A great hike with beautiful views of the Horsetooth Reservoir and main dam, including the Front Range, the Bellvue Dome, and the high prairie surrounding Fort Collins. 

Despite its singular name, the Foothills Trail in Fort Collins is an interconnected series of trails that follows the ridges and hogsbacks which comprise the majority of the eastern side of the Horsetooth Reservoir. The trail can be accessed at several points along its length (by trails also called "Foothills Trail") but its northernmost access point begins at the Reservoir Ridge Natural area and makes for an excellent hike, run or mountain bike trip that ends in breathtaking views of the Reservoir and the Front Rage of the Rocky Mountains including Arthur's Rock in Lory State Park and the Bellvue Dome to the north.  

The northern trailhead begins where Headwater Drive meets N. Overland Trail. There is a clear parking area with bathrooms and a posted map. Follow the flat trail 1.5 miles towards the ridgeline where it then begins to climb.

After approximately .8 miles the trail will reach an intersection with the North Loop Trail. Either direction can be taken for a 1.5 mile loop back to the intersection, or for longer journeys, you can follow the Foothill Trail south into the Maxwell and Pine Ridge natural areas.

As a fun detour there is a use trail northeast of the highpoint of the ridge that can be taken to gain the summit. There is a Colorado Geological Survey marker at the top.

Note: in the winter and after heavy rains, the trails can be snowy, icy, and/or muddy.

Pack List

  • Hiking and/or running shoes
  • Season and weather appropriate attire
  • Water & nutrition
  • A map
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RT Distance 6.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 700 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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