P.O. Box 822 Golden, Colorado, 80402


Advocating for Golden Open Space Preservation

North Hogback Open space

Historical Information

This 28 acre parcel of Golden Open Space contains a National Natural Landmark called the "Early Bird Site".  The site is off limits to visitors due to hazards from early mining operations. The Dakota Sandstone at the Early Bird site contains the first bird and crocodilian footprints ever reported from the Cretaceous period (about 100 million years ago). The footprints decorate the walls of the historic clay mines found here. The original finds date from the 1930's but more recently paleontologists rediscovered the site and found more fossil bird and crocodile trackways and dinosaur "bulges". 

The Cressman Gulch Trail along the southern and western edge of the open space allows access to individuals who want to explore the diverse plant life or view the ridge from the west. Social trails on the east side of the ridge take you past interesting rock formations and mining vent holes left from another era.

Thank you to Dr. Donna Anderson for providing "hard-to-find" documentation about the Early Bird site.


POSTER Downloads

North Hogback Area (PNG)


Golden Open Space Map (PNG)