Purgatoire River track site

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One of the dinosaur trackways at the Purgatoire River track site.
Theropod footprint at the Purgatoire River dinosaur track site, Picket Wire Canyonlands, Colorado, U.S.A.
Interp Panel 1
Interp Panel 2
Interp Panel 3

The Purgatoire River track site, also called the Picketwire Canyonlands tracksite, is one of the largest dinosaur tracksites in North America.[1] It is located on public land of the Comanche National Grassland, along the Purgatoire (“Picketwire”) River south of La Junta in Otero County, Colorado. Since 2001, the area has also yielded discoveries of dinosaur bones.[2]

The tracksite is far from paved roads, but accessible to the public by hiking on foot, by mountain bike, or by horseback. Motorized vehicle access is restricted to tours conducted by the US Forest Service.[3]


The more than 100 trackways, made up of more than 1500 individual footprints, were made by both biped and quadruped dinosaurs. The tracks occur in limestone of the Jurassic Morrison Formation. The site formed along the shore of a large freshwater lake at the time the tracks were made.


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