The Best Fort Collins Hikes
We asked ten Fort Collins residents to name the area’s best-known landmark, and nine of them replied that it has to be Horsetooth Rock. (The tenth person arrived only three days ago and, strictly speaking, should not have been included in our survey.) Horsetooth Rock is not only visible and impressive from miles away, it also provides a close-in and very enjoyable hike.Normally mild winters in the foothills mean that you can hike the area throughout much of the year. The Horsetooth Rock Trail is part of a system of trails located in Horsetooth Mountain Park, a nearly 3,000-acre area rolling across the foothills above Horsetooth Reservoir.
This is a fee area—six dollars per passenger vehicle. Restrooms and drinking water are available in the parking area. This is a popular area, especially on weekends, so it is probably best to arrive early. As with most foothill areas, there is some potential here for encounters with wildlife, including the creatures that we are trained to fear: bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes. It is prudent to exercise normal caution and to maintain supervision over young people. It is also mandatory to rejoice in having so much of nature, even the exciting parts, so readily available to us.