View of Red Rocks Amphitheatre from the Dakota Ridge Trail near Morrison, Colorado
Location: Dinosaur Ridge near Morrison
Trail Length: Variable, depending on how deep into North Dinosaur Park you go
Elevation Gain: About 550 feet
Notable Features: The big draw is Dinosaur Ridge, a park with trails and free self-guided or paid guided tours detailing the pre-historic beasts that roamed the area and have left their mark. There’s also the Dakota Ridge Trail that splits off the road to the north that leads into North Dinosaur Park. It gives great views of Morrison, the surrounding foothills, and Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Sprague Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Trail Length: Just under one mile, loop trail around Sprague Lake
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Notable Features: An easy but very scenic walk around Sprague Lake, one of the more popular areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful clear water in the lake and a great view of nearby mountain peaks. There are picnic areas near the parking lot as well.
Nymph Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, at the Bear Lake trailhead
Trail Length: About 1.3 miles, in-and-back trail past Nymph Lake
Elevation Gain: About 300 feet
Notable Features: An easy walk through the woods past Nymph Lake. Climb up onto the rocks north of the trail for a great view of the mountain peaks to the south. We were visited by a couple blue jays interested in our picnic lunch.
Lake Mary at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Trail Length: About 2.8 miles, double loop trail around Ladora Lake and Lake Mary
Elevation Gain: Minimal elevation change
Notable Features: An easy and pleasant trail that loops around two lakes in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Be on the lookout for birds, frogs and turtles around the lakes, and there are buffalo and deer roaming the surrounding prairie.