5 Must-Do Day Hikes in Northern Colorado

must-do day hikes

5 Must-Do Day Hikes in Northern Colorado

With kids back in school and a little more free time, why not take a little trip up to the mountains for a morning hike?

Fort Collins is a proud gateway to the Rocky Mountains: positioned right up against the Front Range and just 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. It takes even less time to get to the Cache la Poudre River Canyon and Roosevelt National Forest. And all without the crowds and traffic of Denver and Boulder.

Here are 5 must-do day hikes to do before the colder weather sets in.

1. Coyote Ridge Trail

coyote ridge trail

The Coyote Ridge Trail is a great introduction to the “hogsback” formations that make up much of the initial front range. It connects to the extensive trail system that makes up the Rimrock Open Space and the Larimer County Parks & Open Spaces.

2. Arthur’s Rock Trail

arthur's rock trail

Arthur’s Rock in Lory State Park is second only to Horsetooth Rock in local prominence and popularity. It features numerous hiking, running, and horse trails. The most direct route, Arthur’s Rock Trail, is iconic because it showcases all of the local ecological regions along its climb. It also has excellent views of Horsetooth Reservior, the Front Range, and the Rockies.

3. Hewlett Gulch Trail

hewlett gulch trail

Hewlett Gulch is a beautiful side canyon off the main Cache la Poudre River Canyon. It has several springs, waterfalls, and numerous (small) creek crossings.

4. Greyrock Summit Trail

greyrock summit trail

If you have a craving for a glacier-carved valley and granitic slick rock, look no further than Greyrock Mountain. It is visible from downtown Fort Collins and only 30 minutes away up the Poudre River Canyon.

The area around the peak was devastated by the 2004 Picnic Rock Fire, making the entire climb all that more surreal. The views from the summit are the best in the area.

5. Horsetooth Rock Trail

horsetooth rock trail

No list of outdoor adventures in Fort Collins is complete without mention of Horsetooth Rock. It dominates the ridge-line overlooking the city. Its unique and broken summit (where it gets its name) actually has two parts, the north and the south “teeth.”

Sunrises (and sunsets) from the summit are particularly memorable, and a quick side-jaunt off the main trail to Horsetooth Falls is well worth it.

Be aware: on weekends the main parking lot fills up quickly.

Take advantage of those mornings without the kids!

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