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The Perfect Autumn Hike for the Colorado Dinosaur Enthusiast

Riggs Hill 3

Are you looking to enjoy the cooler autumn temperatures with a convenient local hike? Look no further than Riggs Hill in Grand Junction. The trail is nearby, accessible to almost anyone, and features a few attractions for the dinosaur enthusiast.

There’s quite a bit of buzz going around Colorado, and the rest of the nation for that matter, regarding the triceratops skeleton find in Thornton. Well, here in Western Colorado, we have plenty of our own dinosaur finds. One of which made the big time over a hundred years ago.

Why is it called “Riggs Hill”? According to, in 1900, this was the site of the discovery of the first bones of a Brachiosaurus. The Brachiosaurus was named by paleontologist Elmer S. Riggs of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. The hill was named in his honor in 1938.

I’ve hiked this trail many a time, but until yesterday, was unaware of the trail heading south of the parking lot. This is the trail featuring the magnificent dinosaur find.

It seems I made a slight error when hiking last Sunday. According to, the trail is not open to dogs. I somehow was unaware of this. As a matter of fact, every hiker I ran into that morning had a dog with them. I’ll keep this in mind next time. shows this trail as being 3/4 of a mile long. That seems a bit conservative to me. Then again, there are several variations possible when hiking this trail. If one were to set out from the parking area and went directly up the hill to the west, this trail would come in at close to 3/4 mile.

The parking area for the hike is fantastic. There’s plenty of parking, and access is easy for any vehicle. Just head down S. Broadway until you reach South Camp Road. The parking lot and trailhead are just a little south of the intersection.

The hike is challenging only in a few places. Most of those places can be avoided if you choose to do so. This is a great hike and an excellent example of the unique history of the region. Visit Riggs Hill the first chance you get.

NEXT: Say Goodbye to Summer With Photos From Across Colorado

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