Picketwire Canyon/Dinosaur Track Site

Picketwire Canyon/Dinosaur Track Site

My family and I loaded up the burros and headed down south of La Junta to Vogel Canyon Picnic area. Vogel Canyon is a tributary of the Purgatorie River Drainage that cuts through the Comanche National Grassland and is a beautiful place with an abundance of petroglyphs within 1.5 miles of the camp that date back 5,500 years. Thursday morning after breakfast we loaded up the burros and gear and drove 15 minutes to the Picketwire Canyon trailhead. The temps were supposed to be in the 90’s and we had a 12 mile round trip ahead of us. We brought lots of water, sunscreen and food. Along the way there were numerous petroglyphs, the Delores Mission and Cemetery and several other old adobe homesteads that were built in the late 1800’s. Just before we reached the final trail to the track site we noticed a really cool replica of a dinosaur bone. The original had been discovered not far away.   Once we neared our destination we had to cross the Purgatoire River, which flows along side the tracks. The water felt great after a long hike. There are over 1,300 tracks there from both big plant-eating saurapods (Apatosaurus), ornithopods (Duckbill) and theropods (Allosaurus).

 We were very fortunate to meet Bruce who is a paleontologist for the State Parks Dept. Clayton was beside himself to meet a REAL dinosaur hunter. He would ask him a dinosaur related question and before Bruce could answer Clayton would ask another question. He was so excited! Bruce even pulled out some tools and helped us uncover some tracks that had been filled in with mud during a recent flood. Bruce was one of the folks who discovered the dinosaur bone that we had stopped to look at earlier and it was his idea to create a replica to share with the public. It was great to meet him.

Bruce gave us a few extra bottles of water for our 5.75 mile hike back; we put the boys on Sabina and headed back down the trail. We got back to camp, ate supper and curled up in our sleeping bags. It was a long, yet exciting day.

Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/98221086


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