Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dinosaur Ridge - An Earthen Hogback

Mount Morrison from Dinosaur Ridge

Down around Morrison, ancient crags are uplifted and thrust into the sky creating a dynamic landscape. Since the 1800s, this area has been a hotbed for fossil hunters as bones and footprints from all sorts of dinosaurs have been discovered here.

A thin slice of mountainside spans across this Jurassic Park offering magnificent views of Red Rocks and the sheer foothills. Called Dinosaur Ridge, this earthen hogback requires a steep ascent to reach the narrow crest.

Traversing the knife’s edge is a dizzying endeavor as the cliffs fall away precipitously on both sides. At the summit, a few pine trees have been sculpted into interesting shapes by a relentless west wind.

The lofty heights of this rugged escarpment is a prime place to watch for migrating raptors riding the powerful thermals. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single bird of prey but I did see a mule deer, magpie and a few spotted towhees.

Up on the rim, the sun sears through thin air causing the climber to sweat with profusion. After the snowy spring, it seems like the heat has been turned on with a switch so I don’t have any reservation in saying I believe the warmer weather is here to stay.

A slice of mountainside

Magnificent views of Red Rocks Park

A knife-edged ridge

Sculpted pine trees

A rugged escarpment

Mule deer

And magpies

No comments:

Post a Comment