to face his fears, learning a lot about himself along the way.
Filmmakers chose to use Wyoming as inspiration for the scenery in the movie that showcases the larger-than-life landscapes and paleontological activities that are present throughout the state. You’ll find a lot to love on your Southwest Wyoming road trip. Sweetwater County is located halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks, so you can also add a fun national park adventure.
For those who want to experience the dinosaur-like setting first-hand, here is a sample two day DINOmite Loop itinerary from Sweetwater County in the southwest portion of Wyoming.
FlamingGorgeSweetwater County

You’ll find dinosaur inspiration in this view of Flaming Gorge, one of many stops on your 2-day Southwest Wyoming road trip. Photo credit: Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

Say Hello to 145 million Year Old Dinosaurs

 Southwest Wyoming Road Trip, Day 1 (195 miles)
  • Start the road trip in Thermopolis, home of the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum. Here, dinosaurs that inhabited the area between 65-145 million years ago are on display.
  • Hop back in the car and set the GPS to Riverton, just 55 miles south. Lunch at Perrett’s for a calzone fit for the hungriest T-Rex. The Stegosaurus of the group will be satisfied by a meatless pasta dish.
  • Head south on Highway 28 toward Farson for a pit stop to pick up a BIG CONE at the Farson Mercantile.
  • Enjoy the giant treat on the way to Rock Springs, just 40 miles down the road. Rock Springs is home to one of only 11 T-Rex skeletons (cast or real) on display in the world! Visit Western Wyoming Community College to check out the five life-sized dinosaur replicas. Spend the night in Rock Springs in one of the town’s 40-plus hotels. Check out Coyote Creek Restaurant for dinner, and enjoy the sweeping landscapes of the Red Desert area.

Flaming Gorge, Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Southwest Wyoming Road Trip, Day 2 (224 miles)
  • On day two, road trip warriors are off to Vernal, Utah, via Highway 191, along the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway on the way to Dinosaur National Monument. The Flaming Gorge is famous for stunning vistas and wildlife through the ages, including modern-day elk, deer and wild horse herds.
  • In Vernal, visit Dinosaur National Monument, the only place in the world that provides an interactive experience with more than 1,500 dino bones and fossils.
  • Head north toward Flaming Gorge, stopping for a relaxing lunch on the patio at Red Canyon Lodge. Afterward, venture toward Kemmerer, Wyoming, along Highway 44 to check out the vast landscapes and imagine the dinosaurs who roamed this land long before humans.
  • The final stop of the day is Fossil Butte National Monument. The fossil records preserved within the Eocene Green River Formation of Fossil Basin is world-renowned. Over 100 years of intensive collecting has revealed a wide diversity of fossil fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and plants.
  • Head back to Green River and stop at the Hitching Post for dinner before settling in for a much-deserved night’s rest at one of Green River’s many lodging properties that offer sweeping views of the rock formations surrounding the town.
A perfect place to explore American history, Sweetwater County is also home to petroglyphs, pioneer trails and historical museums — as well as getting your “The Good Dinosaur” fix..

Sweetwater County, Wyoming