The picture at the top of this blog was taken on top of Dinosaur Hill. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to live in this beautiful state of Colorado. Within minutes we can be on top of some high point, admiring this Grand Valley, with the mighty Colorado River hugged on either side by the lush green it sustains. At this time of year, the view is a thick vein of stunning orange and yellow leaves that will soon drop into that river and be carried further west. It will steal your breath away.
You could drive up into the Colorado National Monument or onto the Grand Mesa to catch a glimpse of this, but one of the quickest and most attainable ways is to simply hike Dinosaur Hill. For those of us in Fruita, it is just out our front door. For those in Grand Junction or anyone just passing through, you will want to take Fruita's exit 26 off of I-70, and head South (R. off of I-70 E. or L. off of I-70 W.) through the round-a-bouts onto Hwy. 340. You will pass McDonald's and the Dinosaur Journey Museum on your right. Continue until you see Rimrock Adventures/Rodeo (about a mile in) on your left and the entrance for the hike will be your next left.
There is a parking lot with an information board, restrooms and covered picnic tables. There are 10 points of interest along the trail, as this was an important discovery sight in the area's palaeontological history, but with our little ones along, we just focus on the hike. It took us just under an hour to complete the mile-long trail, and that's with a baby on my back and moving mostly at a 3 year old's pace. There are some steep inclines/declines that were a little tricky for him to navigate, but it's definitely doable. It is a great trail to get some exercise on if you can move quickly, or a great place to stretch and get some fresh air if you are traveling through the area and need a break.
I would absolutely recommend good, sturdy shoes, water, and also layers, as it can be hot and or windy on the exposed sides. There are two covered benches at the top to enjoy the view or eat lunch at, or, as I mentioned earlier, covered picnic tables in the parking lot.
This is a fun, and even informative hike, that I really need to remember to tackle more often!
Have fun and enjoy the view!!!