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.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Kahtoola MICROspikes
  • Water
  • Windproof Jacket
  • Camera(Canon 5d MKii)
  • Tripod
  • Credit/Debit Card for parking ($6.00)
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1440 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

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.


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