Morrison is a small-town west of Denver, established in 1874 with a small population of 466. Morrison is a small but thriving town whose major industries are tourism and margaritas — especially during summer.
Visitors come for the restaurants, rocks, and/or rock concerts. They may be passing through on their way to and from the spectacular high peaks to the west, or they may come to Morrison for the day or a whole weekend away from the city, just as they did in Morrison’s earliest days.
This scenic mountain ridge 12 miles west of Denver is the site where the world’s first large dinosaur bones were discovered.
The Visitors Center has interpretive displays that tell the story of how in 1877, a schoolteacher was poking around on the ridge when he discovered the fossil of an enormous bone. Within weeks, the area became known as the Morrison Dinosaur Quarry. The world’s first Stegosaurus was found here, along with bones from the Allosaurus and Brontosaurus among others. The discovery set off the “Great Dinosaur Rush” and dozens of scientists from the east came to Denver in search of additional fossil sites.
Today, the area has been designated a National Natural Landmark and preserves over 300 dinosaur footprints. Seventeen interpretive signs along a mile-long path describe and show what dinosaur bones look like to scientists when they are still encased in rock.
More information Dinosaur Ridge:
16831 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison