Winter is over and it’s time the perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature. Whether you are looking for a calm nature walk or a hiking trail that will give you a good workout, enjoy the outdoors this summer with these 5 beautiful Northern Colorado hikes.
Location: West of Loveland on Highway 34
Distance: 4.3 Miles Out & Back
This path takes you through fields of wildflowers and you may even be able to spot some wildlife along the way. This trail is perfect for cloudy, cooler summer days since it doesn’t offer much shade along the way. It’s a great trail for running and taking in views of the foothills and the Rocky Mountains. Because of its close proximity to the city, this trail can be quite popular, so going early is best.
Horsetooth Rock Trail
Location: The Horsetooth Mountain Open Space Trailhead is located on the west side of Horsetooth Mountain Park in Fort Collins, CO. The trailhead is located 2.5 miles from the South Bay Entrance Station (6.4 miles from the Taft Hill – 38E intersection, and 13.1 miles from I-25):
Distance: 5.7 mile loop
Horsetooth Rock Trail is one of the most popular Northern Colorado hikes. Just outside of Fort Collins, you can climb this trail, see a waterfall along the way, and take in a spectacular view of the city and Horsetooth Reservoir. It does have a $6 entry fee for the day, but it’s worth it!
Location: Travel 11 miles northwest of Fort Collins on U.S. Highway 287 to Colorado Highway 14. Turn left on CO 14, and travel 9 miles to the Greyrock parking lot on the south side of the road. Steps lead down to the road and a footbridge across the river to the trailhead.
Distance: 7.1 mile loop
This is the most difficult trail of these 5 Northern Colorado hikes (especially the section leading up to the summit!), but one that people love. This scenic path offers mountain views, gorgeous meadows, burnt forest, and undulating terrain. Make sure to bring plenty of water and your dog, if you’d like.
Location: The hike to Alberta Falls begins from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead inside of Rocky Mountain National Park, located on Bear Lake Road almost 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36.
Distance: 1.6 Out & Back
This is a beautifully scenic trail inside of Rocky Mountain National Park, perfect for kids since it is so short. The falls are a great place to take a picnic or just sit and take in the roar of the rushing water. There are plenty of trail options nearby if you want to extend your hike, but we recommend getting to the parking lot by 10am to avoid the mid-day rush. It costs $35 for a 7-day pass to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Arapaho Bend Trail
Location: There are three parking lots, one at the east end of Horsetooth Road (closest access to Strauss Cabin ruins), one on Strauss Cabin Road between Horsetooth and Harmony, and at the Harmony Transportation Center. Arapaho Bend’s approximate address is 4109 East Horsetooth Road.
Distance: 3.7 mile loop
This well-maintained trail near Fort Collins is a quiet place to enjoy nature walks. The trail is rarely busy so you don’t have to worry about it being too crowded, but you will hear a bit of noise from the traffic on I-25. The trail takes you around a beautiful reservoir where you will see (and hear) many different types of birds. It’s a pretty flat path, so it’s great for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Feel free to bring your dog, as long as you keep them on a leash.
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