The things you see and feel when you walk a road or trail with historical importance is so inspiring. Picketwire Canyon one-ups the historical value with Dinosaur footprints and fossils!

Not far from our camp at Vogel Canyon is an amazing place with old ruins of a church, one of the most successful ranches in Colorado, Rourke Ranch, and a large discovery of Dinosaur prints in what used to be a large lake. Walking from the parking and camping area (4-wheel is recommended past the corrals) you start a very steep descent for about 1/3 mile. 30-45 minutes into the hike you'll run into an old home, complete with what's left of a vehicle, water well and an old stove.

 

Then the mostly flat to rolling road/trail winds through the canyon and ranch land past an old cemetery.

But if you'd made it to the church and cemetery without a couple of detours and stops, you may have missed some great rock carvings. This area is full of historical graffiti from native peoples of this area. If you take this hike, or even bike the trail, don't forget to stop and admire these precious carvings.

Others may argue the best part are the Dinosaur footprints found after about a 5.5 mile hike into the canyon. To see all the prints, you'll likely get a little wet as the larger sections are across Purgatoire River.

 Partial Theropod footprint

Partial Theropod footprint

 Theropod footprint

Theropod footprint

But for me, it was my imagination, thinking about how and why, over hundreds and millions of years, this place attracted animals and humans alike.

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