5 Hikes Everyone in Northern Colorado Must Do
Whether you're visiting Northern Colorado for the first time or have lived here your whole life, there are a few places you need to hike. There is no better way to experience the breathtaking views Northern Colorado has to offer than being out in nature itself.
The first hike is located just west of Loveland. When driving west of Loveland you may come across a ridge of rock formations and wide grasslands that stretch over 2,000 acres, this is called Devil's Backbone Open Space trail. This trail spans more than 12 miles and offers amazing views of some of the most unique geological formations in Northern Colorado. Definitely worth the trip.
Everyone who lives in Fort Collins has heard of the Horsetooth Rock and should tackle this hike at least once. The best part about Horsetooth Rock is that there are several different trails to get to the top. Once you reach the summit you can choose to look over the skyline of Fort Collins or choose to enjoy the view of the beautiful Rockies, either way, you will not be disappointed.
This next hike is located in Lory State Park. If you haven't been to Lory State Park it is just west of Horsetooth and offers a wide variety of activities including biking, climbing, horseback riding and of course hiking. This trail is a quick 3.4 miles in and out and is a little more of a challenge, the Arthur’s Rock Trail. Once at the top, you will find yourself overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins and the Front Range, all of the best views Fort Collins has to offer.
Located in between Fort Collins and Loveland is the Coyote Ridge Natural Area. This hike is quick and is for all skill levels, which makes for a perfect family hike. This trail is known for its wildlife, it is not uncommon for hikers to catch a glimpse of deer, rattlesnakes, coyotes and even the occasional mountain lion. But do not let that steer you away, this hike has stunning views of the Front Range and the eastern plains, not to mention the views of the mountains aren't too bad either.
Last but certainly not least is the Pineridge Natural Area which is located just east of Horsetooth Reservoir. The Pineridge Natural Area consists of several different trails that add up to about 7 miles including the Reservoir Loop trail that goes around Dixon Reservoir. Another unique aspect of this trail is that it connects to 2 different natural areas, the Maxwell and Reservoir Ridge Natural Area. Depending on how experienced or adventurous you're feeling, you can make this hike as short or as long as you wish.