Denver March 31, 2017
These 5 Trails Around Denver Will Lead You To Extraordinary Ancient Ruins
Are you looking for a butt-busting workout that comes with a side of history? Believe it or not, such a thing exists, as these 5 trails around Denver will lead you to extraordinary ancient ruins, making for one unforgettable Colorado hike:
1.) Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison)
The next time you head to a concert at Red Rocks, make plans to leave early so that you can experience the fascinating Dinosaur Ridge; a Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark that houses an epic 1.5-mile trail that passes through hundreds of dinosaur tracks AND bones.
2.) Franktown Cave (Franktown)
Thought to have been occupied by Prehistoric hunter-gatherers beginning in 6400 B.C., the Franktown Cave is the largest rock shelter documented on the Palmer Divide. (Please note: The Franktown Cave is on private property, so please seek proper permission before making the trek to find it.)
3.) Castlewood Canyon Dam (Franktown)
Okay, so technically these aren't *ancient* ruins, but we figured that if you are in Franktown anyway, you may want to check out the remnants of the old Castlewood Canyon Dam, which burst in 1933 and spilled enough water to create a flood in Downtown Denver (25 miles north of the dam)! While the park boasts numerous designated hiking trails, you will want to take the short and easy Dam Trail to find the ruins.
4.) Paint Mines Interpretive Park (Calhan)
For one colorful 3.6-mile hike, don't miss the jaw-dropping Paint Mines Trail, which features geological formations of hoodoos adorned in bright clays used by Native Americans some 9,000 years ago.
5.) Picketwire Canyonlands (La Junta)
The best way to end this list of ancient ruin trails is with the unbelievable Picketwire Canyonlands; one of the largest dinosaur tracksites in the country that not only boasts nearby trails and grasslands to walk along, but more than 100 dinosaur trackways that you can actually walk on.
Craving even more outdoor time? Check out these
10 Easy Hikes Near Denver To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List.