Hogbacks - Devil's Backbone Open Spaces
The geology of Colorado has gone through massive and multiple changes that are visible throughout the Front Range. “Hogbacks,” known scientifically as homoclinal ridges, are ridges of rock made up of steeply tilted layers (strata) of rock jutting out from the surrounding landscape. The rock formations are usually made up of two different types of sedimentary rock that erode at different rates, creating cliffs that become steeper and steeper as the softer sedimentary rock continues to erode.
Devil’s Backbone is one such hogback. It’s a spine of hard Dakota sandstone rising about 220 feet above the surrounding valleys that was deposited during the Cretaceous Period, 145 to 65 million years ago, the same time that Tyrannosaurus rex lived. The rock layers are part of the ancient beach that surrounded the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, created by erosion from the second rising of the Rocky Mountains mixing with the ancient sea. Today, you can hike trails that take you along this unique natural phenomenon as part of one of Larimer County’s open spaces.