Trail Through Time |

Grand Junction

Hiking Trail Through Time - Grand Junction Hiking Trail Through Time

Grand Junction

Overview

RATING: Easy Hike

Thu

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. South southwest wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

70 | 49

Fri

A chance of rain showers before 9am, then showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Southwest wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

64 | 46

Sat

Showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

58 | 42

Sun

A chance of rain showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 41

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 72.

72 | 41

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WATER: None

Thu

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. South southwest wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

70 | 49

Fri

A chance of rain showers before 9am, then showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Southwest wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

64 | 46

Sat

Showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

58 | 42

Sun

A chance of rain showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 41

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 72.

72 | 41

View Full Weather Details
One of the clearest examples of a fossil along the trail

One of the clearest examples of a fossil along the trail

Near the Colorado-Utah border on I-70 in Rabbit Valley lies The Trail Through Time. The 1.5-mile trail is a stone's throw from I-70, but transports visitors back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the area.

The trail is part of the active Mygatt-Moore dinosaur quarry that has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. As the trail winds its way along the benches, it visits several sites where dinosaur fossils can be seen in the rock. This is like most dinosaur exhibits in the wild I have visited in that the fossils are visible but will require a close eye to see and appreciate. Don't expect to see a full T-rex fossil lying around on the ground!

Our family, especially our 5-year-old, really enjoyed the stop while we were in the area. The trail is well done, and quite scenic. It captured and kept our family's attention.

Camping Note: There is no camping at the trailhead, but good camping nearby. The camping in Rabbit Valley used to be free, but due to increased use, as become a fee area. See https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/10227416 for details and to make reservations.
BLM Information About The Site:
This area has been the site of many important dinosaur and fossil discoveries. Eight species of dinosaurs have been found here dating from the Late Jurassic Period. Scientific research is ongoing at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry where you can observe paleontologists and volunteers digging during the field season. The Trail Through Time provides an opportunity for you to discover the area's paleontology and geology.

The Trail Through Time is a 1.6-mile interpretive hiking trail. It loops back to the stone-pillared kiosk that is visible in the distance. The trail to Mygatt-Moore quarry, restroom, and most of the lower trail are all wheelchair accessible. The upper trail climbs 140 feet and is mildly strenuous. Hiking boots are recommended. While on the trail, remember water, sunscreen, and a hat! Temperatures frequently soar to the upper 90s in Rabbit Valley during the summer.

Stay on trail, and pack out waste. Collecting materials of any type is prohibited. All digging is done under a scientific permit. Valid permits are required to collect vetebrate fossils on public lands in accordance with Paleontological Resource Preservation Act of 2009 (PRPA).

Did you know?
Eight species of dinosaur have been found here, including the armored dinosaur Mymoorapelta.

In the Jurassic period, Mygatt-Moore Quarry was a muddy watering hole in the wet season, and a harsh barren desert in the severe droughts of the dry season.

Dinosaur bones laid on the surface for as little as five months or as long as six years (or more!) before becoming buried as fossils at Mygatt-Moore Quarry.
The family headed up the trail.

The family headed up the trail.

Getting There

The trailhead is reached via exit 2 on I-70 in Colorado. This is 2 miles east of the Utah state line, and about 25 miles west of Grand Junction.

Once off the highway, go north for about 0.15 miles to the parking area and trailhead.

The quarry area.

The quarry area.

Route

From the trailhead, walk north on the trail/dirt road. There is a restroom on the left just before you reach the visitor information sign and quarry.

The trail heads each from the quarry and quickly comes to the loop junction. You can go either direction, though we went clockwise (left) to get the uphill out of the way early. It is a lovely loop with many interoperative stops along the way.


Maps

Route / 1.65 miles / Elevation Range 4,690 - 4,845 ft.
Trailhead

12S 670986mE 4340126mN

N39° 11' 37" W109° 01' 12"

Restroom

12S 670910mE 4340263mN

N39° 11' 41" W109° 01' 15"

Loop Junction

12S 671019mE 4340326mN

N39° 11' 43" W109° 01' 11"

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