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Marsh Quarry


A beautiful hike to one of the most productive fossil quarries in Colorado.

Hiking Moderate

1.7 km
65 m
65 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
1.8 km
Marsh Quarry Map

Marsh Quarry is located in the Garden Park Fossil Area, which is "world famous for its monumental dinosaur fossil discoveries," according to GoHikeColorado.com. "The stegosaurus featured at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science was one of the area's most impressive finds," they continue.


While there are several historic fossil quarries in this area, one of the most famous was the Marsh Quarry. This small quarry located up an arid desert canyon just outside of Canon City was one of the most productive fossil dig sites in Colorado, with innumerable specimens excavated from this area (precise numbers are difficult to pin down definitively).

This short hike passes several informational plaques about the quarry and then travels up a dry wash to the quarry site itself. From the end of the trail, you can see the excavation site and imagine men hard at work in the late 1800s and early 1900s, slowly, methodically excavating the remains of these extinct behemoths.

The beginning of the hike is very easy and mellow, but the stretch of trail leading to the quarry gets a bit rockier. Some of the rocks can be large and blocky, and at times the trail might be faint, but it's still a fairly easy hike that most people will be able to accomplish.

Unfortunately, there aren't any fossils on display along the Marsh Quarry trail. All of the fossils have been exported to various museums and labs across the country. If you do happen across a fossil as you're exploring the area, be sure to leave it alone for others to enjoy after you.

The history of this area is exceptional, but so are the views of the arid foothills and canyons in this rugged region of Colorado. If you continue past the upper overlook, as shown here, you'll hike up a dry wash to reach a flat grassy area from which you'll enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding region. While you can continue hiking beyond this spot, this is a common turnaround point.

Sources: http://www.gohikecolorado.com/marsh-quarry.html https://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/2020/11/22/back-in-time-fremont-county-farmer-discovered-multiple-dinosaur-fossils-in-garden-park/



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Family friendly

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Guidebooks in this area