Destinations, Kids

Dinosaur Ridge Great Way to Introduce Dinosaurs for Kids

August 20, 2013 by

Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge features museum elements blended with outdoor trails all designed as a walk-through of different environments and prehistoric times. If you’re in the Denver area, this makes an inexpensive stop at only $2.00 a person that adults and kids will enjoy.

Trek Through Time

The Trek Through Time is an indoor exhibit that includes interactive displays like the Goldilocks Footprint Experiment and the Dinosaurs in Our Backyard Computer Kiosk. Here kids enjoy the life-size Pteranodon replica, the Elasmosaurus skull replica, and learn about how prehistoric footprints are preserved and how rock layers form.

A number of hands-on carts let kids poke, prod, and touch things like replica fossils. These replicas include things like skulls, claws, horns, teeth, and tracks and are there specifically to be touched and explored.

Display cases also include fossils that highlight the bones, plants, and footprints actually harvested from the Dinosaur Ridge area. These include a number of large trackways from dinosaurs, a crocodile, and several wading birds.

The Dinosaur Ridge Trail

Put your paleontologist hat on as you walk the 1.5 mile Dinosaur Ridge Trail along the Alameda Parkway. This tail has hundreds of dinosaur tracks, a quarry of dinosaur bones, and other interesting geologic features hikers will enjoy learning about.

The hike takes anywhere from 1-2 hours with so much to see. The trail has more than 15 sites to see including fossil sites, interesting rocks sites, and scenic overlooks that overlook the geologic structure of the Hogback at the top of the Ridge.

Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge Bone Quarry

The Dinosaur Ridge Bone Site quarry was discovered in 1877 and was originally called the Morrison Quarry Number 5 of 14 quarries in the area. Only 4 of the quarries produced dinosaur bones. Number 5 was the one where the world’s first Stegosaurus was discovered. Several vertebrae, pieces of the famous plates, and parts of limbs uncovered there are now on display at the Morrison Natural History Museum.

Hikers will have the opportunity to see exposed bones at the interpretive site that are most likely from Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus. Here you can reach out and touch real fossilized dinosaur bones in the rock.

Dinosaur Ridge

Finding a geocache on Dinosaur Ridge

Triceratops Trail

The Triceratops Trail is a 1.5-mile, gravel hiking trail that winds between large, vertical walls of sandstone and into reclaimed clay pits. However, this hike is not accessible to elderly or handicapped as it has difficult/impossible access in some places. This trail offers several stops that highlight clay mining, dinosaur, bird, mammal, insect, and invertebrate tracks, plus more.

Dinosaur Ridge and Triceratops Trail are both EarthCache and GeoCache supported sites. It’s a great place to visit for kids who want to learn all about dinosaurs and parents who want to enjoy the outdoors, too. Visit their website to learn more and to check the Events section for more information.

Photo credits: stevendepoloalans1948mole555

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