Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park

Bellvue, Colorado 80512

Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park

Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"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."

More Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Steve Johnson & David Weinstein
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"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."
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"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."
The Best Fort Collins Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
John Gascoyne (And the Colorado Mountain Club)
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"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."
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"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."

Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park Trip Reports

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Memorial Day weekend get-away to Ft. Collins
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Definitely a trail not to be missed if you live in fort Collins. You can do the up and back version from the 3rd trail entrance after the Ranger station which will take about an hour and a half. Some steep steps along the way but beautiful valleys to see. You can also go the back way up which i prefer. Take the first entrance after the Ranger station and hike up the Timber trail. Go past the bride and hike keep going through all of the switchback (12 I think) and then go south until you come up on Arthur's from the west. You can go back the traditional way or the way you came. The back way will add a couple of hours to the overall hike.
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Three of us started off early to peak this trail to see the sunrise (the Coloradoan noted what a great trip it was). Problem was...the park didn't open it's gates til 0600. We raced for the top but of course missed the sunrise from the top. It was a marvelous hike notheless. We enjoyed the trail very much. Had shade we like on summer hikes. The views were wonderful! From the top they are just about 360 degrees. It was fun to see the resovoir from that height. A good time was had by all (oh, besides the 3 of us our 2 Jack Russell terriers loved it)

Arthur’s Rock Trail, Lory State Park Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
Lory State Park, (970) 493-1623,
Local Contacts
USGS Horsetooth Reservoir; Lory State Park trail map; Well Gulch Nature Trail map
Local Maps

Trail Log