If you’re on the hunt for history and fossils and geological wonders, this unique park near Denver is the perfect pit stop for you! Dinosaur Ridge has a wealth of discoveries to explore, including hundreds of dinosaur fossils, bones, and tracks that you can actually see, study, and touch. Their tours, trails, and interactive exhibits give visitors an up close and personal dinosaur experience like nowhere else on earth. No bones about it: Dinosaur Ridge is DINO-mite!
Tucked away in the foothills of Morrison near Red Rocks Park, is a hidden gem that promises educational fun for dinosaur enthusiasts, nature lovers, students, and families alike.
In 1877, Arthur Lakes, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, discovered the first dinosaur fossils in what is now known as the Morrison Formation, one of the world's most renowned fossil locales.
A subsequent dinosaur "gold rush" ensued, leading to the successful excavation of many sites containing fossils from the Late Jurassic Period, also known as the "Age of Giants."
Today you can visit the famed Dinosaur Ridge fossil area in Morrison, which has been designated as a National Natural Landmark, State Natural Area, and Point of Geological Interest.
There are three tour options available at Dinosaur Ridge. Schedule a guided tour, explore on your own with a self-guided tour, or wing it with the shuttle bus tour, which operates on a first come first served basis.
No matter which option you choose, you can fully experience all of the highlights, including the Dinosaur Track Site, Brontosaur Bulges, Dinosaur Bone Site, and Dinosaur Ridge Trail.
Over 300 tracks have been identified at this bed dubbed the "Dinosaur Freeway," an accidental discovery made in 1937 during the construction of West Alameda Parkway.
The tracks are from the Early Cretaceous Period and include footprints from Iguanodon-like herbivores and ostrich-sized carnivores.
After your outdoor explorations, enjoy a "Trek Through Time" at the indoor exhibit hall, which contains maps, murals, fossils, and various types of hands-on interactive activities.
You should also take time to examine the three-dimensional tracks along the half-mile Triceratops Trail, located in a reclaimed clay pit in nearby Golden.
I strongly suggest you stop whatever you're doing and discover the wonders at Dinosaur Ridge!