10 Amazing Places for Dinosaur Bones and Tracks
Dinosaurs have been extinct for a millions of years, but they never lost their popularity. Kids and adults will always be fascinated by the size of those meat or grass eating giants that once ran where our cities now stand. Fossil sites and displays will never cease to attract people because we all have an adventure and thrill seeker in us.
Let's look at 10 sites where you and the entire family can get your dinosaur fix:
1. Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Elmo, Utah
Utah has many dinosaur fossil sites, but this place is unrivaled for its quantity of allosaurus skeletons form Jurassic period. These dinosaurs were huge, hunted others and sported giant skulls and teeth. Visitors can view the bones in the museum or take ranger-led hiking tours. The quarry is managed by the U.S Bureau of Land Management.
2. Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas
The bed of Paluxy River holds much evidence about the dinosaur existence for those that still doubt. The park is about 80 miles southwest of Dallas and easily accessible. Visitors might not find many fossils here, but they will definitely be wowed by the quantity of dinosaur tracks. This collection is one of the biggest and most famous in the world. The tracks are really big and very impressive. If you want to experience the tracks up close and personal, join volunteers on clean-out days, when naturally accumulated debris is removed from the tracks.
3. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles, California
As incredible as it sounds, but huge prehistoric creatures ruled the area that is now known as Los Angeles. Scientists continue to uncover sabretooth cats and wolfs from the tar pits that are just off Wilshire Boulevard. You might even think that it's a prop for a Hollywood movie, but the pit is real, rich, and still bubbly.
4. Nash Dinosaur Track Site and Rock Shop in South Hadley, Mass
Dinosaur sites are more abundant in the West, but this site is the place where the first dinosaur tracks were found in North America. A New England farmer stumbled upon them plowing his fields in 1802. He dug up a rock and used it to stop the door without realizing what it actually was.
Today visitors can see and purchase tracks from a small shop to take some dinosaur memorabilia home with them.
5. Fossil Butte national Monument in Kemmerer, Wyoming
This place is a like an ancient aquarium in stone. A huge variety of prehistoric fish, plants, and insects are preserved buried under volcanic ash 50 million years ago. The area is called the Green River Formation, now housing a museum and quarry. Collecting isn't allowed here, but all you have to do is walk out and collect to your heart's content in privately owned lands and establishments. That won't be free, but you can get some incredible specimen there.
6. Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
Petrified wood is the main attraction here, but dinosaur enthusiasts will find some great things here too. Animals lived among those trees and got preserved together. Eggs, strange dinosaur bones and remnants were found in this forest. The park has the Rainbow Forest Museum where some of the found bones are displayed. Visitors can also take in scenic desert overlooks and marvel at Indian carvings.
7. Mammoth Site at Hot Springs in South Dakota
Mammoths roamed the Earth together with our ancestors, so they are young if compared with dinosaurs. Regardless of the fact that they have been gone for just a few thousands of years, they still capture our imagination and interest us. This site in South Dakota is a large sinkhole with the greatest collection of mammoth skeletons in the world. Ice Age comes to life when you visit this site. See also How to Save for Travel When You Shop at Target.
8. Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado
This site has been found by road builders working on a stretch of the road on the outskirts of Denver. It happened just 80 years ago. A huge collection of tracks and bones now attracts visitors from all over the world. The track are the most impressive - hundreds of them perfectly preserved in a huge slab of rock.
9. Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, Montana
Seeing the huge bones are usually enough for most people, but if you want to take a more active part in the discovery, you can join the unearthing adventure offered by this non-profit group. Imagine the thrill of discovering new skeletons with friends and family. Some finds at this site include duck-billed dinosaurs, tyrannosaurus, and albertosaurus. This experience would be once in a lifetime for sure.
10. Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut
This site has been discovered 50 years ago and hosts an impressive collection of dinosaur tracks. Dinosaur State Park also includes a beautiful arboretum. It is located in the Connecticut River Valley. The natural geodesic dome preserves and safeguards 200 million year old footprints from early Jurassic Era. Visitors can view the tracks while walking on the trails or in the museum and interactive exhibits. Read more about Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.