Hike or Bike Matthews/Winters Park

1103 County Road 93

This 4.5 mile loop that overlooks Red Rocks and Dinosaur Ridge. This is a great wildflower hike in colder months and is decently sunny for winter hikes. In the more congested areas, there are separate trails for hikers and bikers.

Matthews/Winters Park, which is part of the Jefferson County Open Space system, is proof that you do not have to go far from the city to enjoy the mountains. Nestled in the foothills between Golden and Morrison just off I-70 and C-470, Matthews/Winters is easy to access from Denver and any of the foothill communities. But don’t be fooled by its proximity to the city: this park is really beautiful, too.

MW is the old town site of Mount Vernon, which no longer exists except for a small cemetery. You can explore the old headstones along the Village Walk. A creek weaves through the park, feeding the fragrant wild plums and willows.

Its topography is mostly open and sunny, which makes for good wildflower conditions. In spring, the green grass contrasts nicely with the red soil. The trails are not too difficult, though the Morrison Slide is a bit of a climb. It’s worth it, though. From the top of the plateau, you can see the Hogback (which is also part of MW Park), Dinosaur Ridge, and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. The view of Red Rocks from above is actually pretty incredible. It’s a nice place to take a picnic break. Continuing south, the views of red rock formations continue until you loop back north. The trail connects with the Red Rocks Park trails, so if you are looking for something longer, continue south. Most hikers will want to track back north toward the parking lot for a return trip that is really pleasant. For bikers, there are enough connecting trails in the area to make for a nice, long ride if desired.

Plan on picnicking at one of the tables near the creek. This is one day hike close to home that will leave you smiling.

For more details on park trails, check out the Park Map.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Water
  • Trail snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Layered clothing
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • In winter, YakTrax or microspikes
  • MTB gear for bikers
  • Camera
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RT Distance 4.5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Sightseeing

A quick walk and close to the city; can't go wrong during a day of sightseeing.

Best It Can Be Those Close To Denver

For how close it is to Denver, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this. While hot and very sunny at midday, I'd imagine it's terrific at sunrise or sunset. We only saw 12-15 people the whole hike which included Morrison Slide, so it still felt like we had the trail somewhat to ourselves. I'm planning on coming back when it snows to get sunrise/sunset landscape photos of Red Rocks.

Easy going hike with nice views

PROS -Close to Denver, easy to get to -Not too much elevation gain/loss so it makes it overall pretty easy -Good for a quick hike after work or when pressed for time -Many different connecting trails in park, also connecting to other parks -Lots of Geocaches along trails CONS -Very, very muddy trail -Not necessarily the most exciting hike Overall, I will come back to this hike as it is close to town and I love that it goes all the way to Red Rocks. Thanks for adding this!


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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Morrison Slide in Matthews / Winters Park

Start at the trailhead located at 1103 County Hwy. 93 and enjoy a little warm up time by the creek that winds past wild plum, chokecherry, and willow trees.

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Hike Dinosaur Ridge

The hiking trail starts at the parking lot located across from the Dinosaur Ridge Discovery center (which you should totally go check out!).

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Hike the Red Rocks Trail

While this is a 6 mile hike, it is relatively easy to add mileage to it and tailor it to fit your needs.

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