Dakota Ridge Trail

South Dinosaur Open Space Park, Colorado

Distance2.6mi
Elevation Gain1,343ft
Trailhead Elevation6,135ft
Top6,644ft
Elevation Min/Max6135/6644ft
Elevation Start/End6135/6135ft

Dakota Ridge Trail

Dakota Ridge Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Jefferson County, Colorado. It is within South Dinosaur Open Space Park and North Dinosaur Open Space Park. It is 2.6 miles long and begins at 6,135 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,343 feet. Near the trailhead there are museums. The Stegosaurus Park-and-Ride Lot parking and the North Dinosaur Open Space Park museum can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Zorro.

Dakota Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Hogback is a popular mountain bike ride within easy reach of Denver or Golden. From its highest points, you can see stunning views of Red Rocks Amphitheater. The ride demands sound legs and technical skills. With some of the most technically challenging terrain in the Front Range, the Hogback is not for the faint of heart.

Its rocky drop-offs and narrow singletrack, tightening atop a steep ridge of tilted strata, have left many cyclists crying “mommy.” Once you descend from the hogback, the ride continues within Red Rocks Park and among its beautiful sanguine rocks. Terrain: Singletrack, dirt road, and paved highway. The terrain is very rocky and sandy in spots. This is a good early-season ride, as it tends to get too sandy after long dry spells. Not recommended as an autumn ride."

"This heavily used local favorite is often rideable year round and affords you with several challenging ride options and great views of the hogback and Red Rocks Park. The Dakota Ridge Trail is technically challenging and should be attempted only by more experienced riders.

The Red Rocks/Morrison Slide Trail is technically easy. Because of the heavy park usage by all types of recreationists, please yield to other users and uphill hikers. Terrain: Generally hardpack, but loose rocks and soil on Dakota Ridge Trail; waterbars and steps."

"Take a trip back into time. Dinosaurs roamed this land millions of years ago, and this hike takes you to the fossilized remains and footprints of these prehistoric animals via the Dakota Ridge Trail and Rooney Road."

"Technical singletrack on Dakota Ridge; frequent dips and fast singletrack on Matthews/Winters section. Tread: 0.5 mile on paved road, 1.1 miles on doubletrack, and 4.9 miles on singletrack."

Dakota Ridge Trail Reviews

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4/23/2018
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10/17/2011
I'm always afraid I'm going to get a ticket for letting my dog off his leash.
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3/31/2011
Beautiful views on this trail, but definitely some technically difficult sections for an intermediate rider - think of it as a great place to work on your weaknesses, and don't be afraid to walk a bit :-)
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7/1/2010
This is one of the better hikes close to Denver. Nice wildflowers early in the season.
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2/23/2009
This is a great winter walk. There is some elevation change to get your heart working. There was no snow on the trail. The Dakota Ridge part of the tril was quite rocky in places. You did not get to see the dinasaur tracks.
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8/16/2008
This trail is intense! It is a hard climb and the ridge is a definite rock challenge. I'm not an expert rider, but this I would still consider this a challenge for even the best. It is a fun downhill though and the views are some of the best I've seen. Have fun but be careful on the ridge!
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7/24/2008
While this not my most favorite mountain bike trail in the Front Range, it is on my list of Top 5. It has some good climbs, some moderately technical sections, and a good mix of terrain with rock slabs, small rocks, sand, and hard-packed mixed in. And it features a good view of Denver. So good in fact that I proposed to my wife on this trail right at the peak of Dakota Ridge. It will always be a magical trail for me.
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11/19/2006
This park is a great local resource. It is heavily used, so plan accordingly if you are looking for solitude. The good news is that the upper part of the park above the junction of the Meadowlark Trail and Plymouth Creek Trail is much quieter, though one does have to be aware that this is a multi-use area. I have found the bikers here to be considerate. Both the Red Mesa Loop and the Plymouth Mountain Trail are excellent with great views. Plymouth Mountain has a couple of fun knobs to boulder on, if one is so inclined. Like many front range parks, be prepared for mud after a rain or snow. Good footwear is essential here as there are a lot of loose rocks on these trails.
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8/15/2005
The first ascent will surely set you back a few but once you reach the first ridge line it will all make sense. Some very technical points on the first descent before you cross back over to the red rocks side of the loop. If your a mud-loving rider go in March where the terrain switches from hardly packed dirt to soft patches of gooooo and you might even have to traverse patches of white! Incredible views of the park from the Dakota Ridge side.
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9/18/2003
This trail, so close to the metro area, gets a lot of use, and unfortunately some parts are beginning to show it. But still, it offers a wide variety of challenges for Mt. Bikers of all levels. From the initial climb out of the parking lot near I-70 up to the tops of the hogbacks, to the technical climbs and decents of the hogbacks themselves and even the difficult decent back to the road (and across it to Red Rocks if you want) the trail offers everything you could want, even the occasional rattler. Less experienced riders can expect to walk in places as they carry their bikes around and over some of the more challenging terrain. NOTE: THIS TRAIL HAS BEEN A HOTBED FOR CONFLICT BETWEEN HIKERS AND BIKERS. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF THOSE WHO USE THEIR FEET. ALSO REALIZE THAT THEIR ARE MANY LEVELS OF CYCLISTS OUT THERE AND RIDE ACCORDINGLY.
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Trail Information

South Dinosaur Open Space Park
Nearby City
South Dinosaur Open Space Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Matthews/ Winters Park
Local Contacts
Jefferson County Open Space/Matthews-Winters Open Space Park map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018