Blue Sky Trail to Devil's Backbone is a 18.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fort Collins, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length18.8 miElevation gain1,965 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingWalkingBird watchingRunningViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo shade
Description
Waypoints (0)

SEASONAL CLOSURE: This area is subject to seasonal closure due to weather conditions. For more information, please visit https://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/parks/devils-backbone. Very open terrain – very few trees. Lots of bushes, wildflowers (spring), and grassy expanses. Probably not a hike for summer due to the heat and potential for encountering rattlesnakes. When you get to the Devils Backbone area there is a bit of a rise to get up and around a couple of hills. The Laughing Horse Loop is a section of trail that gets around the first hill and it is the most difficult part of the trail. There the trail is almost 100% skree and exposed shale that makes walking difficult. But there are really nice views of Backbone and surrounding mountains from several points long this stretch. Once the Laughing Horse and Hunter Loops are complete then it’s basically a couple of miles down to the Devils Backbone parking lot. This trail is quite popular with mountain bikers so watch those blind corners.

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Reviews (18)
Photos (469)
Activities (18)
Completed (94)
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Tamera Vandervliet
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Hiking

It was a good day nice and dry very easy walk except of course it’s a favorite for the local mountain bikers and trail runners not much fun for hikers.

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Charles Frumerie
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Hiking
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Joshua Wilson
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Hiking
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Samantha Labb
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HikingNo shade

PHEW. Only people I saw doing this trail were bikers. Went from the wild loop trail in Loveland to the Blue Sky Trailhead & back. Took us a long time. Went through SO MUCH water and the water fountain at Horsetooth was closed. Died during the 10 miles back. No shade. No wind. DEATH. I love the backbone side more than the blue sky side. I had enough of blue sky the first time I went through it.

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Jonathan Smith
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Mountain biking

Great trail! Such an awesome local spot. Perfect rolling hills for cruising on the mountain bike. If you reading this: stop, save yourself the time, and get out there. You won’t be sorry.

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Sammi Jackson
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HikingMuddy

Very cool views. While walking on the path it seems like Arizona is on one side and Colorado is on the other. Vey muddy because of the snow melt but overall a good hike.

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Wendy Milbauer
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HikingNo shade

I enjoyed this trail. Great for tail running, not a lot of traffic past the Backbone.

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Hans Zaepfel
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Hiking
First to Review

Living in Loveland, we have hiked Devils Backbone many times. And the fact that Blue Sky connects to Devils Backbone made me put the combined trails on my list of hikes to do. Set off from the Blue Sky Trail trailhead in Fort Collins after dropping off a car at the Devils Backbone parking lot in Loveland. Decided to go north to south because the hike is overall downhill. Very open terrain – very few trees. Lots of bushes, wildflowers (spring), and grassy expanses. Probably not a hike for summer due to the heat and potential for encountering rattlesnakes. When you get to the Devils Backbone area there is a bit of a rise to get up and around a couple of hills. The Laughing Horse Loop is a section of trail that gets around the first hill and it is the most difficult part of the trail. There the trail is almost 100% skree and exposed shale that makes walking difficult; us oldsters were a bit tired by then and this part of the trail slowed us down; I almost rolled my ankles a couple of times. It made me think that perhaps starting on the Devils Backbone end of the trail might have been better as we would have hiked this stretch while we were still fresh. But there are really nice views of Backbone and surrounding mountains from several points long this stretch. Anyway, once the Laughing Horse and Hunter Loops are complete then it’s basically a couple of miles down to the Devils Backbone parking lot. If I could rate trails with ½ stars this one one get a 3.5 mainly due to the condition of the Laughing Horse Trail. Unless I had some hiking buddies who wanted to take this route I would probably not do it again. Oh, this trail is quite popular with mountain bikers so watch those blind corners.

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Joseph Brown
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Hiking
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Joseph Brown
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Hiking
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Jon-Eirik Holm-Johansen
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Mountain biking
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Amanda Spafford
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Hiking
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Cody Prochazka
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Mountain biking
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Ken McLaughlin
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Hiking
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Andie Kinney
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Hiking
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Josh Espinoza
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Hiking
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Vivian Guerrero Campbell
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Hiking
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John Daley
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