Hike to Horsetooth Rock

Colorado Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

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.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Kahtoola MICROspikes
  • Water
  • Windproof Jacket
  • Camera(Canon 5d MKii)
  • Tripod
  • Credit/Debit Card for parking ($6.00)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1440 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

2 months 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.

2 months ago

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

7 months ago

Go Early If Its A Weekend

Nice hike to take the dog on but I'm glad I got there early, by 930am (Saturday) the place was relatively packed with kids , not that there's anything wrong. With that...

7 months ago

7 months ago

Always a fun local hike

Pretty easy hike, awesome views of town

7 months ago

over 1 year ago

Great views of the reservoir and nice elevation gain for running.

over 1 year ago

More Adventures Nearby

Camp at Silver Queen Campground

Colorado / Silver Queen Campground

To start it off, head out from Aspen on Maroon Creek Road.

Billy DiMirra
2 Saves

Hike the Ypsilon Lake Trail

Colorado / Lawn Lake Trailhead

To get to the trailhead, enter Rocky Mountain National Park on the 36.

Breanne McNitt
3 Saves

Hike the Jud Wiebe Trail

Colorado / Jud Wiebe Trailhead (N Aspen St)

The Jud Wiebe can be accessed from two trailheads:  1) The top of North Aspen St (opposite direction of the Gondola) and across the bridge on the left (where this adventure starts) 2) North Oak St - .

Geoff Turnley
6 Saves