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Dinosaur Ridge

Hundreds of dinosaur footprints and fossils line walking trails, just a short drive from Denver. 

Dinosaur Ridge is one of the world’s foremost collections of natural dinosaur tracks and fossils, most of which were discovered in the late 1800s. This ridge 23 miles (37 kilometers) west of Denver became the site of numerous archaeological digs, which uncovered a treasure trove of prehistoric fossils, footprints and bones. It wasn’t until 1973 that the area became a National Natural Landmark. Today thousands of visitors come here annually to marvel at evidence of creatures that roamed the earth long before humans.

During sunlight hours it’s possible to stroll, bike or catch a ride in the shuttle on trails that run through current excavation sites and exposed fossils. Dinosaur tracks sit atop layers of sand and mudstone. The pads of the toes and patterns of migration are seen in over 300 footprints and 37 trackways. Place your hand or foot within one of the prints and you’ll get an idea of just how big these prehistoric creatures were. 

Guided tours are available daily but need to be booked at least two weeks in advance. Alternatively, pick up a guide book from the information center or stop to read interpretive signs dotted along the way. These explain the paleontological and geological history of the area.

Set aside a couple of hours to get the most out of this natural national landmark. At the entrance to the site, along with the information center, you’ll find the Dinosaur Ridge Exhibit Hall, which has informative displays about the dinosaurs found at the site. The park’s open year-round. Come on a Saturday between May and October to catch out Dinosaur Discovery Days, free events for all ages. (Check the website for events and dates). 

Dinosaur Ridge is located near Morrison, along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There are bus tours through travel agencies in Denver, or go by car. Free parking is available.


Guide to Exploring around Dinosaur Ridge


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Dinosaur Ridge

See all 1,092 Properties near Dinosaur Ridge
Origin Hotel Red Rocks ¥10,533
Origin Hotel Red Rocks

Origin Hotel Red Rocks

18485 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Golden, this golf hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Apex Park, Fossil Trace Golf Club, and Dinosaur Ridge. Red Rocks Amphitheater and Coors Brewery are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Golden - Denver Area ¥11,049
    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Golden - Denver Area

    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Golden - Denver Area

    17140 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Golden, this golf hotel is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Colorado Mills Mall and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Fossil Trace Golf Club. Red Rocks Amphitheater and Coors Brewery are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Hampton Inn-Denver West/Golden ¥9,543
      Hampton Inn-Denver West/Golden

      Hampton Inn-Denver West/Golden

      17150 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the mountains, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Colorado Mills Mall, Fossil Trace Golf Club, and Colorado School of Mines. Red Rocks Amphitheater and Coors Brewery are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Green MTN Backyard Paradise+ View of Metro Denver!
        Green MTN Backyard Paradise+ View of Metro Denver!

        Green MTN Backyard Paradise+ View of Metro Denver!

        1221 S Foothill Dr, Lakewood, CO
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Foothills, this luxury vacation home is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Dinosaur Ridge and within 6 mi (10 km) of Denver Federal Center and Lakewood Cultural Center. Belmar Shopping Mall and Bandimere Speedway are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Trendy Updated Home City Views ¥31,920
          Trendy Updated Home City Views

          Trendy Updated Home City Views

          1050 South Foothill Drive, Lakewood, CO
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Foothills, this property is within 6 mi (10 km) of Dinosaur Ridge, Denver Federal Center, and Lakewood Cultural Center. Belmar Shopping Mall and Bandimere Speedway are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Cliff House Lodge Bed and Breakfast ¥10,257
            Cliff House Lodge Bed and Breakfast

            Cliff House Lodge Bed and Breakfast

            121 Stone Street, Morrison, CO
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Morrison, this bed & breakfast is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Bandimere Speedway and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Red Rocks Amphitheater. Red Rocks Park and Bear Creek Lake Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Courtyard by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks ¥7,969
              Courtyard by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks

              Courtyard by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks

              14700 West 6th Avenue Frontage Road, Golden, CO
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Sixth Ave West, this hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Colorado Mills Mall and within 9 mi (15 km) of Coors Brewery and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Bandimere Speedway and Broncos Stadium at Mile High are also within 12 mi (20 km).

                Residence Inn by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks ¥10,949
                Residence Inn by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks

                Residence Inn by Marriott Denver Golden/Red Rocks

                14600 West 6th Avenue Frontage Road, Golden, CO
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Sixth Ave West, this hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Colorado Mills Mall and within 6 mi (10 km) of Denver Federal Center and Colorado School of Mines. Astor House Museum and Coors Brewery are also within 6 mi (10 km).