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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 812 Properties near Dinosaur Ridge
Origin Hotel Red Rocks ¥11,143
Origin Hotel Red Rocks

Origin Hotel Red Rocks

18475 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Golden, this golf hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Apex Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Fossil Trace Golf Club and Dinosaur Ridge. Red Rocks Amphitheater and Coors Brewery are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Golden/Denver West ¥9,091
    Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Golden/Denver West

    Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Golden/Denver West

    15059 W Colfax Ave, I-70 and West Colfax Exit 262, Golden, CO
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Denver West, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Colorado Mills Mall and within 6 mi (10 km) of Coors Brewery and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Dinosaur Ridge and Colorado School of Mines are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Holiday Inn Express & Suites Golden - Denver Area ¥12,856
      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. Coors Brewery and Red Rocks Amphitheater are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Hampton Inn-Denver West/Golden ¥13,199
        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. Coors Brewery and Red Rocks Amphitheater are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Green MTN Paradise View Metro Denver ¥24,625
          Green MTN Paradise View Metro Denver

          Green MTN Paradise View 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).

            Cliff House Lodge Bed and Breakfast ¥22,150
            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 West / Golden ¥10,009
              Courtyard by Marriott Denver West / Golden

              Courtyard by Marriott Denver West / Golden

              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 West / Golden ¥13,682
                Residence Inn by Marriott Denver West / Golden

                Residence Inn by Marriott Denver West / Golden

                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).