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Tags:
Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +706/714 ft
Total: 587 riders
 

Mountain Biking Red Rocks / Dakota Ridge

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#46 of 1,347 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#476 in the world

From the parking lot, cross CO 26, and ascend the jeep road that you will see on the east. Follow for 3 miles. This section of trail is called Dakota Ridge. A couple of tough climbs, but mostly just riding the ridge. Lot's of slick rock. (pretty technical) You can see Denver to the left, and Red Rocks Park to the right. After descending down from the ridge, you will cross a small road over to the Red Rocks Trail which is also 3 miles. Red Rocks trail is totally different from the Dakota ridge....much greener and smoother. It's mostly a single track dirt trail. A couple of climbs, but not bad at all. This is not nearly as technical, and the scenery is amazing. You will be riding through towering red rocks and beautiful shrubbery. This trail loops back up to the parking area. So you have a 6 mile loop with slick rock, desert, sand, red rock, single track, beautiful scenery, and skill levels for everyone. (less skilled or in shape riders might want to do just the red rock side, which is still great fun!!)

First added by alvin.santoy on Dec 31, 2002. Last updated May 9, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
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Getting there
Take I-70 west out of Denver. Go past the 470 exit, and take the very next exit for Morrison. At the end of the exit, take a left (south) onto Colorado Hwy 26 at the light. Go under the I-70 overpass, and the park will be on your right 100 yards later. Trailhead is on SE side of the lot.
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Red Rocks / Dakota Ridge Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 19, 2019)
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Red Rocks / Dakota Ridge videos

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Dakota Ridge Mountain Bike
 
Dakota Ridge Mountain biking
 
2010 1015 - BOMB Dakota Ridge
 
Dakota Ridge 5
 

Rider questions

Q: Is there a bike shop nearby
A: Green Mountain sports is just down the road on Alameda. about three miles from the trail. Always take my bike there for tune ups guys are awesome

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Reviews

  • Garrett Bradford
    ****

    Clipins and big suspension/wheels is a must have. It's more of a cross country with minimal downhill sections. If you prefer tech over speed this is all you. That being said it had its moments. I did find a fun rock drop that was perfect for someone new to DH.. This a one and done trail for me tho the rocks were just too slow.

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  • Jeffers Bobby
    *****

    I love this ride. Dakota Ridge is technical, but you definitely need to take a minute to enjoy the amazing view of the Denver skyline as well as Red Rocks amphitheatre. I've mountain bike in plenty of places in closing all of Moab and this view still amazes me. A must for all technical riders.

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  • bigAD
    ****

    A great loop, but hit it early. Especially on weekends.

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  • Jmurphy8776
    ****

    The only word to describe parts of this trail is "gnarly". I don't think I've seen as many rocks with pedal etching ever.

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  • *****

    Awesome trail! Very challenging.

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  • Mountaineer19
    ***

    I did a loop of Red Rocks and Dakota Ridge. It was an okay ride. Dakota Ridge which is the Hogback adjacent to Red Rocks has some great views but its very rocky and had alot of logs also. You are constantly braking, not my cup of tea. But If you love ripping over rocks this is a nice loop.

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  • norourke
    ****

    Don't ride the ridge after a rain storm, the red clay on the climb on the other side of 26 is brutal. The clay stuck in my tire and stopped the wheel from turning. Highly recommend riding it backwards from the red rock trail across 26. The water dams and terrain is much easier in that direction. Don't get me wrong you will need your A game on this ride no matter the direction.

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  • Ash Bobye
    *****

    Had a ton of fun on this trail. There were some muddy and sandy parts from the rain but it just added to the fun. We didn't get to hit Dakota Ridge because there was a detour and we couldn't figure out their directions...

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  • jreiss13
    ****

    Great trail very technical. The lower half of Dakota Ridge is closed south of Alameda Pkwy. There is a lot of thick mud that cakes your tires making it hard to ride now but will be great once it dries.

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  • James S
    *****

    Rode Dakota Ridge a few weeks ago on my hard tail 29er, first time up there and emphasized my desire to upgrade to full squish. It was super challenging on what was a light, XC geometry bike. Really, head angle much too steep to comfortably descend many of the drops. However, as much as I walked it I had an intense desire to conquer this trail. It's a technicians dream, and can be downhill/enduro centric. Fast forward 2 weeks, was able to source a year old frame to build up a full suspension bike. This is a trail review, but I have to say, Dakota was so much more enjoyable on a bike that was easier to pedal through the tough sections. Wow, and active braking, didn't know what the felt like. I probably still walked a good portion of the trail, but did 100% better than my first time. If you are looking for a technical challenge, and are confident enough for some fairly steep rocky descents, then Dakota is for you Not a beginner trail, definitely advanced. It earns it's black diamond rating for sure. Rode it both directions last night because of previous snowfall, Red Rocks was not rideable. Going northbound on Dakota is quite a lot of hike-a-bike, but is fun as well. Again, not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!

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  • Michael Paul
    *****

    Winter Update: Zorro is mostly dirt and there is little snow on top of Hogback. Red Rocks and MW have mostly dirt at the bottom sections of the trail and packed powder near parts of the top on the north and western sides. I would not ride this w/o a fatbike at the moment.

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  • stillfat
    ****

    Not sure why it took me so long to ride this one - I've been missing out. Yes, more than a little hike-a-bike, but fun-technical and slabby. The Red Rocks side is a lot tamer, but still fun. I passed through the Red Rocks Trailhead right before a Furthur show and was overwhelmed by the competing scents of weed, patchouli and human excrement. Secondhand buzz starting kicking in making the initial Red Rocks climb a little more manageable.

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  • vbeckman74
    ***

    The hogback section of this trail is rocky and rough as Hell. If you can clean it, you're badass. It would be a better run. The red rock section is cool, fast, and a bit rocky.

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  • Shonad
    *****

    I loved this trail so much we returned to it for our last trail of a 2 week mountain biking trip in Colorado. Sweet drops and technical climbs with lovely flowy sections in between. It'll be the first trail I do with I return to Denver!

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  • samurai6660
    *****

    School-girls be aware: This amazingly awesome trail consists of gnarly rock gardens, rock drops, a nice "rock bridge," (beware of resting rattle-snakes under rocks) and, well....more rocks. Everything is do-able including the stair wall, witch consists of 2 lengthy wooded stair sections. We ride it up to, and ON Thanksgiving every year. Please join us. Should be listed as one of the TOP 10 TRAILS in CO. Have fun!

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  • DurangoMtBikeTours
    ****

    Only had about an hour so just rode out and back on Red Rock Trail. Good Time. 1st half is pretty rolling. At the second intersection of Morrison Slide Trail, the Red Rock trail goes down and then crosses the road, Continues on towards the Red Rocks Ampitheater. I wish I had more time to ride additional trails here. Being so close to Denver, these trails get ALOT of use. Most runners/hikers were cool, one was a jerk.

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  • davefourtwenty
    *****

    This is my favorite ride on the front range. For those riders looking for a technical challenge try Dakota Ridge and the SW downhill of the Red Rocks trail. These two sections (especially the SW downhill of Red Rocks) are by far the most technical riding in the area. Other than those two sections this trail is pretty easy but very fun. On the weekends the Red Rocks side of the trail can get very clustered with hikers so checking it out during the week will give you the purest experience.

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  • mattics
    **

    I am not a fan of the Dakota Ridge leg of this trail, the riding is extremely technical and a lot of it for me was simply not rideable. I love a challenging technical ascent and love earning my downhills, but hike-a-biking most of the ridge was not something that I found to be much fun.

    Funny how many pedal scrape marks there on the rocks all along the ridge.

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  • Michael Paul
    *****

    This is a GREAT trail that you can link with Green Mountain, Bear Creek, and several other smaller trails for an EPIC ride if you want to. Lots of climbing. Challenging, infrequent, technical descents. Fast flowing downhills. Did I mention the climbing? Seriously, this is a fantastic trail system so close to Lakewood that I have considering moving there just to have these things in my backyard. The are ridable from Nov to March. Make sure you bring lots of water (no where to refuel), gels, and layers. The weather can surprise you if you are out for a 4+ hour ride.

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