If you’re in the area, pay a visit to Golden. Situated between high mountains and grassy plains, Golden is a new-fangled town with old-timey roots.
Traveling west from Denver along Highway Six (also known as 6th Avenue), you’ll pass the Jefferson County courthouse. Not far beyond, 19th Street will take you into downtown Golden.
But don’t go there just yet, because 6th and 19th is a very interesting intersection. If you take a left here, 19th will put you on Lookout Mountain Road (also known as Lariat Loop Road). If you’ve always wanted to drive your own roller coaster, this is the road for you. On the other hand, Gringo, there are easier ways to get into the mountains.
But, you came to look at dinosaur tracks, so take a right, rather than a left, on 19th Street. Turn right once more on Jones Road, just before the car dealership. Triceratops Trail begins parallel to 6th Avenue and looks down upon Fossil Trace Golf Course.
It’s a short trail, about half a mile, steep in spots, but not too steep. The deep trenches along the trail once contained clay before it was quarried. What remains is sandstone—sandstone containing impressions of triceratops traffic and ancient plant life. These impressions are known as trace fossils. Fossils of bones or other body parts are called body fossils. In addition to triceratops footprints, fossils of palm fronds and animal tracks can be seen.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
They really know their geology at the Colorado School of Mines. And a tour of the Geology Museum proves it. Its two floors house a magnificent collection of mineral specimens, including a cluster of amethyst crystals, a clear quartz crystal, a topaz and an opal—each as big as your head. There are specimens of silver, copper, lead and gold ores as well, including one specimen of gold wire in matrix.
The view from the upstairs window looks out upon the Front Range. Watch the video to learn about its geological features. Alternatively, learn more about geology first hand by hiking the geological trail directly behind the museum. The trail features some of the fossils for which this area is known.
The ground floor of the museum features a model uranium mine, which includes a display of florescent minerals. There is also an exhibit on radioactivity, a collection of specimens found locally on Golden’s South Table Mountain, and a gift shop. Collectors will appreciate the gift shop’s variety of mineral specimens.
Visit the museum between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or on Sunday between 1:00 pm and 4:00 p.m.
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