Matthews Winters Park is a haven for hiking. The trail extends from Dinosaur Ridge all the way to Red Rocks Park. Part of the beauty is you can pick up the trail at a few different spots and based on how far you feel like hiking. Regardless of the path you take you will be taken by the wide-open views, accessibility, and rolling terrain that keeps things mixed up!
One of the most sought after loops is 4.8 miles round-trip. It start at the parking lot off just off I-70 and exit 259. Keep your eyes out for an early homesteading cemetery with tombstones that date back to the mid-1800’s. Follow the Dakota Ridge Trail along the hogbacks that steadily climb to a rigid edge that elevates you for stunning views. You will see Green Mountain and downtown Denver to the east and Red Rocks Amphitheater to the West. From here you can loop back around but if you aren’t ready to untie the laces you can follow the Red Rocks Trail one of the most renowned concert venues. And if you are still looking for more, head over Dinosaur Ridge and for another heightened view. If you head this way you will end up back in the parking lot where you once started.
The history behind Dinosaur Ridge is fascinating. As the name implies the area was once home to several dinosaurs like the apatosaurus, diplodocus, stegosaurus, and allosaurus. There are plenty of signs along the road that point out facts of the tracks. [Gallery not found]
It’s not just beauty you are hiking on but also history. In 1976, Jefferson County Open Space purchased 510 acres from Dr. William Winters, a physician from California. An additional 357 acres were bought from Nicholas Matthews in 1982 who owned nearby land.
Directions to Trail head: From I-70, take exit 259. Go south about 0.1 miles and turn west at the entrance to Matthew Winters Park. There is more parking at the Park-n-Ride stegosaurus parking lot across the stre