Arthur’s Rock plays second fiddle to Horsetooth Rock, but in reality, the hike to Fort Collins’s second- most famous outcropping is an easier day hike and is more varied in terms of landscape features and botany—plus it’s (slightly) less crowded than its more famous neighbor to the south.
You can see the granite massif that is Arthur’s Rock from the trailhead. The views change with every step as your goal gets closer and closer. Begin by walking into Arthur’s Rock Gulch, where the scenery quickly morphs from open grassland to ponderosa pine forest. You lose sight of Arthur’s Rock in the gulch, but you’ll want to watch your step anyway, as several sections of the trail have steep drop-offs.
"This is an excellent hike in Lory State Park in the foothills west of Fort Collins. Lory, one of forty Colorado state parks, includes more than 2400 acres of diverse terrain providing 20 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This hike explores a scenic gulch, climbs through mountain meadows, and brings us up high to Arthurs Rock, with breathtaking views of Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins below, and the expanse of the eastern plains beyond." Read more
"Arthur’s Rock, named for an early settler, is a granite outcrop in Lory State Park. At an elevation of 6,780 feet, summit hikers are rewarded with breathtaking views of Lory State Park, Horsetooth Reservoir, and the Fort Collins area. Arthur’s Rock is a good, short hike for Fort Collins residents and an easy hike for someone in Denver who wants to spend the day in the Fort Collins area." Read more
"Arthur’s Rock Trail is the most popular hike at Lory State Park. It features an easily accessible route through shaded valleys filled with wild plums, upland meadows, ponderosa pine groves, and bare granitic knobs. Along with Horsetooth Rock to the south, the craggy summit of Arthur’s Rock provides the best views of Fort Collins and the intervening, sinuous hogbacks and 6-mile-long Horsetooth Reservoir. Interest points along the way: (1) the narrow gulch just beyond the trailhead formed by a transition from nonresistant, 300-million-year-old sandstone to hard, 1.4-billion-yearold granitic rocks; (2) open meadows and ponderosa pine forests on friable schist below Arthur’s Rock; and (3) the bare summits and cliffs of Arthur’s Rocks, formed by a large intrusion of 1.4-billion-year-old granitic rock." Read more
"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." Read more