Explore the best trails near Fort Collins with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
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.
We didn't do the loop, but just did the Horsetooth Rock trail out and back. This was gorgeous even in November, it was really nice to hike through some pines and get views in multiple directions at higher elevation. A fairly busy trail on a Sunday morning but it didn't detract from our enjoyment of the hike. The elevation gain is pretty steady throughout but going back down sure was nice! Horsetooth Rock itself is slightly intimidating to climb up on if you aren't fond of heights or drop offs, it isn't technical but is very exposed if you truly want to get to the top. Even without climbing up, there are spectacular views at the top - seeing the snow topped mountains in the distance was beautiful.
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.