Devil’s Backbone—Wild Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The Devil’s Backbone is a unique rock formation perched atop the hogback in the foothills west of Loveland. A short and easy hike provides panoramic views of the grasslands and mountains to the west, all seen from a unique geologic showcase. Within the Devil’s Backbone Open Space, beyond the Backbone itself, is an extensive trail system that allows options for much longer hikes. The trail described here, the Wild Loop, is an easy 2.5-mile interpretive hike. It is named for Alfred Wild,who purchased the southern part of the backbone in the late nineteenth century.
The Louden Ditch runs through the area near the trailhead, and excavations for gypsum, found in abundance here, can be seen around the first part of the trail. The Backbone itself, which runs from the northwest to the southeast for about 3.5 miles, is composed primarily of Dakota sandstone. The hogback was formed from layers of sedimentary rock that were laid down in stratified layers, then tilted at an angle and eroded at different rates. The Devil’s Backbone Open Space is open year-round, but for day use only. Rock climbing is prohibited and dogs must be on leash. There are restrooms at the trailhead."