Round Trip Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 4681 - 4848 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Dogs
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Trail through Time
View Trail through Time in a larger map
The Trail through Time is located at Rabbit Valley two miles from the Utah-Colorado border. The trail is part of the Rabbit Valley Research Natural Area and it is administered by the Museum of Western Colorado and the BLM. While hiking on the trail you will be able to see 140 million year ago, Jurassic Age, dinosaur and plant fossils as they were found in their original place.
Rabbit Valley can be accessed using exit 2 on I-70 west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The Trail through Time is on the North side of the interstate so if you are coming from the Grand Junction area take exit 2 and then turn right and proceed about a hundred yards to the parking area.
After leaving the parking area the trail travels past the restroom to a sheltered kiosk. There are four panels of information about the area, dinosaurs and the current work being done at the research area.
There are numerous plaques along the trail that provide even more information about such things as the geology and past dinosaur excavations.
This hike gets its 'Moderate' rating because of the climb of less than 200 feet it makes. There are several spots where toddlers will need a little assistance but that is the case with most hikes anyway.
If you feel a need to relax and take in the views there are sheltered seats at frequent intervals along the way. They make for a good spot to enjoy your refreshments.
The Diplodocus Skeleton was one of my favorites.
The in-situ skeletal bones are exposed in the rock right beside the trail. How cool is that? We used to have to drive all the way to Dinosaur National Monument to see such things.
The plant fossils were another one of my favorites on the trail.
It is quite common to see fossils while hiking in the Grand Junction area. It's nice to get a little information about them so when you see them while out hiking your experience is all the more enriched from your knowledge of what you are looking at.
On the way out I walked over to an area behind the main kiosk where a current excavation is underway. I was hoping to get a picture of the work in progress but alas nothing was being done today.
The dinosaur sites around Grand Junction are being developed into a respectable set of informative hikes. Two other locations that you may want to check out, if you haven't already, are Dinosaur Hill and Rigg's Hill. You will want to be sure and bring plenty of water to carry even on these short hikes. I was surprised that I drank 40 ounces of water on a 1.5 mile hike and another 20 ounces when I made it back to the car. If you would like to see the Trail through Time for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.