Mount McConnel Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#24 of 108 trails in

Mount McConnel Trail is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Fort Collins, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1391 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
21 days ago

This is a fun trail to hike. I recommend to hike it counterclockwise this way you have an easy or climb but you’ll have a pretty steep climb down where are you hike on a primitive trail. Be aware that you will experience a significant temperature drop once you get up. We had both of our dogs with us and it was fairly quiet on the trail

hiking
1 month ago

What a great cardio workout! Beautiful views. Strong advice here: go counter clockwise. I am 99% confident that if we had gone up clockwise, I would have given up before the summit. I would go up counter clockwise and THEN back track the same way back hill. We did not do that, we finished the loop however, by finishing the loop, you go down massively steep, rocky terrain. It was exhausting and scary. Going back downhill should be the perk of the hike and not the worst feeling decision. They call it a “primitive” trail if that tells you anything. Have fun!

hiking
2 months ago

Decent trail. Summit was kind of weak. I highly recommend you do this trail counter clockwise.

hiking
6 months ago

Trail was dry and mostly easily followed. Definitely recommend doing this one counter-clockwise (starting at the higher point up the trail). Doing the “primitive trail” at the end is definitely easier than trying to hunt down the trail at the beginning.

7 months ago

Some great views and a nice workout. All the campgrounds are closed this time of year, so parking by the gates can get filled on a nice day. The trail is not well marked once you get in a ways, so you do have to look a little at places.

8 months ago

This hike was amazing! Our first hike since moving to Fort Collins and it didn't disappoint. Not too difficult going up, a little bit harder going down the primitive trail, but nothing extreme. We went in the mid afternoon, beautiful time of day. Highly recommend this trail!

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike! More on the technical side if you make the complete loop.

10 months ago

Great trail

hiking
11 months ago

I'm Fairly new to hiking scene. I went yesterday 7/16/17, I went clockwise up. Having to navigate boulders going up totally burnt me out, so if endurance is an issue I'd suggest doing an out and back going counter clockwise.

Views going up are good, but towards top everything is burned and smells like it, views are obscured by haze. Descent is slippery with loose rock, but otherwise uneventful.

Began hike around 1230 finished at 430p. Wear hat no coverage and bring plenty of water very hot and dry. Best part of hike was cooling off in river afterwards.

11 months ago

Very little tree coverage so be sure to start early and use sunscreen. The view from the top is amazing but the trail is not enjoyable. It feels much longer than 4-5 miles and the whole section leading to the summit (clockwise) is covered in burned trees. Instead of doing the loop, I would recommend just doing an out and back to the summit (counterclockwise). $6 to park at the trailhead, cash only.

11 months ago

The best part of this hike is the spur to the summit. As another reviewer noted, after a moderately difficult Boulder scramble to the summit you are treated to a gorgeous view of Rocky Mountain National Park's snow capped mountains. Definitely worth it if only for that panoramic view.

11 months ago

Great views of snow capped mountains from the top. Came down the primitive trail side. It's much steeper and in a couple of places had to stop and find the trail but not too bad. Worth it for a much different terrain.

hiking
11 months ago

Going counter clockwise, a little tough to follow on the descent. Nothing too crazy. Nice views of the canyon.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Good hike. Two places to start, one is hard to miss and well signed. The other is just after the bridge on the left. I ended here, but it would've been easier to start here. This is the steepest part of the trail (and a bit overgrown), and I also prefer to go up really steep stuff than descend. Decent views from the top, most of upper section is burnt.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Only saw 9 people the whole hike, even on Memorial Day weekend. Beautiful views and great trail.
Forest Service volunteers warned us the end of the trail was "primitive" and they weren't joking. Nothing too tough, but (if you take the trail counter-clockwise) lots of descents over rocks on pretty steep face.
Overall great hike.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Pay attention to the map. A few sharp turns to stay on the specific portion of the trail you want, while going straight can send you off on other trails you don't want.

Overall a great hike. Moderate difficulty rating is appropriate, steeper in spots, but nothing really difficult.

hiking
Monday, March 20, 2017

Awesome slightly challenging hike! We did the entire loop and on the way down from the top, the trail was much less taken care of than on the first half. A little hard to follow the trail due to rocks and fallen trees. Also pretty steep in some areas so I'm glad that was on the way down and not up! Pretty views up top but it was a super windy day up there.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It was nice, a lot of the area was burned from the fire but the views to the west were beautiful. It was 62 degrees out and my 11 year old lazy daughter was able to do this no problem.

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2016

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!

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

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.

hiking
Saturday, May 21, 2016

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!

hiking
Friday, March 11, 2016

the directions take you out to nowhere.... there was no trail head to be found.

hiking
Saturday, February 27, 2016

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.

hiking
Monday, July 27, 2015

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.

hiking
Sunday, November 30, 2014

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.

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2011

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.

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2011

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.

hiking
6 days ago

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