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Activities / Family Travel

NEW! See the world’s longest track of dinosaur footprints hidden in Colorado

Dinosaur Tracks Colorado

The U.S. Forest Service recently purchased several parcels of land from the Charles family in Ouray that contains 134 fossilized dinosaur footprints, the longest continuous trackway in the world.

The family used to hike through the area without knowing the true identity of the oddly shaped craters, which collected water that their dogs would gleefully drink.

The pothole-like indentations make a continuous trail, several hundred feet long, created by a single long-necked sauropod dinosaur that died millions of years ago.

Also, don’t miss our guide for finding dinosaurs in Colorado–from ancient fossils to museums. 

Dinosaur Details

The dinosaur trackway is located at 9,300 feet in elevation and is etched in sandstone layers that are over 150 million years old. The tracks were made by a single long-neck sauropod dinosaur, looping in a 270-degree turn, a rarely recorded occurrence in the fossil record of dinosaurs.  

Now that the parcels are in public ownership, the Forest Service plans to develop interpretive information, including signage and a web page to relay information to visitors about the significance of the site and the natural history of the area. Those interested in learning more about the trackway can see it via Google Earth or read more about the significance of the site here.

Visitors wanting to view the site in person can access the trackway via a two-mile hike (one way) via Silvershield trail. Trail conditions are steep and rugged, with an elevation gain of approximately 1,600 feet. The trailhead and parking are accessed via County Road 17 near Ouray, Colorado and is open to foot and horse travel only. Parking is limited and located on private property in a residential neighborhood, so please be considerate to others. Visitors are reminded to “know before you go” and be prepared for sudden weather changes or unexpected circumstances.  

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