Explore the Historical Wonders of Dinosaur Ridge - Atlas Obscura

Morrison, Colorado

Explore the Historical Wonders of Dinosaur Ridge

Look back over one-hundred-million years of history in two miles.

Matthews/Winters Park, a Jefferson County Open Space property, has always been a popular gathering place. Jurassic dinosaurs passed through when it was a seaside beach. Bands of Utes, including Chief Colorow and his prehistoric ancestors, held council on the hogback. And early territorial homesteaders established a ranch that’s still in the same family, though new development is now impending.

As we take a short walk over the Dakota Hogback, we’ll have a chance to visit the Council Tree, a huge ponderosa pine tree used as a landmark and meeting place for the Utes, and not normally open to the public. The walk will also take us by Rooney Ranch, one of the oldest family-run ranches in the state that's barely hanging on despite the constant development around it. Finally we’ll trace the trails of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures over Dinosaur Ridge and learn about the 19th-century “Bone Wars” and the race to uncover new fossils first. Our walk will be led by Andrea Keppers, Education Specialist with Jeffco Open Space.


  • Please arrive 15 minutes early for a prompt check-in and tour start time.
  • We will meet at the main Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center parking lot: 16831 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, Colorado.
  • There is a small lot and also street parking on Alameda (past the visitor center). Please arrive early enough to find parking.
  • Comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate attire encouraged.
  • We will walk about two miles, round trip
  • All ages welcome. This trail is mostly paved and accessible to all-terrain strollers.
  • Event will run rain or shine.
  • Entry to the Dinosaur Ridge exhibit hall/discovery center is a separate fee and optional at your leisure. We will not be going in as part of the excursion.


Email Crystal Lohman at crystal.lohman@atlasobscura.com.

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