DIRECTIONS: From Denver take I-70 west to C470 East. Exit at W. Alameda Parkway and turn right (west). Drive past the Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center and park at the end of the road near the gate.
The Dinosaur Ridge Trail allows visitors to get up close to various types of fossils and geologic features that are common to the area. The main attraction are the dinosaur track fossils and the dinosaur bones exhibit. My personal favorite are the fossilized crocodile scratches formed by ancient crocodiles scrapping their claws along the ocean floor. The hike follows a portion of W. Alameda Parkway that has been closed to vehicle traffic. From the trailhead to the top of the hogback and down to the dinosaur bones exhibit is one mile each way. This is a great hike for kids as the promise of seeing dinosaur bones is a powerful motivator to keep moving...
From the trailhead, simply follow the road up the east face of the hogback. Along the way there are various interpretive signs explaining the fossils and geologic features. About half way up the trail is the first major exhibit, the dinosaur track site. There are benches and shade and plenty of material to read about this fascinating find.
At the top of the hogback, there are signs explaining the view of Green Mountain and the Dakota Hogback. As you walk through the "gap" in the hogback you'll be treated to views of Mount Morrison and Red Rocks Park. Continue down the western side of the hogback to see more dinosaur tracks (from underneath!) and the dinosaur bones exhibit. The road continues down to Highway 93, but return by following the road up and back over. You can also connect to various trails in Matthews-Winters Park to tack on some extra miles on soft surface trails if you want a longer adventure.
Dinosaur Ridge is wonderful resource and was recently designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. Be sure to check out the Discovery Center as well as the Triceratops Trail further north along Highway 93 in Golden.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Dinosaur Ridge Trail
Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison-Golden Fossil Areas National Natural Landmark
Date Hiked: December 3, 2018
Distance: 2 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 375 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,941 to 6,169 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long:39º 41' 11" N; 105º 11' 35" W
Managing Agency: Dinosaur Ridge