Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dinosaur Ridge

I recently visited Dinosaur Ridge, located in Morrison, Colorado. The site is comprised of a visitor center, exhibit hall located off of C-470. Further up from the visitor center is a paved road that you can hike or bike along that has interesting geology and fossils along the road. They say you can "see 80 million years worth of geology in a mile" hike up on the ridge. The very first stegosaurus fossils were found here at Dinosaur Ridge. At one point, Colorado was ocean front property as the Western Interior Seaway covered the middle of present day America. Due to such conditions, various footprints and fossils remain of ancient dinosaurs, plants, and insects. There are signs that interpret the landscape and point out where to look for fossils. This site really opened my eyes to the natural history surrounding us. My favorite stops along the ridge are the dinosaur "track" site and the "bulges" site. You can literally see the REAL footprints of dinosaurs!! And at the bulges site you can see the impact of an actual dinosaur footprint; how it left real bulges in the topography of the landscape. As you meandor along the ridge viewing the sites, follow the path as it meanders through the rock ledge and leads you to where you are literally across the street from the Red Rocks Ampitheatre. This is a 2.75 roundtrip hike for anyone who enjoys geology and natural history. There are $4 dollar per person bus tours of the ridge if you would like a tour guide. So, get out and come walk where the dinosaurs walked!!