Visit the Garden Park Fossil Area
Two roadside stops occur near two of the historic quarries in the area. From the south, the first is at the Cleveland Quarry (also known as the Delfs Quarry, named for Edwin Delfs, who excavated the quarry for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History between 1954 and 1957). This stop is 6.4 miles north of the intersection of U.S. 50 and Raynolds Avenue on the east (right) side of the road. It is a developed Bureau of Land Management rest stop with picnic tables, a restroom, and interpretive signs. The Cleveland Quarry was across Fourmile Creek near the valley bottom and produced one of the most complete known skeletons of the primitive long-necked sauropod, Haplocanthosaurus delftsi. The skeleton is the only mounted specimen of this genus and is on display in at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio.
The area around the Delfs Quarry rest stop has produced a number of other fossil finds, including a nest of eggs thought to be from the small dinosaur Othnielia. The eggs of this nest are now on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
The second stop is that of the Marsh-Felch Quarry (Fig. 1), located only 0.2 mile north of the Cleveland Quarry stop. The pull off for this stop is on the west (left) side of the road next to a monument showing some of the dinosaurs of the Garden Park area (and some that haven’t been found in the area, including Tyrannosaurus rex, a Late Cretaceous dinosaur). A 0.25-mile long hiking trail (one way) leads from the north side of this monument to an overlook of the Marsh-Felch Quarry. The trail is an easy walk (but is wheelchair accessible for only a short distance), and it includes several interpretive signs along the route and at the overlook. The Marsh-Felch Quarry is the type locality for a number of dinosaur species, including Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Diplodocus, Haplocanthosaurus, Labrosaurus, Morosaurus, and Stegosaurus. The bones of 65 dinosaur individuals were found in this quarry.
Figure 1—Historic photograph of Marsh-Felch Quarry, looking northwest from overlook, taken in summer of ca.1888.
In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of The Antiquities Act, the BLM paired with the Garden Park Paleontologic Society to develop a website that features an interactive map of the Marsh [Felch] Dinosaur Quarry. Through a series of letters written to Othneil C. Marsh, the website describes the life and findings of Marshall P. Felch over the several years that he spent working in the Marsh [Felch] Quarry.
Learn more about the Historic Quarries in Garden Park