Northern Colorado is home to beautiful hiking trails that range from a leisurely walk in nature to some daring adventure trails that will leave you breathless. Take advantage of the best hiking trails in Fort Collins…here are some of my favorite trails. Make sure you check out the tips below as well. Enjoy the natural beauty that is Colorado.
Know Before You Go
The busiest times at natural areas are weekends, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., so try visiting earlier or later, or on weekday mornings for the best chance at parking. Have an alternate destination in mind. When parking lots are full try another trailhead or come back another time. Avoid a parking ticket! Only park in designated spaces.
Check Colorado Trail Explorer for the most up-to-date trail conditions, closures, and alerts
Numerous factors come into play if you want a safe hiking experience. Thunderstorms, lightning, a surprise snowstorm, dangerous wildlife, or maybe an unstable rock at the edge of a cliff are only some the hazards you could encounter while out on the trail. Having the proper gear, making sure that you’re in good physical condition, paying close attention to your surroundings, and using good judgment are all essential for a safe and enjoyable hiking trip.Colorado Hiking Safety Tips
Arapaho Bend Natural Area
Natural setting for fishing, birding & wildlife viewing, with 4 miles of trails around ponds.
Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Looking for a great trail in Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, Colorado? Bobcat Ridge has 5 great hiking trails and walking trails, There are 4 moderate trails in Bobcat Ridge Natural Area ranging from 3.6 to 10.3 miles and from 5,439 to 7,007 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you’ll be out on the trail in no time!
Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Coyote Ridge Trail is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Cache La Poudre River
Less than a half hour drive from downtown Fort Collins the Cache La Poudre River breaks free from the sloped canyon walls that cradle its bounty of crystal clear, snow fed waters. Heading east on Highway 14, just a mile from Ted’s Place at highway 287, the Poudre Canyon Highway begins its 40 mile paralleled journey with the Poudre River. This marks the gateway to one of Colorado’s most treasured natural areas. Activities abound: fishing, river rafting, kayaking, inner-tubing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more. The eastern entrance to the canyon starts out at 5000 feet and gently climbs to over 10,000 feet at Cameron Pass on your way to the tiny community of Gould, CO. Along the way there is a world of trails and campgrounds.
Devil’s Backbone Open Space
Looking for a great trail in Devil’s Backbone Open Space, Colorado? Devil’s Backbone has 5 great hiking trails. Just looking to take a quick stroll? There’s also 4 easy trails in Devil’s Backbone Open Space ranging from 0.6 to 18.8 miles and from 5,085 to 5,702 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you’ll be out on the trail in no time!
Gateway Mountain Park
Looking for a great trail in Gateway Mountain Park, Colorado? Gateway has 5 hiking trails and 4 are rated moderate trails in Gateway Mountain Park ranging from 1.5 to 4.1 miles and from 5,357 to 5,800 feet above sea level.
Hiking the “A”
Any visitor to Ft. Collins cannot miss the large white letter “A” on the hog-back
mountain west of town. A closer look at the massive letter shows that it is actually made up of boulders in the shape of the letter and painted white for easier viewing.
The letter was placed on the mountain as a form of school pride and to make a tradition of having the freshmen paint it each year. Today it is still painted each fall, not just for tradition but because the FAA requires it to be seen from the air as a land marker for planes. When some students wanted to remove the “A” and replace it with an “R” in the 1980’s it was the FAA that prevented it from happening.
Horsetooth Mountain Space
Looking for a great trail in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Colorado? Horsetooth Mountain has 18 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more. Ready for some activity? There are 15 of the trails rated moderate in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space ranging from 2.9 to 15.9 miles and from 5,446 to 7,247 feet above sea level.
Lory State Park
There are 11 moderate trails in Lory State Park ranging from 1.8 to 12 miles and from 5,475 to 7,017 feet above sea level. Situated right near the Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins, this beautiful park provides miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Visitors will find meadows, rocky mountainous areas, and sweeping views.
Maxwell Natural Area
A beautiful foothills natural area where visitors can enjoy scenic views of the mountains and of the city. Listen for the spotted towhees call, which sounds like drink-your-teeeee, and look for mule deer which are common but easily blend into the mountain mahogany shrubs. The rare Bells twinpod grows at Maxwell. Watch out for rattlesnakes here.
Pineridge Natural Area
A popular foothills natural area where visitors can enjoy city views, foothills terrain, a reservoir and beautiful forest- all close to home. This popular hiking, fishing and biking area is one of the original City of Fort Collins natural areas (acquired in 1976). There is something for everyone at Pineridge!
Reservoir Ridge Natural Area
Explore the most popular trails in Reservoir Ridge Natural Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Soapstone Prairie Natural Area
Soapstone is extraordinary with over 28 square miles of wide open vistas, nearly pristine grasslands, miles of trails and world-renowned cultural resources. It is truly a place to treasure! Visit Soapstone Prairie to meet the past, enjoy the present and preserve the future.Looking for a great trail in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, Colorado? They have 6 great hiking trails, views trails, wild flowers trails and more. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We’ve got 3 easy trails in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area ranging from 0.7 to 9.5 miles and from 6,148 to 6,968 feet above sea level.
After your gorgeous hike in the woods make sure to quench your thirst at one of the many breweries in Fort Collins. Best Breweries In Fort Collins!
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