Dinosaur Hill

1-19 Pictures

Dinosaur Journey MuseumDinosaur Journey Museum (09/20/2002) The Dinosaur Journey Museum at the Fruita Exit on I70

Dinosaur HillDinosaur Hill (09/20/2002) Dinosaur Hill is just North of Colorado National Monument.

WalkwayWalkway (09/20/2002) There is an easy, well maintained path around Dinosaur Hill.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument (09/20/2002) Dinosaur Hill gives you some good views of Colorado National Monument (to the south).

Uncompahgre PlateauUncompahgre Plateau (09/20/2002) Another shot of Colorado National Monument from Dino Hill.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument (09/20/2002)

Dinosaur Grub?Dinosaur Grub? (09/20/2002) A strange plant on Dinosaur Hill. Is this what the Dinosaurs ate? Please leave a comment if you know the name of the plant, and if ti is native to Colorado or imported.

Plant CloseupPlant Closeup (09/20/2002) Close up of unidentified plant.

Colorado River from Dinosaur HillColorado River from Dinosaur Hill (09/20/2002) A picture of the Colorado River in Grand Valley from the top of Dinosaur Hill.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument (09/20/2002) A picture of the face of Colorado National Monument from the top of Dinosaur Hill.

BentoniteBentonite (09/20/2002) The black layers are called Bentonite. It is a decomposed volcanic ash. You can see the Colorado River, about a half mile distance.

Grand ValleyGrand Valley (09/20/2002) The Grand Valley from the top of Dinosaur Hill.

Wash in the Morrison FormationWash in the Morrison Formation (09/20/2002)

The ExcavationThe Excavation (09/20/2002) This view down toward the main quarry gives a good idea of the make up of the land. Correct me if I am wrong. The top layer contains bentonite. There is then a hard limestone layer. The red sandstone held the fossils.

Dinosaur TrailDinosaur Trail (09/20/2002)

Dinosaur Hill QuarryDinosaur Hill Quarry (09/20/2002) The Dinosaur Hill near Fruita has an almost moonscape quality.

Dinosaur Hill QuarryDinosaur Hill Quarry (09/20/2002) Elmer Riggs removed 6 tons of bones from the mine.

Overhanging RockOverhanging Rock (09/20/2002) The limestone layer erodes at a slower rate than the red sandstone.

Dinosaur Hill TrailDinosaur Hill Trail (09/20/2002) The trails winds its way through different desert formations.

1-19 Pictures

Dinosaur Hill is a few miles outside the west entrance to Colorado National Monument. The hill is an exposed section of the easily eroded Morrison Formation which was deposited about 150 Million years ago in the Late Jurassic period (when dinosaurs ruled the earth).

The early settlers in the valley had found dinosaurs perhaps as early as 1880. The natives probably knew about the bones several centuries before that.

On hearing of the discoveries from Dr. S.M. Bradbury of the Western Colorado Academy of Sciences in 1899, Elmer S. Riggs of the Field Museum in Chicago planned a westward expedition. In 1900 he explored Riggs Hill, where he found fossilized remains of a Brachiosaurus altithorax.

In 1901, Riggs returned to the area and made the discovery of Dinosaur Hill where he removed the bottom 2/3rds of an Apatosaurus (Brauntosaurus) excelsus. The findings from this expedition were shipped to the Chicago Field Museum, where it is still on display.

Today Dinosaur Hill is a nice walk, on a well maintained trail just south of Fruita. It is a good place to stretch your legs on the long journey across Interstate 70

Bitsbox

Context: Hiking

Colorado National Monument (66 pictures) Dinosaur Hill is a few miles from the West Entrance to Colorado National Monument.

Fruita, Colorado (29 pictures) The Dinosaur Hill is a few miles south of Fruita.

Interstate 70 (51 pictures) Take exit 19 off I-70 in Fruita and drive south. This is the same exit as the Colorado Welcome Center and Dinosaur Journey Museum.

Grand Junction, Colorado (95 pictures) Dinosaur Hill is a short bike ride away from Grand Junction, Colorado.

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