The Dinosaur Ridge is one of the most famous fossil fields in North America and the entire world. Located near the town of Morrison, west of Denver, the Dinosaur Ridge is the place where the fossils of some of the most iconic dinosaur species of dinosaurs were first discovered.
The history of the site goes back to 1877, when a professor from the Colorado School of Mines discovered that the rocky outcrops near Morrison contained hundreds of previously unknown dinosaur fossils. The discovery led to the so-called bone rush, when hundreds of would-be paleontologist descended on the Front Range area to look for dinosaur tracks. As a result, dozens of new dinosaur species were discovered, including the gentle giant Apatosaurus, and the tri-horned Stegosaurus.
In 1947, another amazing discovery was made nearby Morrison, the Triceratops Trail – a stretch of land located on the eastern side of Dinosaur Ridge, bearing the ancient tracks of dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous era. Hundreds of tracks from several species of dinosaurs dot the landscape, created when the ancient animals stepped in the soft sand from the shore of a prehistoric ocean.
The Friends of Dinosaur Ridge is a non-profit organization created in 1989 to protect and promote the paleontological, geological, and historic significance of the Dinosaur Ridge. Among the several sites protected by the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, the Dinosaur Track site and the Dinosaur Ridge Bone Quarry are the most important. The bone quarry is the place where the first dinosaur bones were found back in 1877. The site includes real dinosaur fossils, belonging to the Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus species. The Dinosaur Ridge is one of the few places in the world where visitors can admire and even touch genuine dinosaur fossils.
Besides the dinosaur tracks and fossils, tourists can stop at the Visitor Center, built and run by the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge foundation. The visitor center includes an indoor exhibition, with impressive murals and dinosaur fossils. The exhibition is called the Trek through Time and is designed as a journey that takes visitors through time, back to the geological eras when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Kids will love the interactive activities, like the Goldilocks Footprint Experiment, and the bone pit where they can dig up replica dinosaur fossils, just like real life paleontologists.
The Dinosaur Ridge is a major hotspot on the map of dinosaur enthusiasts. Don’t miss the chance to travel back in time and learn more about the amazing beasts that once ruled the Earth!