Trail Run the Hewlett Gulch Trail

Hewlett Gulch Trailhead

This is an easy, family-friendly run or hike just 20 minutes from Fort Collins. Parking is free (I'm a student so free is my favorite word), and it takes about an hour to run, 2.5 hours to hike.

Hewlett Gulch Trailhead is located about 20 minutes from Fort Collins and offers easy hiking in the Poudre Canyon.

From Fort Collins, take 287 to Ted's Place. Take a left onto CO 14 and follow 14 through the canyon just past Poudre Park where you see the trailhead sign. Turn left onto the road that leads to the parking lot. This trail is fairly popular, but is far enough into the canyon that it is not usually crowded and there are plenty of parking spots.

You start off down the hill where you come to the first of many stream crossings. There are a number of crossings along this trail. Most crossings are clear in fall, but take some maneuvering in spring and summer, especially early in the season. Some crossings can be avoided using side trails but are never too tough that this is absolutely necessary.

After about 3 miles, you get to a fork where the loop really starts. Taking the left fork will start you on a series of switchbacks that climb up to the highest point on the route. The right fork will continue through the forest, cross the stream a few more times, and bring you to a meadow that is peppered with flowers in the summer. I usually choose to take the right path because I like to gradually climb rather than run uphill right away.

Depending on the time of year you go, you may run into a snake or two, but I have never had a problem with wildlife.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 8.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

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Fun Poudre Canyon Hike

If coming from Fort Collins you will take a RIGHT off of HWY 14 onto Hewlett Road, about 10.5 mikes past Ted’s Place. You’ll cross a small bridge and find the parking lot at the top of the hill. The first part of the trail is pretty flat with lots of creek crossings. Not difficult but packing a dry pair of socks isn’t the worst idea. At about two miles you’ll come to a fork, if you go left you start a pretty big climb up a series of switchbacks and if you go right it’s a steadier climb around the backside. This is called the lollipop and either way when you get to the bottom you’ll reconnect with the Hewlett Gulch Trail. The whole hike is about 9 miles round trip. Great trail for dogs, but beware it’s a no leash trail and you might encounter aggressive dogs who are way ahead of their owners. Get an early start and you won’t see a lot of others except in the summer months.


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