Dinosaur Ridge was ranked no. 1 site for dino tracks in the U.S. | VailDaily.com

Dinosaur Ridge was ranked no. 1 site for dino tracks in the U.S.

Elizabeth Ruiz
Denver 7
Check out Skyline Drive in Canon City for panoramic views of the Royal Gorge area. The road atop a razorback ridgeline was built by local prison labor in 1903. Watch for the dinosaur tracks visible along the ridge line, near the Dinosaur Ridge trail.
Caramie Petrowsky | Special to the Daily

Dinosaurs are no longer roaming the earth, but their tracks live on. In the foothills on the Front Range of Colorado, a story can be told from pieces of the past left behind.

Dinosaur Ridge has been ranked by a panel of esteemed paleontologists as the no. 1 track site in all the U.S.

In an area of just a few hundred square feet, 330 dinosaur tracks have been discovered. However, the land was very different 100 million years ago. World-renowned paleontologist Martin Lockley said the giant prehistoric animals weren’t a mile high in the Rocky Mountains.

They were on the beach at sea level in an environment very similar to present day Gulf of Mexico. The soft, wet, sandy land made conditions ideal for preserving tracks.

Want to see the fossils for yourself? Check out the trail info below:

Dinosaur Ridge Trail

16831 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison

Length: 2 miles roundtrip

Admittedly this isn’t a nature hike, but it’s too good to skip. The Dinosaur Ridge Trail is a paved section of West Alameda Parkway that begins at the main visitor gift shop on the east side of Dinosaur Ridge. Known for its 300 tracks left by three different dinosaurs and one crocodilian, according to Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, children will marvel at the dino history with named sites such as Crocodile Creek and Brontosaur Bulges.

A dinosaur bone site is also along the trail, famous as the location of the first Stegosaurus discovery. The trail ends at the Discovery Center at the west gate and families need to walk the last bit on the road to reach their car, but there has been more than one kid who is not ready to leave just yet.

Support Local Journalism