World’s Longest Dinosaur Track In Colorado Is Now Open For Public

The track has 134 footprints of a dinosaur that wandered the area about 150 million years ago
Dinosaur tracks of Comanche National Grassland in La Junta, Colorado.
Dinosaur tracks of Comanche National Grassland in La Junta, Colorado.Shutterstock

Located in Colorado, the world's longest dinosaur tracks are now open to the public, providing a glimpse into prehistoric times. Approximately 150 million years ago, a dinosaur with a lengthy neck wandered the area, leaving behind 134 consecutive footprints. The path of this sauropod includes a unique 270-degree turn, preserved in sandstone at an elevation of approximately 9,300 feet above sea level.

Recently, the United States Forest Service acquired three parcels of land in Ouray County, Colorado, including the West Gold Hill Dinosaur Track site. These footprints can be accessed via the Silvershield Trail, a two-mile route that gains about 1,600 feet in elevation, situated just west of Ouray.

Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah
Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and UtahJacob Boomsma / Shutterstock

The newly protected site is notable as it showcases one of the few instances of a dinosaur changing direction so dramatically, with only five other examples discovered worldwide. As per reports, the land was originally purchased by the Charles family in 1945 for gold prospecting. In 2021, they found the dinosaur tracks on their property and later approached the Forest Service about selling it. The acquisition was finalised in 2024 by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests.

About Sauropods

Sauropods were massive herbivores with long necks and tails, reaching lengths up to 100 feet, characterised by their long necks, tails, and massive bodies. They inhabited various regions across the US during the Mesozoic Era. Fossil discoveries have unveiled the presence of sauropods in states such as Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Oklahoma. Famous sauropod species in the United States include Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Camarasaurus.

Besides the US, these iconic giants have left their mark across various continents. In South America, Argentina's Patagonia region has yielded rich deposits, including the discovery of Argentinosaurus, one of the largest sauropods known. Africa boasts notable finds in countries like Tanzania and Niger, where species like Brachiosaurus and Paralititan have been uncovered.

(With inputs from local media reports)

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