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Dinosaur Tracks? Dinosaur Tracks!!

Here’s a riddle for ya: What’s 150 million years old and takes 10 miles of hiking along the Purgatoire River to see?

Here’s a hint…

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Yep, that’s right, Dinosaur tracks! Jamie and I trekked down to SE Colorado a few weeks ago to visit Picket Wire Canyon in the Comanche National Grasslands with the sole purpose of seeing dino tracks.

Most of the tracks we saw (there are about 1,300 total preserved in the stone) were from Brontosaurus and Allosaurus, although there are tracks from a few other types as well.Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

The hike itself was interesting. It’s an in-and-back hike, meaning you see and do everything twice. Mostly that’s okay, except for when it means you have to do Hell Hill™ twice. Hell Hill™ was the worst. You lose/gain 250′ of elevation in less than a quarter mile, so it’s quite steep, and even worse it’s very loose sand and stone. Imagine having just hiked 10 miles… your legs are sore, your feet hurt, your camelbak is empty, your scalp is sunburned and all you want is a cold G&T…

And then you have to climb/scramble back up Hell Hill™ with your feet slipping out from underneath you. There are 4 or 5 switchbacks, so you think you’re to the top, but you’re not. You start to whine and Jamie tells you to “vegan up”. Your sesamoid bone feels like it’s about to shatter and you keep sucking at that camelbak hoping the G&T fairy has maybe filled it up for you with the most refreshing beverage ever, but no such luck.

THEN you come to a very sad and misguided family who thought it was a good idea to take 4 children under the age of 8 (and their bikes/trikes/strollers) down Hell Hill™ and you realize that some people are even crazier have it worse than you so you help carry the bikes back up the hill.  Finally you make it to the top and collapse.

Of course, this was just our experience… I’m not trying to scare potential hikers away, I swear 😉

Okay, enough complaining, here are some pics!

Me, doing my best dino impression in some Bronto tracks:

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Jamie, showing off her “Dino-myte” legs, haha!

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

The area is managed by the National Forest Service and there are a ton of informational signs all around.

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

The Bronto tracks we were posing in above were huge, but there were some smaller ones too…

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur TracksThe best part was that because we got an early start we were the only ones on the trail for most of the way. At one point we stopped to look at some pretty cool petroglyphs and another group started to catch up with us, but as soon as I pointed out the carvings to them, they stopped to look and we were able to get away. We were also the only ones at the track site! That was amazing. We had a full half hour to check them out in total silence before we decided to have lunch and head back. While we were eating a couple of the other groups showed up.

Because this is a food blog, I have to show what we had for lunch!

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur TracksThat’s sweet potato hummus, tofurky and daiya cheese with spinach wrapped up in a spinach tortilla! Yum!

On the way back we stopped at a really old cemetery, and it was the first time either of us had seen a sign like this…

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Don’t think you can handle Hell Hill™? They have auto tours too!

Finally, here are a couple shots of the petroglyphs:

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

And I promise I’m almost done, but I wanted to share a couple shots taken at the beginning/end, at the top of the canyon:

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

So Beautiful!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Jamie June 10, 2013, 8:02 am

    Reading about the dino trip, retrospectively, we sound so briiliantly adventuous (and we are!), but you should know that this was my first hike since the dinosaur age, and if you can slay the trademarked hill, you’ll really enjoy the rolling hills and easy 5.5mi hike to the coolest tracks ever. I was truly awed seeing remnants of long-long ago, and its one of my favorite Colorado trips, but that might have just a little to do with the company I was in. :o)

  • Heather June 11, 2013, 10:32 am

    This sounds like such a fun trip!- Ha- vegan up, that is awesome 🙂 sweet potato hummus? Say what, I have never heard of such a thing, it sounds incredible!!!

  • Jamie June 11, 2013, 10:49 am

    I forgot to mention how hilariously and brilliantly written this post is! Thanks for making me smile!

  • Reia@TheCrueltyFreeReview June 11, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Ha, I thought Robert and I were the only anti-social hikers out there 🙂 I can honestly say we would never have thought to help that family with their kids and accessories. That to me is just one of those live-and-learn lessons and yet another reason I’m glad I don’t have kids. Good thing you and Jamie were there instead of us!

  • JL June 16, 2013, 6:05 pm

    So THIS is what you were talking about today! How incredibly cool. I definitely want to check it out at some point. And, because this is a food blog. I want that sweet potato hummus wrap!

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