At 1540 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-180 ran out of fuel and crash-landed on a plateau six miles west of Vernal. The pilot and two passengers were uninjured. The pilot had planned to fly from Fort Collins, Colo., to Provo, Utah, but had landed at Laramie, Wyo., because of weather. When they resumed the trip several hours later, they again ran into weather near Vernal. The pilot deviated north and south, looking for a path around the weather. After about an hour, he began looking for an airport where he could refuel. He discussed the weather at nearby airports with another pilot on the radio and then decided to try to land at Vernal. One fuel tank ran dry when he was 15 miles from the airport. About four miles out the other ran dry and the engine quit. The pilot descended through the clouds and broke out at 400 feet agl over a highway. He saw a plateau ahead and pulled the airplane up and landed on the plateau, breaking off the landing gear in the process.