The Mygatt-Moore quarry, an active dinosaur bone quarry just off I-70 in western Colorado, is the starting point for a short hike through bone deposits of the Rabbit Valley. Several partial Camarasaurus and Diplodocus skeletons have been left in the native rock along a 1.5-mile relatively easy trail. You’ll also spot plant fossils among the rocks.
The Camarasaurus skeleton includes a substantial backbone as well as parts of the hip and upper leg. The bone bed offers an opportunity to see the way bones are jumbled and scattered during deposition, making it clear how difficult sorting out the puzzle can be.
The partial Diplodocus skeleton, which features the long-dead creature’s upper neck, illustrates the way the neck muscles tighten in death. You’ll also find other bones from the dinosaur near the neck bones.
The quarry at the start of the trail occasionally has workers from the Museum of Western Colorado, who are willing to discuss their work when they are present.
Know Before You Go
Take exit 2, Rabbit Valley Road and turn north. A parking lot is about 1/4 of a mile from I-70. Bring water, sunscreen and a hat just about any time of the year. The area is often hot and dry. Be aware of snakes as this is prime rattlesnake habitat.