In many ways, Colorado is for a geologist what a toy department is for a child – a place filled with adventure and opportunity.
Everywhere you look, it seems, is something of geologic interest. Or at the very least, geologic beauty.
And while there are literally hundreds of geologically significant places in the state for professionals and laymen to enjoy, here’s a few that are within driving distance from the AAPG convention in Denver.
For a complete listing, check out the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
Hosting temporary and permanent exhibitions for both amateurs and professional geologists, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science features prehistoric journeys, gems and minerals, and a space odyssey.
Information: (303) 322-7009.
One of the world's most famous dinosaur attractions, Dinosaur Ridge offers encounters with the fossil remains of Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus. An extensive set of educational programs is available.
Information: (303) 697-3466.
Located at the University of Colorado's Denver Campus, the Dinosaurs Tracks Museum is home to the world's largest collection of fossil footprints and traces with an emphasis on tracks from the American southwest.
Information: (303) 556-5261.
Formerly the Lewis Home, it’s been the Lafayette Miners Museum since 1976. Built in the late nineteenth century, the place was home to those who worked the Gladstone Mine, northeast of the city. When the mine eventually closed, the house was moved into Lafayette.
The museum features the early days of its pioneer heritage, through the aforementioned coal mining years and into the present. Visitors will view a broad collection of artifacts, including a kitchen full of unusual household items used by Lafayette's founding families, plus a tremendous collection of mining tools and related equipment.
Tours by appointment. Information: (303) 665-7030.
Covered wagons, fur trappers, Indian buffalo hunts, miners and the diversity of life in early Denver: The Colorado History Museum has fascinating collections, detailed dioramas, historic photographs, artifacts and more.
Constructed in 1977, the museum is the home of historic and prehistoric antiquity and documents and is also the headquarters for the Colorado Historical Society. In addition to exhibits and educational programs, the museum includes the Stephen H. Hart Library and the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
Information: (303) 866-3682.
The Morrison features a detailed account of Jefferson County’s paleontological heritage.
Information (303) 697-1873.
This outdoor science museum, an interactive three-dimensional park based on geologic time, was conceived and constructed by more than 1,000 students from Broomfield Heights and Broomfield High School.
Information: (303) 466-2387.
Consisting of nearly three million acres, the PSICC is perhaps the most diverse grassland and national forest throughout the five-state Rocky Mountain Region. The site successfully blends commodity production and enjoyment opportunities, including primitive canyons. It is home to the largest dinosaur track site in North America.
Guided auto tours are the easiest way to experience the Picketwire and Canyonlands and learn about its rich, colorful past.
Information: 719-553-1400 (Pueblo).