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19 Best Things to do in Vernal Utah You Need to Try!

19 Best Things to do in Vernal Utah You Need to Try!

Looking for things to do in Vernal Utah? You have come to the right place!

Vernal, Utah is a small town located in the eastern part of the state, known for its rich natural history and outdoor recreation opportunities. Nestled in the shadow of the beautiful Uinta Mountains, Vernal is the perfect place for nature lovers to explore and experience all that the great outdoors has to offer.

From hiking and mountain biking in the Uinta Mountains to fishing in the Green River, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. In addition to its stunning natural surroundings, Vernal is also home to several cultural attractions, including the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, the Western Heritage Museum, and the Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum.

These museums offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural history of the region. Other popular activities in Vernal include rock climbing and whitewater rafting, as well as birdwatching at Steinaker State Park and touring the Uintah Basin Brewery to sample some local craft beer. With so much to see and do, Vernal is a great destination for a nature-filled getaway.

Look no more for what to do in Vernal with these awesome ideas.

19 Best Things to do in Vernal Utah You Need to Try!

1. The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Vernal, Utah. Located in the heart of the Uintah Basin, the museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the natural history of the region.

Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of exhibits, including fossil displays, interactive exhibits, and educational displays about the geology, flora, and fauna of the area. One of the best things to do at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is to take a self-guided tour through the museum’s exhibits. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the natural history of the Uintah Basin through a variety of interactive displays and exhibits.

You can also visit the museum’s fossil lab to see some of the most well-preserved fossil specimens in the world. In addition to its exhibits, the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum also offers a few educational programs and events throughout the year. These programs are designed to help visitors learn more about the natural history of the region and to get hands-on experience exploring the outdoors. Some of the programs offered at the museum include guided hikes, nature walks, and geology talks.

Overall, the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is a great place to visit for anyone interested in the natural history of the Uintah Basin. Whether you’re a local looking for new things to do or a visitor looking to learn more about the region, this museum has something for everyone.

The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum/ Flickr

2. The Dinosaur National Monument

The Dinosaur National Monument is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Vernal, Utah. Located just outside of town, the monument is home to some of the most well-preserved dinosaur fossils in the world. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of exhibits, including fossil displays, interactive exhibits, and educational displays about the geology, flora, and fauna of the area.

One of the best things to do at the Dinosaur National Monument is to take a guided tour of the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of dinosaur fossils, including bones from the Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Diplodocus. You can also visit the Fossil Discovery Trail to see some of the most well-preserved fossil specimens in the world. In addition to its exhibits, the Dinosaur National Monument also offers a few educational programs and events throughout the year.

These programs are designed to help visitors learn more about the natural history of the region and to get hands-on experience exploring the outdoors. Some of the programs offered at the monument include guided hikes, nature walks, and geology talks.

Overall, the Dinosaur National Monument is a great place to visit for anyone interested in dinosaurs and the natural history of the region. Whether you’re a local looking for new things to do or a visitor looking to learn more about the area, this monument has something for everyone.

The Dinosaur National Monument

The Dinosaur National Monument/ Flickr

3. The Uinta Mountains

The Uinta Mountains are a must-see destination for anyone visiting Vernal, Utah. Located just outside of town, the Uinta Mountains offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and camping.

With its stunning mountain views, the Uinta Mountains are the perfect place to get out and explore the great outdoors. One of the best things to do in the Uinta Mountains is to go hiking. There are many trails to choose from, ranging from easy, family-friendly trails to more challenging backcountry routes. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike, you’ll find a trail that suits your needs in the Uinta Mountains.

In addition to hiking, the Uinta Mountains also offer several other outdoor recreation opportunities. Mountain biking is a popular activity in the area, and there are a few trails to choose from. Fishing is another popular activity in the Uinta Mountains, with a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout, found in the region’s streams and lakes.

Overall, the Uinta Mountains are a great place to visit for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re a local looking for new things to do or a visitor looking to experience all that Vernal has to offer, the Uinta Mountains have something for everyone. So, if you are planning to visit Vernal, Utah, then do not forget to include the Uinta Mountains in your itinerary.

The Uinta Mountains

The Uinta Mountains/ Flickr

4. Fishing in the Green River

Fishing in the Green River is a popular activity for visitors and locals alike in Vernal, Utah. Located just outside of town, the Green River is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout.

With its clear, cool waters and stunning mountain views, the Green River is the perfect place to cast a line and enjoy a day out on the water. One of the best things to do while fishing in the Green River is to hire a local guide to take you out on the water. These guides are experts on the river and can help you find the best spots to fish, as well as provide you with tips and techniques to improve your catch.

You can also opt to go fishing on your own, either from the bank or by renting a boat. In addition to fishing, the Green River is also a great place to enjoy other outdoor activities. The river is surrounded by beautiful wilderness areas, and there are a few trails to explore.

Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, or just take in the stunning mountain views, the Green River has something for everyone. Overall, fishing in the Green River is a great way to experience the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors in Vernal, Utah.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the Green River has something for everyone. So, if you are planning a trip to Vernal, don’t forget to pack your fishing gear and head to the Green River for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Fishing in the Green River

Fishing in the Green River/ Flickr

5. The Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum

The Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of agriculture in the region. Located in Vernal, Utah, this museum offers a fascinating look at the way that agriculture has shaped the area’s history and culture.

One of the highlights of the museum is the “From the Earth” exhibit, which showcases the various crops and livestock that have been important to the region’s agriculture over the years. This exhibit includes displays on wheat, potatoes, cattle, and more. You’ll learn about the challenges that early settlers faced in cultivating the land, as well as the innovations that helped them to overcome those challenges. In addition to the exhibits, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events.

These include workshops on topics such as gardening and preserving food, as well as events like the annual Harvest Festival, which celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage. These programs are a great way to learn more about the local agriculture scene and to connect with other members of the community. But the museum isn’t just about agriculture. You’ll also find exhibits on the region’s pioneer and Native American history, giving you a well-rounded understanding of the area’s past. After you’ve finished exploring the museum, be sure to take a stroll through the beautiful Heritage Garden.

This outdoor space features a variety of plants and flowers native to the region, providing a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Overall, the Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum is a great place to learn about the rich agricultural history of the area and to connect with the community. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the area, this museum is definitely worth a visit.

The Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum

The Vernal Agricultural and Heritage Museum/ Facebook

6. The Red Fleet Golf Course

If you’re looking to play a round of golf while visiting Vernal, Utah, then the Red Fleet Golf Course is a great choice. Located just a short drive from the city, this course offers a challenging and enjoyable round of golf for players of all skill levels.

One of the highlights of the Red Fleet Golf Course is the stunning views of the surrounding red cliffs. These cliffs, which give the course its name, provide a beautiful backdrop as you make your way around the course. The course itself is well-maintained, with lush green fairways and well-manicured greens.

The layout is varied and offers a good mix of long and short holes, requiring players to use a variety of different shots. In addition to the 18-hole course, the Red Fleet Golf Course also offers a variety of amenities to make your round more enjoyable. These include a pro shop where you can find all the gear you need, as well as a snack bar and a clubhouse where you can relax after your round. The clubhouse features a cozy fireplace, comfortable seating, and a variety of snacks and drinks.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the Red Fleet Golf Course is a great place to enjoy a round of golf. The friendly staff and beautiful surroundings make it a must-visit for any golfers visiting the area. So, if you’re looking to hit the links while in Vernal, be sure to check out the Red Fleet Golf Course.

The Red Fleet Golf Course

The Red Fleet Golf Course/ Flickr

7. Rock climbing in the desert cliffs surrounding Vernal, Utah

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for an exciting adventure, then rock climbing in the desert cliffs surrounding Vernal, Utah is a must-do activity. These cliffs, which rise out of the desert landscape, offer a variety of routes for climbers of all skill levels.

One of the great things about rock climbing in the Vernal area is the variety of climbing options available. From beginner-friendly routes to challenging routes for experienced climbers, there’s something for everyone. The cliffs are also home to a variety of climbing styles, from traditional climbing to sport climbing to bouldering. In addition to the climbing itself, the desert setting of the cliffs offers a unique and breathtaking backdrop.

As you make your way up the rock face, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. If you’re new to rock climbing or just want to brush up on your skills, there are a few climbing guides and outfitters in the area who can help you get started.

These professionals can provide instruction, gear rentals, and transportation to the climbing areas. Overall, rock climbing in the desert cliffs surrounding Vernal is a thrilling and rewarding experience. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just starting out, this activity is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

Rock climbing in the desert cliffs surrounding Vernal

Rock climbing in the desert cliffs surrounding Vernal/ Flickr

8. The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Vernal, Utah. This scenic drive takes you through some of the most beautiful and geologically interesting parts of the region, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape along the way.

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is a loop that starts and ends in Vernal, passing through several small towns and national parks along the way. Some of the highlights of the drive include the Dinosaur National Monument, the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, and the Uinta Mountains. One of the great things about the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is the variety of things to see and do along the way.

You can go hiking, fishing, and boating in the national parks, visit local museums and art galleries, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and other amenities available in the small towns along the route.

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is a great way to explore the Vernal area and get a sense of the region’s rich natural and cultural history. Whether you’re driving the entire loop or just taking a short trip, this scenic drive is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Vernal.

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway/ Flickr

9. The Uintah County Library

The Uintah County Library is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Vernal and the surrounding area. The library has a wide collection of books, magazines, and newspapers that cover a variety of topics related to the history of the area.

Additionally, the library has a special collection of materials that focus on the Ute Indian Tribe, which has a long history in the region. The library also offers a variety of educational programs and events, such as lectures and workshops, that cover topics related to the history and culture of the area.

These programs are designed to educate both locals and visitors about the rich heritage of the region and provide a deeper understanding of the area’s history. The library also has a strong focus on genealogy and offers a wide range of resources for those interested in tracing their family history. This includes access to various online resources and a collection of historical documents and records.

Overall, the Uintah County Library is a great place to visit for those interested in learning more about the history and culture of Vernal and the surrounding area. With its wide collection of materials and educational programs, it’s a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the area and its people. It’s also a great way to explore and discover the local’s cultural background and understanding the way they live and view things.

The Uintah County Library

The Uintah County Library/ Facebook

10. Steinaker State Park

Steinaker State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a wide variety of bird species that call the park home. The park offers excellent birdwatching opportunities, with a diverse array of habitats, including wetlands, meadows, and forests, that attract a wide variety of bird species.

Some of the bird species that can be spotted at the park include Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Great Blue Herons, and various species of ducks and geese. The park has several designated birdwatching areas, including several trails and boardwalks that lead through the park’s wetlands.

These trails provide excellent opportunities to view birds in their natural habitats, as well as to learn about the different bird species that call the park home. In addition to the designated birdwatching areas, the park also offers several other amenities that birdwatchers will appreciate, including picnic areas, a playground, and a visitor center that offers educational exhibits and birdwatching guides.

To enhance your bird watching experience, it’s recommended to bring binoculars, a bird identification guide, and a field journal. It’s also essential to be patient as birds can be elusive and take time to observe. Keep in mind the Park’s rules, like respecting the birds’ nesting areas and avoiding scaring them away and to dress appropriately for the weather and terrain.

Whether you’re an experienced birder or a nature enthusiast who simply wants to enjoy the beauty of the park’s avian inhabitants, Steinaker State Park offers something for everyone. It’s a must-visit destination for bird watchers and nature lovers who want to see a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitats.

Steinaker State Park

Steinaker State Park/ Facebook

11. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir

The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a popular spot for boating and stand-up paddle boarding. The reservoir offers over 91,000 acres of water surrounded by stunning red rock cliffs, making it a beautiful spot for a day on the water.

The Reservoir is also home to a variety of fish species, including lake trout, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass, making it a popular spot for fishing as well. Boating and stand-up paddle boarding are allowed on the reservoir, and you can bring your own boat or rent one at one of the marinas located near the reservoir. Boats and stand-up paddleboards rentals are available, as well as guided tours.

The marina offers boat rentals, boat launches, and docking facilities, as well as other amenities such as fuel, boat storage, and boat repairs. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is also home to several islands, coves and bays that can only be accessed by boat, making it a great spot for exploring.

There are also several beaches around the reservoir that are perfect for picnics and swimming. The reservoir is open for boating, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing seasonally, so check with the marina or the local authorities for current information and regulations. It’s important to follow safety guidelines while on the reservoir, like always wearing a life jacket, avoid alcohol while boating, and always be aware of your surroundings and changing weather conditions.

Additionally, if you’re fishing, make sure to obtain the proper license and to be aware of any fishing regulations. Overall, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir offers a unique and beautiful setting for boating, stand-up paddle boarding, and fishing, and it is a must-see destination for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure in Vernal. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area, while also enjoying some of the recreational activities the reservoir has to offer.

The Flaming Gorge Reservoir

The Flaming Gorge Reservoir/ Flickr

12. Starvation State Park

Starvation State Park is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Vernal, offering a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing and boating. The park is centered around the beautiful Starvation Reservoir, which is known for its crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the stunning Uinta Mountains. Fishing is one of the most popular activities at the park, with the reservoir being home to a variety of fish species such as rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and walleye.

Visitors can bring their own fishing gear or rent equipment from the marina at the park. Fishing from the shore or from a boat is allowed and guided fishing trips are also available. Boating is another popular activity at the park, with several boat launches located around the reservoir, making it easy for visitors to launch their own boats.

Motorized boats are allowed, but speed limits are enforced to ensure the safety of all visitors. Visitors can also rent boats and enjoy the reservoir, whether for fishing or just for a scenic cruise. The park also offers a variety of other recreational opportunities, including hiking, picnicking, and camping. With several hiking trails and picnic areas, visitors can enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the park. Campsites are available, with amenities like fire rings, picnic tables, and toilets. It’s important to keep in mind that the park’s amenities and services may vary depending on the season, so it’s best to check with the park for the current information and to be aware of any rules and regulations.

Overall, Starvation State Park is a beautiful destination that offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, while also enjoying some of the recreational activities the park has to offer. With fishing, boating and scenic views, this park is a great spot to spend a day exploring and enjoying the natural beauty of Vernal.

Starvation State Park

Starvation State Park/ Flickr

13. Whitewater rafting on the Green River

Whitewater rafting on the Green River is an exciting and adventurous way to experience the beauty of Vernal and the surrounding area. The Green River is a well-known destination for whitewater rafting, offering a range of rapids and challenges to suit all levels of experience.

Rafting trips on the Green River are typically led by experienced guides who can provide instruction, safety equipment, and navigation. They can offer trip options that vary in difficulty and length, making the adventure suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experts. Some companies also offer customized trips, such as camping and fishing trips, tailored to the group’s preferences.

The Green River offers a diverse range of rapids that range from calm, float-trip sections to exciting and challenging whitewater. The section of the Green River that runs through Vernal offers Class II and III rapids, providing a thrilling and exhilarating experience for rafters. It’s important to note that the river conditions can change quickly, so it’s best to check with the local authorities or the rafting company for current information and safety guidelines.

Proper clothing, sunscreen, and a water bottle are essentials for any trip. Overall, going whitewater rafting on the Green River is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Vernal and the surrounding area. With experienced guides, safety equipment and various options for different skill levels, the adventure is suitable for all. Rafting on the Green River will give you an unforgettable experience and memories that will last a lifetime.

Whitewater rafting on the Green River

Whitewater rafting on the Green River/ Flickr

14. Go horseback riding through the beautiful desert landscape of Vernal, Utah.

Experience the stunning red rocks and vast deserts, guided by experienced wranglers who can take you on trails through the diverse landscape, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider. You’ll also get a chance to see wildlife in its natural habitat while on your ride.

It’s best to check with the stable or the local authorities for current information on trail availability, since the landscape can vary depending on weather conditions and season. Additionally, bring appropriate clothing and sunscreen, as well as closed-toe shoes and a water bottle, to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Horseback riding through the desert landscape is a unique and exciting way to explore the beauty of Vernal.

Go horseback riding

Go horseback riding/ Flickr

15. The Uintah County Fairgrounds

The Uintah County Fairgrounds in Vernal, Utah is a great destination for visitors who want to experience the local culture and events of the area. The fairgrounds host a variety of events throughout the year, including the Uintah County Fair, rodeos, and other special events like concerts, flea markets, and car shows.

The Uintah County Fair, the main event hosted at the fairground, is a celebration of the county’s agricultural heritage and includes a variety of events such as livestock shows, exhibits, a parade, a demolition derby and live entertainment, making it a great destination for families and individuals of all ages. Rodeos are another popular event in the fairground featuring cowboys and cowgirls competing in traditional rodeo events such as bull riding, bareback riding, and barrel racing.

Additionally, fairground also plays host to other events like concerts, flea markets, car shows and other events, providing a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy. It’s important to check with the fairground or the local authorities for the current schedule of events during your visit, to ensure you catch the event you’re interested in. With a mix of agricultural competitions, live entertainment and a taste of the local western culture, Uintah County Fairground is an excellent destination for visitors looking for an authentic and exciting experience of Vernal’s culture and events.

16. The Ouray National Fish Hatchery

The Ouray National Fish Hatchery in Vernal, Utah is a great destination for visitors interested in fish conservation and seeing a variety of fish species.

The hatchery is dedicated to raising and releasing fish species native to the Green River, with a focus on the endangered Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. Visitors can see the fish at different stages of development, learn about breeding and rearing techniques and explore interactive exhibits about the importance of fish conservation efforts in the visitor center. The hatchery is open seasonally and has restrictions on fishing in the area, so check with the hatchery or local authorities for current information and schedule.

The Ouray National Fish Hatchery

The Ouray National Fish Hatchery/ Flickr

17. Rockhounding

Rockhounding, or the hobby of searching for and collecting minerals and fossils, is a popular activity in Vernal, Utah. The area is known for its diverse geology, and rich deposits of minerals and fossils, making it an ideal destination for rockhounds of all levels.

Popular minerals to find around Vernal include topaz, amethyst, and garnet, which can be found in the nearby Topaz Mountains and the Uinta Mountains. The area is also known for its well-preserved fossils, including those of prehistoric fish, reptiles, and plants, which can be found in the surrounding rock formations.
When rockhounding, it’s important to be aware of the area’s laws and regulations regarding rock collecting and to obtain the proper permits if required. This is particularly important because it ensures that you are not collecting in areas that are protected and preserving the natural environment for future generations. Always be aware of the area’s regulations, be sure to only collect what you need and always leave the natural environment as you found it.

Rockhounding can be done alone or with a group, and there are also guided tours available that provide information on the best places to search for specific minerals and fossils, as well as tips on how to properly collect them. This can be especially helpful for those who are new to rockhounding as a hobby and want to learn more about the geology of the area and what to look for.

Overall, rockhounding in Vernal, Utah is a great way to explore the area’s geology and natural history, and to bring home a piece of that history as a souvenir. It’s an exciting and educational

Rockhounding

Rockhounding/ Flickr

18. The Western Heritage Museum

The Western Heritage Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the history of the Wild West. The museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history, culture, and artifacts of the American West, with a focus on the local history of Vernal and the surrounding area.

The museum features a wide variety of exhibits that cover different aspects of the history of the Wild West, from the area’s early settlers to the cowboy culture and the frontier lifestyle. Visitors can see artifacts such as guns, tools, clothing, and other everyday items used by the early pioneers and cowboys that lived in the area.

Additionally, the museum also hosts events and activities such as living history reenactments, storytelling, and lectures that help visitors to gain a better understanding of the life in the wild west. The museum also has a research library and archives that is open to the public and provides access to historical documents, photographs, maps and other primary sources for research.

The Western Heritage Museum is a great destination for families and individuals who are interested in learning about the history of the Wild West. The museum is open seasonally, so it’s best to check with the museum or the local authorities for current information and schedule.

Overall, visiting the Western Heritage Museum is a great way to gain an understanding of the history and culture of the Wild West and the area’s local history. With its interactive exhibits, interesting artifacts, and events, it’s a perfect destination for those who want to learn about the colorful history of Vernal and the surrounding area.

The Western Heritage Museum

The Western Heritage Museum/ Flickr

19. Go Rockhounding

Rockhounding, or the hobby of searching for and collecting minerals and fossils, is a popular activity in Vernal, Utah. The area is known for its diverse geology, and rich deposits of minerals and fossils, making it an ideal destination for rockhounds of all levels.

Popular minerals to find around Vernal include topaz, amethyst, and garnet, which can be found in the nearby Topaz Mountains and the Uinta Mountains. The area is also known for its well-preserved fossils, including those of prehistoric fish, reptiles, and plants, which can be found in the surrounding rock formations.

When rockhounding, it’s important to be aware of the area’s laws and regulations regarding rock collecting and to obtain the proper permits if required. This is particularly important because it ensures that you are not collecting in areas that are protected and preserving the natural environment for future generations. Always be aware of the area’s regulations, be sure to only collect what you need and always leave the natural environment as you found it.

Rockhounding can be done alone or with a group, and there are also guided tours available that provide information on the best places to search for specific minerals and fossils, as well as tips on how to properly collect them. This can be especially helpful for those who are new to rockhounding as a hobby and want to learn more about the geology of the area and what to look for.

Go Rockhounding

Go Rockhounding/ Flickr

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Overall, rockhounding in Vernal, Utah is a great way to explore the area’s geology and natural history, and to bring home a piece of that history as a souvenir. It’s an exciting and educational Vernal, Utah is a small town located in the eastern part of the state, known for its rich natural history and outdoor recreation opportunities.

From exploring the Dinosaur National Monument to going fishing in the Green River, there are plenty of things to do in Vernal for nature lovers. The town also has a rich cultural history, with several museums and historic sites to visit. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, Vernal has something for everyone.

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