<== Vernal Utah ==>
Vernal Utah, the Gateway to Dinosaur National Monument, is the county seat of Uintah County in Northeastern Utah.
Mormon pioneers deemed Eastern Utah as a wasteland and left most of the area for natives who had been displaced from the richer farmland in the center of the state. Private land in Uintah County was developed along the homestead model.
The white settlers in the area included Captain Pardon Dodds, who was an agent for the Uintah Ouray Reservation. Early settlers often chose the Ashley Creek area which is now under the Flaming George Reservoir.
The Meeker Massacre which occurred on September 29, 1879 inspired the settlers to "fort up." Many settlers moved their primary residence from the Ashley Valley to a place called "Basin" which was renamed Vernal, as they felt it was easier to defend. Vernal became the largest city in Uintah Basin as its placement is better suited for a transportation route.
The area existed as an established for 15 years before it was incorporated as "Vernal" in 1897.
The primary road through Vernal is US Highway 6 which was developed as a primary transcontinental route under a variety of names including "Golden Belt Highway" and "Victory Highway" before receiving its designation with the US route numbering system.
The two primary industries in Vernal are transportation and tourism. The area has rich deposits of fossil fuels and the local economy experiences booms as busts as petroleum prices wax and wane.
The 2010 Census reported Vernal's population as 9,089 . The 2015 estimate is that the population has capped 11,000.
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