Afoot and Afield Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park  by Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh

Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park Guide Book

by Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh (Wilderness Press)
Afoot and Afield Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park  by Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
Much has changed because of the fires and floods of the past five years. New open space areas and trails have become available; others have been rerouted or closed, or usage policies have changed. There were a few corrections too. My new coauthor, Kay Turnbaugh, and I have carefully revised the trails from the first edition. We have also added a substantial number of trails to the book that are closer to the Front Range cities, especially Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. The trails have been carefully chosen for ease of access and variety. They range from easy family strolls to challenging summits. If you visit 10 trails per year, you will have almost 20 years of trails to explore and enjoy.

© 2015 Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 184.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 184.

This is a great family or photography excursion if you have small children or people not prepared for or uninterested in long hikes or altitude. A short, easy round-trip, it can easily be extended once you’ve reached the falls if you want; the trail is a gateway to gorgeous Glacier Gorge. If you want to sleep in and start late, using the park shuttle bus eliminates the stress you’d experience trying to park in the full lots. The intensity of the falls varies widely during the year according to stream flow and is most impressive during spring runoff as well. While the trail is usually quite safe when it’s not wet and slick, it is a good idea to keep children close and away from the edge of the cliffs.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1
This trek offers two alternatives that go high above Wild Basin. You can hike to either the overlook at the trail intersection or Finch Lake. You can reach these destinations from either the Allenspark Trail or the Wild Basin Trailhead. The overlook offers spectacular views of this glacier-carved wonderland from above. You are also treated to great views of Mount Meeker and Chief’s Head to name just a couple. You can reach this overlook or Finch Lake by either taking a side trip or climbing up from the Wild Basin Valley or starting higher up on the Allenspark Trailhead.
Allenspark, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 13.4
Proximity to Boulder and a pleasant arroyo environment make this a Boulder favorite for casual hikers and dog lovers. It features a delightful riparian area and rock gardens. Torrential rains and flooding closed this trail in 2013. The trail will be rebuilt, and as of press time, the planned reopening was tentatively scheduled for late 2015.
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3
You can enjoy a wildflower-studded hike to stunning views of Neva and Jasper peaks and Dorothy and Diamond Lakes. It is a nonstop Rocky Mountain panorama on a gradually ascending trail. You can also visit the ruins of the Fourth of July Mine at 11,245 feet. If you are ambitious, you can take this trail across the Continental Divide and into the Grand Valley. You can also summit Mount Neva (12,814 feet) from Caribou Pass, but it is an exposed, difficult rock route.
Nederland, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 25.5
This short, wheelchair-accessible stroll around Bear Lake is ideal for families with small children or people having difficulty adjusting to the altitude. The views are nonstop from soaring mountains to quaking aspen. When you reach Estes Park on CO 34, continue to the third traffic light and you will see a sign for RMNP. Turn left at the sign and go up a hill, bear right at the stop sign, and then bear right at the intersection 0.5 mile after the next traffic light.You will see signs for the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, which is worth a stop to see the overall map of the park.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1
The most popular trail in the park is a moderate climb to the bottom of the sky on top of the rugged, rocky ridgeline that is the western backdrop of Lory State Park. It is a relatively short hike with great viewpoints all the way, so shorter pieces of the hike can be very enjoyable and easily negotiated with kids of all ages. The final mile features switchbacks, and the summit requires a short, steep, rocky scramble, providing a good artery-clearing workout. Several trails go to the summit; this cover the most popular, short trail first and then some alternate trails afterward.
Fort Collins, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
This is a hike across a river valley, through trees and vales, and into a gorgeous valley bordered by mountains with a riot of wildflowers in the spring and early summer, meadows that roll to the horizon, and the possibility of more challenging climbs to either Parika Lake or the top of Mount Nimbus. You are responsible for your own safety and health while in the wilderness. The fact that a trail is described in this book does not mean that it will be safe for you. Be aware that trail conditions can change from day to day.
Grand Lake, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 12.8
This recently acquired parcel includes a couple of reservoirs and lots of beautiful, rolling terrain interspersed with high mountain meadows just waiting to be explored. It isn’t well known so you won’t see a lot of people. It is easy doubletrack mountain biking, or hiking on closed roads. You can extend your ride or hike by going north or west from Lewis Gulch or the Beaver Brook Reservoir. There are many doubletrack dirt roads to choose from.
Evergreen, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 5.2
Betasso was Boulder County’s first Open Space purchase in 1976. Before it became open space, it was a homestead and then a ranch owned by the Betasso family, who were originally hard- rock miners. The preserve features scenic vistas, wildflowers, stands of ponderosa pine, and diverse terrain close to Boulder, and it’s a great place to watch sunset colors over Boulder. Bikers can ride to Betasso from the west end of the Boulder bike path and up the steep and difficult Betasso Link Trail. There is also a steep link to the Benjamin Loop from Fourmile Canyon.
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.5
This nice short jaunt for families and beginners starting from Bear Lake offers great views of the entire glacier-carved valley back to Sprague Lake and up Glacier Gorge to Longs Peak. It is one of the most popular routes from Bear Lake; avoid crowds by starting early or hiking during the week.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.8
One of the most popular Cameron Pass area trails offers easy, short, roundtrip excursions; a challenging all-day adventure; or a backpack trip to a pristine mountain lake surrounded by towering mountains. This trail offers almost everything—stately trees, pretty riparian areas, nice meadows, stream crossings, and a winding tree-covered path with striking views. It can be used for a relatively easy, 5-mile, out-and-back trip or moderate-to-difficult, 12.5-mile trip to the lake. Hiking all the way to the lake is an all-day adventure; don’t attempt it if heavy weather is predicted unless you start early and are well prepared, or you may end up dodging lightning bolts. It is a popular overnight destination for backpackers but can also be a moderate to challenging and highly satisfying dayhike if you are fit. If you start at the crack of dawn, you can summit Clark Peak.
Loveland, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 12.4
One of the most recent additions to the Fort Collins natural areas system, the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is a superb slice of foothills southwest of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Masonville that almost makes you feel like you are in the red rock canyon country of Utah. The soaring cliffs and foothills, pretty rolling terrain, and quiet invite reverie. Arrive early if you want solitude. It is also sun drenched with little shade and so is not a good midday summer hike but is ideal for cooler spring and fall days. It offers easy mountain biking too—at least until you reach the eroded sections where the rocks protrude. Ginny Trail is a moderate hike and challenging mountain biking adventure that features steep switchbacks and lots of boulders. It could also be called the Bobcat Ridge Fire Trail because its journey onto the higher slopes is through the middle of the area scorched by an intense fire that burned 70 percent of the forested portion of Bobcat Ridge Natural Area in 2000. The stark scenery is dramatic and offers a transitional sort of beauty that reminds us that the natural world is one of constant change. The trail offers commanding views of the red rock cliffs, the west face of Horsetooth Rock, and the foothills and plains stretching out to the horizon.
Masonville, CO - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6
One of the most recent additions to the Fort Collins natural areas system, this superb slice of foothills southwest of Horsetooth Mountain Park near Masonville almost makes you feel like you are in the red rock canyon country of Utah. The soaring cliffs and foothills, pretty rolling terrain, and quiet invite reverie. Arrive early if you want solitude. It is also sun drenched with little shade and so is not a good midday summer hike but is ideal for spring and fall. It offers easy mountain biking too at least until you reach the eroded sections where the rocks pop out. The recently opened Ginny Trail loop is an advanced mountain biking adventure that is steep and rocky.
Masonville, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 4.5
This beautiful rolling route has dramatic views of the Rawahs and Never Summer Mountains before it reaches two pristine mountain lakes surrounded by the rocky cliffs of a glacier-carved cirque.
Bellvue, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 8
This trailhead is also the access point for the Jones Pass road/trail near Henderson Mine. Butler Gulch is vehicle-free, making it a more attractive option. You can combine a climb of Butler Gulch with a descent down the Jones Pass road (or vice versa) to see a stunning panorama from the top of the ridgeline. Thick wildflowers will be your magic carpet after you climb above treeline.
Empire, CO - Hiking,Mountain Biking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 5
Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls are popular, easy, short hikes in Wild Basin that feature the beauty of a cascading stream and can be enjoyed by adventurers of all ages and abilities. It is most dramatic during spring runoff but fun year-round. Ouzel and Bluebird Lakes are moderate, almost all-day treks through almost every mountain climate zone. Ouzel is a pristine lake at the foot of Copeland Mountain, and higher Bluebird Lake affords a view of the Continental Divide.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 13
This is a short, surprisingly scenic trail through an old-growth forest of spruce and fir. It shares its trailhead with the Montgomery Pass Trail and is often overlooked. It offers excellent shelter from prevailing winds and, though it parallels the highway, is far enough away to be completely buffered from its sound or sight. This trail is available only in the late summer and early fall because it crosses many streams and wetlands that don’t dry out until the end of the summer hiking season.
Bellvue, CO - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3
This Boulder County Open Space area includes the historic DeLonde Homestead with a striking, aspen- and pine-ringed high mountain meadow, as well as the 19th-century Blue Bird Mine complex. The ranch was used for movies, including the 1966 remake of Stagecoach. Most of the buildings have been preserved, and though they aren’t open to the public, you can look in the windows and see the close quarters the miners used. You can enjoy a stream, small waterfall, diverse trees, and animals. The aspens make it a great fall hike.
Nederland, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.1
Roxborough State Park is a red rock wonder that shouldn’t be missed. You can enjoy a short and easy route by hiking the Carpenter Peak Trail over to County Road 5. The road route isn’t mentioned in park literature but it is one of the most scenic and easy (2.2 miles) out-and-back treks. You can savor intimate views of the dark red “sculptures” while strolling along the road. You have to cross the road to access the Carpenter Peak Trail. If you’re ambitious, continue on to the summit of Carpenter Peak.
Littleton, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4
One of the earliest acquisitions to the natural areas program, this beautiful example of a short grass prairie is named for a former Fort Collins City Councilmember who was an enthusiastic supporter of the program and died young of breast cancer. This paved trail offers foothills and prairie views and is popular with families with bikes and strollers. The western end of the trail offers a roundabout connection to the Foothills and Spring Creek Trails.
Fort Collins, CO - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 4.6