Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dinosaur Ridge

One last day with Grandmom and Grandpop in town had us wanting to explore another of the many sights in the area.

We decided to go to Dinosaur Ridge where they had actual dinosaur footprints left from the time most of Colorado was covered under water and the Rocky Mountains were nothing but a beach area.

Dinosaur Ridge is a small museum with an incredibly knowledgable staff and many exhibits that the kids could read, touch and experiment with.

The museum is meant to go along with a tour outdoors that could be taken by bus or on foot up the side of the ridge. We opted to walk, though Grandmom and Grandpop (who had not had time to adjust to the increased altitude) might have enjoyed the bus tour better. The bottom of the ridge tour had an altitude of about 5900 ft. By the end of the day, Mr. LH, the "Pickles" and I had probably hiked up to about 6200 ft.

Halfway up the road (accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists and tour buses only), we stopped at the dinosaur tracksite. The footprints were going up the side of the mountain and were headed in every direction.

Further up the road, we decided to leave the main road and headed up the side of a mountain on a trail. The warm sun was shining at the top and I was sure the views would be better.

The trail was obviously a trail, but it was a bit treacherous in places. I was glad I was wearing my hiking boots (though that morning I had no idea I was going to need them). We were headed up to the crest of the Dakota Ridge.

The views from the top of the ridge were spectacular!

Though we were only in the foothills, it was incredible to see far off to the east and south along the edge of the Rockies.

I'm not sure, but I think we could even make out Pike's Peak in the distance.

We headed north along the crest stopping to take pictures over the ridge every now and then.

Eventually, we figured we need to turn around. We had no idea how far the trail would lead us but the sun was starting to go down and the last thing we wanted was to find ourselves on top of the mountain trying to pick our way down in the dark and the cold.

Grandmom and Grandpop were waiting for us at the bottom of the hill keeping warm. This is definitely a place we'll visit when the weather warms up!

Notes: The walking tour is free and is open until sundown. The bus charges $4 per person (winter hours of operation depend on demand) and museum admittance is $1 a person (they were open until 3:30pm).

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Joy said...

What an amazing trip! I'd love to bring the kids to visit there sometime.

Trish said...

You are welcome to bring them! This place is a definite "must do again" place. I'm looking forward to seeing what things there are to see and do further into the mountains, too.