Colorado is known for its mountains, but it’s also known for something older, much older. James Michener’s novel “Centennial” began the book with a prehistoric history lesson. In the opening chapter, The Land, discusses the formation of the Earth, the Rockies and the area around what would eventually become Centennial, Colorado. In the next chapter, titled The Inhabitants, it includes stories about animals that possibly lived near what would eventually become the community of Centennial, from the dinosaur Diplodocus to the arrival of man. (Source: Wikipedia) What you may not know is that Colorado’s State Fossil is Stegosaurus. This dinosaur, which roamed Colorado during the late Jurassic Period (155-145 million years ago) is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs and is unique to our state, since some of the most important stegosaurus discoveries have been made right here in Colorado. This plant-eater had a strong quill-tipped tail and distinctive plates running down its back-which is how it got the name stegosaurus, meaning “roof-lizard”. It’s thought that stegosaurus stood 14 foot tall, 30 feet long and tipped the scales at a whopping 6,000 pounds, approximately the dimensions of a school bus.
While you’re traveling around Colorado and planning your stay at one of our Official Colorado State Bed & Breakfast Association member inns, a trip to these Jurassic park places will offer a “Dino-mite” vacation getaway. Thanks to the Colorado Tourism Office, here are a few of the state’s well-known places to walk where dinosaurs once roamed.
Dinosaur Journey Museum (Fruita/Grand Junction Area) The Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita is devoted to hands-on experiences — and even has robotic displays of the beasts that once called this area home. Interact with a stegosaurus, triceratops or T-rex and wander among the displays of real dinosaur bones from these and other thunder lizards. Nearby B&Bs: Four Mile Creek Bed & Breakfast (Glenwood Springs)
Plan a Colorado roadtrip along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway to see multiple dinosaur attractions in one journey.
Picketwire Canyonlands (La Junta) Take on gargantuan fossil tracks at the Picketwire Canyonlands south of La Junta. Here, visitors can feast their eyes on the nation’s largest collection of fossilized dinosaur footprints, as well as put their own tiny feet right inside them. The area boasts nearly 1,300 dinosaur tracks from as many as 100 different animals, all along just a half-mile stretch of the Purgatoire River. Nearby B&Bs: Tarabino Inn (Trinidad), Conejos River Guest Ranch (Antonito)