Summary: This is a long hike around the valley between the hogback and the first major foothills. It has very little shade and can be very hot during the middle of the day. It is best to do in the early morning. Start at the Matthew Winters Park parking lot and follow the instructions for the Red Rocks/Morrison Slide hike. After descending the other side of the Morrison Slide, go to the south on the Red Rocks trail and follow the trail down toward the highway. When the trail ends at a road, follow the road a few hundred feet to the main highway. You will see the trail continuing on the other side of the highway. It climbs to the saddle in the hogback, where you must cross a road and catch the trail along the ridge of the hogback. At the saddle, you can read signs about geological features or even go down the hill to see the dinosaur tracks. (See the Dakota Ridge hike description for more information.) Continue along the ridge until you descend to the parking lot.
Trailhead: Take exit 259 from I-70. Head south and park on the east side of road in the Stegosauros park-n-ride lot or park in the Matthew Winters Open Space Park parking lot on the west side of the road. (Lat:39.69 Lon:-105.205)
Trail Guides for Red Rocks Morrison Slide Dakota Ridge Loop:
Matthew Winters Park
by Jefferson County Open Space (Jefferson County)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Jefferson County Open Space Parks- 303-271-5925
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Keith Robinson, who has posted 5 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by mike on 6/17/2012
Great hike, but lots of discourteous bikers detract from a great walk
Reviewed by Tim on 10/26/2010
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Reviewed by Samantha on 8/6/2009
Did this during the middle of the day but it was overcast and not too hot at all. It gets a little confusing between red rocks trail and Dakota ridge trail. All in all it was just challenging enough but not a killer. I even saw a rattlesnake on my way down toward the parking lot! It is also very good for running.
Reviewed by irasnyd on 4/28/2007
Great hike. I went out today, and started at about 1pm. It was about 80F out. It was a little warm out, but no problem with a hat. A very nice trail, well maintained. There was some mud from the melting snow, but it also wasn't a problem. It is not a hard hike, I'd say "moderate difficulty" describes it well. There are some shorter loops in the area, about 1 mile and 3 miles, if you need a shorter hike. The trail is very well marked.
Reviewed by SB on 6/22/2006
Lots of mountain bikers. Good for trail running.
Reviewed by Brandie on 3/14/2006
Great for a spring day hike. Would NOT recommend for the middle of July. Muddy in spring, yet still pleasant. Technical bike riding...more fun hiking with a dog. Recommended...nice 6 miles.
Reviewed by goldlyn on 8/16/2005
Hiked at dusk on summer day. Wouldn't want to do this hike during the day -- it'd be VERY hot, I think. Not much traffic going or returning, but enough other trail-useers that I felt safe. Passed thru a herd of deer on the way back -- lovely.
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