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Matthew Winters to Dakota Ridge Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A run along the plateau under Mount Morrison to the technical Dakota Ridge Trail.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

88%

Runnable

6,779' 2,066 m

High

6,009' 1,832 m

Low

1,147' 350 m

Up

1,139' 347 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Overview

The switchbacks up the Morrison Slide Trail are fun and the descents on the Dakota Ridge Trail are tough! This is a pretty good 6+ mile loop.

Runner Notes

Loose and rocky on the first half and very rocky on the Dakota Ridge Trail.

Description

Starting from the Matthews Winter Trailhead take the Matthews Winter Trail up to the Morrison Slide Trail and then head over to the Red Rocks Trail to cross the road and pick up the super technical and steep Dakota Ridge Trail. You'll have to run on the road a little bit towards the Red Rocks entrance gate, and the trail picks up right across the street.

Head up the switchback and eventually north to cross a paved road, and the entrance to the Dakota Ridge Trail is just past the port-o-potty on the east side of the ridge-line. A few climbs and descents on the ridge lead to a very steep finish back down to the road.

Watch out for mountain bikers on your uphills—they're technically supposed to yield the right of way to runners/hikers but that Dakota Ridge Trail is made for mountain bikers to bomb, so if you see them coming let them cruise by!

Always remember to yield to uphill travelers, it's a lot easier to get going down than it is up! Have fun!

Flora & Fauna

Rattlesnakes!

History & Background

There are fossils on the west side of Dakota Ridge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Allman

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#3551

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
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1 Star
20%
Recommended Route Rankings

#444

in Colorado

#3,551

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Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

View looking southeast with various lakes in sight
Jan 7, 2019 near Morrison, CO
Great viewing spot along the trail at the far end of the lollipop
Jan 7, 2019 near Morrison, CO
View from Morrison Slide Trail
Apr 28, 2015 near Morrison, CO
The terrain of the ridge can be a little rocky.
May 22, 2015 near Morrison, CO
View from the ridge with Bandimere Speedway in the background.
May 22, 2015 near Morrison, CO
At the top of the ridge, overlooking the Zorro Trail.
May 21, 2015 near Morrison, CO

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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2021
D L
Pounded. 6.8mi — 1h 08m
Feb 13, 2021
D L
With Josh. Super cold, like -1 when we left the car. Pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves. 6.8mi — 1h 19m
Feb 6, 2021
D L
Solo. Nice and easy. Just getting back into the swing of things 6.8mi — 1h 21m