Hike to Horsetooth Rock

Details

Distance

5 miles

Elevation Gain

1440 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Ryan Mckinney

Horsetooth Rock offers amazing views, especially at sunrise! The hike is only 4 miles from Fort Collins.

The Horsetooth Mountain Park Open Space is located just 4 miles from Fort Collins. The 2,886 acre park offers 29 miles of hiking, biking, and horse back riding trails.

Having taken both the multi use trail and the hiking only trail, I recommend the hiking only. This trail offers you the views and instead of being a fire road, it is a single track trail. The trail is very well marked with signs at each turn. Trail maps are located at the trailhead.

Parking is $6.00 per day and annual passes are available. This is a popular trail so it's best to arrive before 10 am. Dogs are welcome here but must remain on a lease. I noticed several dog stations as well. There are 3 designated backcountry campsites.

During the winter months it is a good idea to have some sort of traction. I brought my Kahtoola MICROspikes just in case and I am glad that I did! The only water is located at the trailhead so make sure you bring enough water for the entire hike.

The last photo is of an Aberts Squirrel. I rarely run into them and I have yet to take a decent photo of one. The first time I saw one, I had no clue what was in front of me. Including their tail the Aberts Squirrel can grow up to 22 inches long! I went home and googled "demon squirrel" and its photos popped up! They are very unique and fun to watch.

Looking for another quick hike, head over to Horsetooth Falls.

Read More

Known for

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

Leave a Review

2020 Update

Parking is now $9 in Larimer County parks so plan accordingly. Although it is not free, it is a great way to give back to our local parks. The people there take great care of these trails so that we can enjoy them to the fullest. Local's Tip: In the Summer, head out from the trail head at 4am to enjoy some amazing sunrise scenery!

Awesome & Accessible

Had a great morning run/hike up this trail. Caught the sunrise and hung out with some deer. Just passing through Ft. Collins, this was the perfect way to get a taste of what’s around.

A Great Fort Collins Welcome

Great hike with absolutely phenomenal views of the north range. The 3-Mile hike to the rock has its mildly strenuous parts, but they’re nothing that can’t be tackled with a quick break in between. I’d recommend this to anyone visiting or new to the area.

Explorer

over 4 years ago

A Fort Collins Classic

It's basically *the* iconic Fort Collins Hike; it can definitely get packed on the weekends from the main TH, but if you're willing to do a longer hike *and* go during the week you can even find some solitude.

Pretty Views, Good Trails

A nice open space hike with really well marked trails. We knew it would be busy based on parking but busy is an understatement, you will be constantly running in to other hikers or being overtaken by them - there are people everywhere! Everyone was pleasant, but definitely not a hike to do if you're wanting to take in Colorado in the "back country" silence.

458 total saves

4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Horsetooth Falls

4.5
2.22 mi / 101 ft gain

Hike Arthur's Rock in Lory State Park

4.8
3.7 mi / 1150 ft gain

Hike to "The A" via the Foothills Trail

5.0
4.1 mi / 565 ft gain

Hike the Valley Loop Trail in the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

4.4 mi / 500 ft gain
More Nearby Adventures