Yes, I know that the title of this blog post, as well as the one about Green Mountain, are a little ridiculous… but if you know me, you know that I like doing things right, and neither of these landmarks are officially within Denver (and Dinosaur Ridge isn’t even officially in any city), so they’re a little difficult to describe.
Anyway, for my final touristic activity of this leg of my trip, I headed over to the Dakota Ridge Trail to hike up Dinosaur Ridge. Dinosaur Ridge is right by Green Mountain, which I visited a few days ago, but I decided on this trail instead of something deeper west into the mountains because it already takes over half an hour for me to drive to this area from where I’m staying in Centennial. Because of this, you might recognize some of the scenery from these photos if you already read my Green Mountain blog post, but just from a closer or further point-of-view.
This hike was longer, but it was definitely easier than going up Green Mountain, and I only ended up climbing about half the elevation that I did for Green Mountain. The intensity of the climb wasn’t much different than Green Mountain, though; a lot of the elevation gain happens right at the beginning of the hike, then it plateaus out once you reach the top of the ridge.
At the summit, there was a little flat platform of land where you could see Denver, and also transfer over to Zorro Trail if you wanted.
Instead of transferring, I instead chose to continue along the upper ridge of Dinosaur Ridge. I checked a handful of maps and wasn’t able to find a specific name for this trail, but it ran parallel to Dakota Ridge Trail. This path was much more woody and foresty.
Once I got to the tip, I was able to get sweeping views to the north, with a sharp cliff down.
And with that, that wraps up my trip to Denver. I’m glad my final activity was a hiking trip, because I’m headed eastbound to Kansas tomorrow, and I’m definitely not going to be seeing any more mountains for a long time. My visits to Utah, Wyoming, and Denver were fantastic, and I’m hoping that I won’t be let down by the rest of my journey through the Midwest.