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Horsetooth Falls and Horsetooth Rock Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1139)
Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Horsetooth Falls and Horsetooth Rock Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Fort Collins, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.4 mi Elevation gain 1,584 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Fee

Description
Waypoints (0)

There is an $9 car permit fee for out-of-town visitors.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1139)
Photos (1178)
Recordings (685)
Completed (3570)
Joanna Fedor
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Hiking

This is one of my favorite hikes to do near Fort Collins. Fun hike that has beautiful views of the reservoir and city. Be prepared - we were one of the last cars allowed in the parking lot and we arrived around 8:15 a.m. - once it’s full, the rangers close the lot until spots start to open back up. There is a moderate amount of shade, and to get to the ‘top’ of Horsetooth rock there is some scrambling. The views are worth it!!

Hallie Sutton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Good hike! Harder than it sounds, but worth it. Well marked with lots of great views. Part of the trail allows for bikes and horses. all of the trail allows for dogs if on leashes.

Chad Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingFeeGreat!RockyScramble

Distance Correction: 6.5 miles if you follow the loop on Alltrails. 4.0 miles from the Parking Lot to Horsetooth Rock summit via Horsetooth Falls Trail, then 2.5 miles back to the parking lot via Horsetooth Rock Trail. I really enjoyed this loop, particularly Horsetooth Falls Trail and Spring Creek Trail. Actually, this loop consists of the following routes... Horsetooth Falls Trail to the lower falls where you access Spring Creek Trail. From there, take Spring Creek Trail to Wathan Trail (left at the fork). And finally, Wathan Trail to Horsetooth Rock Trail. So, you will actually be on four trails in this trail system, not two as in the description above. Just FYI. Lots of wildlife early, but mostly gone by 730 or so to get out of the sun. Started to get hot around 8am on the way down, so plan for an early trip if possible, especially with younger kiddos. I saw several kids struggling with the heat on my way down as they were beginning their ascent. Welcome to July in Fort Collins! No bugs, lots of sun. Parking lot was closed/full before 8:30 when I got back to the lot. Great hike...enjoy!

Taras Konowal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020

Great hike. Lots of sun. Refreshing in the shade. Nice breeze helped. Somewhat crowded at beginning. Deer grazing off trail.

Tara Schoenherr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

I love all the trails at Horsetooth- well marked and park staff does a great job keeping things in shape. If you only have a day to visit this is the best loop to see the highlights. There is always a lot of traffic- I was there today on a Tuesday afternoon and had no issue parking but saw plenty of people throughout the trail. In my experience, folks are friendly and share the trail well.

Diane Chelmowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Quite a bit of sun, so hat is a good idea plus plenty of water. We did the full trail approx 6 miles with good elevation gain. The climb up to the Horse Tooth Rock was basically scaling rock. Great views even from just below that climb. Well worth the trip. Get there SUPER early on the weekends or you won’t get any parking.

Joy Ruberti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking

There is a $9 parking fee. I have no problem paying it since everything is so well maintained. Great hike. We did the Horsetooth trail. It’s definitely moderate. Up and back was approx 5.5 miles

Taylor J.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020

This trail is beautiful. After reading the reviews, I made sure I arrived really early, around 7:00am on a Saturday, and there was plenty of parking available. Highly trafficked, but everyone is friendly and there is a separate trail that is used mostly for bikes, so there weren't any problems. It was really hot, even that early, so bring plenty of water. I brought my older dog, and she struggled because of the constant incline. But we both loved it and we'll be back!

Tim Brown
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HikingMuddyWashed out
View Tim's Recording
Steph P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
HikingFeeNo shadeScramble

I arrived around 8:45 a.m. on a Sunday & the lot was full. Left to look for exterior parking (none avail) and came back to get a spot (whew!) I went counterclockwise from the TH, which seemed to make for a lot of uphill to the Horsetooth Rock. I’d like to redo this one going clockwise... In retrospect, I arrived too late & not just because of the parking. The heat & sun were very draining and slowed me down. I thought I’d be done in 3 hours total time, and it took me 4. Overall, a beautiful hike. I have mixed emotions about gated/paid hikes, but this one is worth it.

View Steph's Recording
Kenny Major
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Hiking

great views!! alot of uphill, need some endurance

Marija Prica
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 10 2020
HikingFeeNo shade

You have to pay $9 for parking. Saw one snake not to deep in to the trail. Took a long break at top since it was so beautiful and sunny. Not much wind. Not to crowded at trail as we expected. We started the hike late at noonish. Parking lot was full. On a way back the loop takes you to waterfalls and there was a lot of people and kids there. Overall a nice cute hike.

View Marija's Recording
Stephanie Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 06 2020
Hiking

Just got back and had to cut my trail short as my dog alerted me to a mountain lion a few feet off the trail. Please stay alert!

Ryan Sedlacek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Live in Fort Collins and the drive is an easy 10 minutes. Love this trail for regular hiking or trail runs. Foot traffic is moderate to heavy, love this trail!!!

Terri Slezak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
HikingBugsFeeNo shadeOver grownRocky

Went this morning at around 6:30am. It’s beautiful with lots of spring flowers blooming. There are a bit more bugs with the grass starting to grow fairly tall. But nothing unpleasant! Parts of the trail do not have shade therefore quite warm. I finished by 9:20am and I got a bit of heat exhaustion with my 70oz camelback bladder. So bring plenty of water and wear a hat!

Jenna Berry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 03 2020
Hiking

It’s insanely beautiful this time of year. So many wildflowers. Start early, and bring lots of water. I’m a regular hiker and I was feeling some heat exhaustion towards the end in the non-shaded parts.

Nikki V.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 29 2020
Hiking

Great trail that has a mix of some sunny, open areas and goes into some forest. Beautiful views throughout most of the hike. It’s busy so definitely go early. Saw a bull snake on the way down so be cautious.

Lila Chandler
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Rocky

very fun but very up hill. Best view from rock though.

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