Magazine article Sunset

Digging Morrison

Magazine article Sunset

Digging Morrison

Article excerpt

Uncover dinosaurs and margaritas in this Colorado town


Travel planner

Area code is 303.

WHERE: About 15 miles west of Denver via State 470 and Morrison Rd.

ATTRACTIONS: Morrison Natural History Museum, 501 State 8; 697-1873. Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center, 16831 W. Alameda Parkway; 697-3466. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, 16351 County 93; 697-8935. Red Rocks Cyclery, 300 Bear Creek Ave.; 697-8833. Country Store, 201 Bear Creek; 6978916. Morrison Art & Clayworks, 103 Market St.; 697-7564.

DINING: Morrison Inn, 301 Bear Creek; 697-6650. "We have real fossils here, not just plaster casts," boasts Richard Scott, director of the Morrison Natural History Museum. "It's fitting, since dinosaurs are synonymous with Morrison."

Scott is right. Morrison, Colorado, has meant dinosaurs ever since 1877, when collector Arthur Lakes first stumbled upon some huge bones on a ridge near the little town just west of Denver. Lakes's discovery led to the unearthing of the first apatosaurus and allosaurus ever found. Further fossil fame came when the town's name was given to the widely known strata rich in dinosaur bones, the Morrison Formation.

Today Morrison remains a fine place to learn about the creatures of the Mesozoic. But it offers other pleasures as well.

At the intimate Morrison Natural History Museum, you can learn about those early dinosaur discoveries or watch technicians making dinosaur bones emerge from rock. Near town, you can roam Dinosaur Ridge National Natural Landmark and see an amazing array of bones captured in the dark rock at one of the original dig sites. …

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