The Pikes Peak region has a rich history of prehistoric proportions. With fossils, footprints, exhibits, animatronics, a ropes course and even its very own species, we have the perfect place to please your inner paleontologist.
In Colorado Springs, visit “Theo” at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. Formally known as Theiophytalia kerri is the only known specimen of his kind and was found in the park in the 1800s, though it wasn’t identified as a new species until many years later.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a spectacular area of red rock and pine trees, similar to that of Garden of the Gods Park, but considered a true hidden gem where you’ll find evidence of the area’s prehistoric ecosystem.
Head up Ute Valley Pass and check out the Florissant Fossil Beds, a Colorado National Monument to find massive petrified redwood trees and thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants. In Woodland Park, see real paleontologists at work in the Dinosaur Resource Center, which also is home to dinosaur fossils including T-Rex, raptors, giant flying and marine reptiles and a huge carnivorous fish.
In Canon City, you’ll find our newest attraction that dates back millions of years. The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience boasts an indoor museum with fossil replicas and interactive exhibits. Outside, you can strap yourself in a climb on the multi-story ropes course to come face to face with a T-Rex who will follow your every move. The Wild Walk exhibit is a stroll through time as the animatronic creatures sense your arrival and greet you with sound and movement.
Enjoy upscale lodging at the Royal Gorge Cabins and Campground – quite the opposite of roughing it! As you head out of Canyon City, be sure to turn off of Highway 50 when you see signs for Skyline Drive. This narrow road high on a ridge brings you right to a set of real dinosaur footprints.