U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Garden Park Fossil Area
Geologic Sightseeing > Garden Park Fossil Area (CO) 
Location
6 miles north of Cañon City, Colorado.
 
Description
Fossils of well-known species of large dinosaurs have been discovered at this site over the last 120 years. Many of the dinosaur fossils from this site are on exhibit at museums around the country, including the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Fossils of two-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur tracks have also been discovered in the Garden Park Fossil Area. In addition to dinosaur bones, Garden Park contains two significant, rare plant species, Brandegee wild buckwheat and inch milkweed. Garden Park is a BLM Area of Critical Environmental Concern, a Colorado Research Natural Area, and a National Natural Landmark.
 
Directions
From U.S. Highway 50 in Cañon City, go north on Reynolds Avenue to Field Avenue, which becomes the Garden Park-Shelf Road, part of the Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway. The fossil area is about 6 miles north of Cañon City.
 
Visitor Activities
Fossil viewing, scenic drives, hiking, picnicking, interpretation, birdwatching, rare plant viewing, and wildlife viewing.
 
Special Features
The Cleveland Quarry (6 miles north of Cañon City on the Garden Park-Shelf Road) is where scientists in the 1950s spotted dinosaur bones protruding from the base of a cliff next to Fourmile Creek. The skeleton of this huge plant-eating dinosaur is now displayed at the Cleveland (Ohio) Museum of Natural History. The Cleveland Quarry recreation site, adjacent to the quarry and the creek, features interpretive exhibits, a picnic area, and restrooms. Marsh Quarry, with a 0.25-mile, self-guided interpretive trail, is located about 0.1 mile north of the Cleveland Quarry. The parking area is on the west side of the road. The trail provides views of Marsh Quarry, the site of notable dinosaur discoveries from the 1870s and 1880s, including fossils of Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, and others.
 
Permits, Fees, Limitations
None.
 
Accessibility
The Cleveland Quarry recreation site is wheelchair-accessible.
 
Camping and Lodging
Primitive camping is available on-site. The nearest lodging is in Cañon City.
 
Food and Supplies
Food and supplies are available in Cañon City.
 
First Aid
No first aid is available on-site. The nearest hospital is in Cañon City.
 
Additional Information

General information about the area is posted at the Cleveland Quarry recreation site. For additional information and online educational activities, please visit our website http://www.handsontheland.org/garden-park/ or contact the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500. Garden Park Fossils are also on display at the City of Canon City’s Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center located in Canon City, CO.

Contact Information
BLM - Royal Gorge Field Office
3028 East Main Street
Cañon City, CO 81212
Tel: (719) 269-8500

Garden Park Fossil Area

Interpretive displays, such as this one overlooking the Marsh Quarry, provide visitors to the Garden Park Fossil Area with information about dinosaur discoveries from the 1870s. (Rick Athearn, BLM Colorado State Office (retired))


Garden Park Fossil Area Map


 
Last updated: 09-18-2014