Discovering Bones in Dinosaur National Park
By Will Siegler
By Will Siegler
My 12-year-son yelps with delight about ten feet up the trail. I almost lose my footing which would send me careening down a steep hill. When I catch up to him he has both hands on a huge four-foot-long femur previously owned by a dinosaur 150 million years ago.
The main attraction at Dinosaur National Park in Dinosaur, Colorado is the quarry, but it’s closed to visitors. The structure over it has been deemed unsafe and the National Park Service folks say it will be three to five years before it is open again. Pity, they say the bones are just in piles and still in place.
For the hardcore dinosaur bone fan, the only thing left is a long hike to a steep narrow trail past various bones which are still in place. Never found a dinosaur bone in your life?
Not to worry, the ranger will draw you a sketch on where to find the most obvious ones. Once you get the hang of it, the rest will jump out at you.
There are the six tailbone vertebra just under a tiny ledge about eight feet above our heads, another long bone sticking out of the rock, and any number if bits and pieces. Each of the vertebra is about four inches long and six inches high.
Note of Caution
We were there during the first week of June, 2007, and it was already hot. Water, sunscreen and a hat are minimum requirements. Personally, I wear loose long sleeve shirts with the tail out for ventilation and long pants. A t-shirt over the top of a kid’s head with a cap over that will keep the sun off their tender skin. I always assume children are more susceptible to heat injuries than adults.