Mount McConnel Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Fort Collins, CO that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
To access Mount McConnel Trail (#992) you must choose from either starting points found at the Mountain Park Campground and then hike segments of the Kreutzer Natural Trail (#936). From McConnel trail you have glimpses of the surrounding mountain ranges and views into Rocky Mountain National Park. This trail offers challenging elevation gains at points, a few exposed sections as well as hiking under cover of larger pine woods. However, large sections of the forest have beetle kill as well as damage from forest fires. If you do not have four wheel drive to access the nearby Mummy Peak trails then Mount McConnel and Kreutzer Nature trails provide easy access from Colorado HWY 14.
This was a fun trail - lots of good cardio (up up up!), but nothing too overwhelming.
Park at the Mountain Park Campground lot (or out on the road, if it's winter and closed, as was the case when we hiked it. There's plenty of space by the gate). Almost immediately after crossing the bridge, take the left fork and follow that up a short distance. The trailhead will be on your left, along with a nice map of the two loop options. We decided to take the shortest route (the Kreutzer nature trail to the Mount McConnel trail). According to the map it was about 4 miles and took us 2.5-3 hours with a nice stop at the top. There aren't too many trees up on the top, but the views are great!
Good trail for those who want to have a moderate workout to get to some awesome views- arrived around 10AM and didn't encounter anyone on the way up, despite pausing to admire scenery and catch my breath a few times. Trail does get rocky in parts and has trees across the path as you near the top, but I found a great spot on some rocks at the top for lunch and didn't see anyone up there, either! Met four different couples on their way up when I was on my way down, and there were far more vehicles parked when my pup and I departed around 1. If you're looking for quiet time in the woods, go earlier in the day and you're unlikely to meet anyone at all! Would definitely recommend.
Very steep, rocky, loose gravel. Long switchbacks all the way up, turn right at the junction for easiest access to summit. Not sure exactly what is considered to be the summit, as there are lots of rock piles on top, all w different views. I chose to follow the trail to a tall pile with cairns. It's sandy at the top, trees falling over all along the trail. Top was extremely gusty, with some great views. Snow capped peaks!! Also, many portions of trail are eroding away and you will be on a slant on gravel with a 1400 foot drop. So be careful. Take your time. The trail is very narrow and although I have never encountered anyone else on it, I can't imagine trying to pass people in some spots.
the trailhead is tricky to find. it is in mountain park. a dusty, exposed hike that's a relentless uphill climb. Some pretty views. Some spots where the trail is eroding slightly and gravelly/steep drop off to the bottom of the canyon so be careful. Saw signs of wildlife. Made it to right below the summit, then stopped as I figured the views where I was at were fine. The burned forest made it unique.
moderate - steep incline. Made it to the summit, hoping to do the full loop however past that point it's all burned from the forest fire. Therefore we turned back and did the nature trail loop. View from the summit is worth it!
the directions take you out to nowhere.... there was no trail head to be found.
Awesome views at the summit if you rock scramble to a high point to get a clear view. Trail is very steep and narrow in parts. If there is packed snow on the trail, hope you are sure footed as it becomes very slick as well. About a mile in, the trail splits and it's very easy to miss the sign indicating this. About 4 miles RT, with approximately 1,400 ft gain mostly via switchbacks. Trail head, located in Mountain Park, has this rated as "strenuous," though I'd say it's more moderate.
Good views at the top but I would take the same trail down as you take up. The loop goes to a "primitive" trail if you loop it from the top of mountain and it is hard to find and very sketchy. There is no water so make sure you bring plenty because there is not much cover. The views up are really pretty over wildflower fields.
Good trail up the mountain with many switchbacks so pay attention to the trail. It is a moderate hike pending how fast you want to go up it. Pretty scenery and easy over all trail.
A fun hike that starts in the Mountain Park campground. Nicely carved into the mountain with many switchbacks to help with the elevation gain. Having reached the top, I found it a little disappointing because you are still in the trees so a 360 panoramic view is not possible. A simple scramble up some rocks make the view a little better. WATCH OUT FOR TICKS! We went in early June and found many in the area where we chose to eat lunch. Take the trail that heads east (?) from the top. It's not as heavily frequented and it turns it into a loop hike. The trail is a little more difficult than the one going up due to less use and steeper drop-offs.
It was a challenging hike with a reward of such a beautiful view not matter which way your facing. Very steep not many places to rest until your at the top. Coming down is equally as challenging. Wouldn't recommend coming with really young children.
this is a very rewarding hike. it is a challenge, it is a steep incline to the top, it loops back down on a primitive trail.