Horsetooth Mountain Park Trail Descriptions
(Surface: foot trail / 4WD road, Distance: 1.0 miles, Elevation change: 560 feet)
Wild irises beside the Soderburg trail (74 k)
The Soderburg trail starts off from the park entrance as a foot-only
trail, which can be bypassed by the service road. After
a short but steep climb, the foot trail rejoins the service road for a short
distance before it switchbacks off to climb up towards Horsetooth Rock. The
trail continues to its junction with the Horsetooth Rock
Riding on the Soderburg trail is technically easy, but contains a few steep
Horsetooth Falls Trail
Horsetooth Falls trail is closed to bikes, but it makes for a nice hike.
The falls carry a fair amount of water during the height of the spring runoff
but can dry up completely during the winter.
(Surface: 4WD road, Distance: ~2 miles, elevation change 960 feet)
View of the reservoir from the service road (68 k)
The Service Road is a mountain biker's main entrance to the park. The
surface makes for technically easy riding, but the grade and elevation
change can make this one physically challenging... This is a great way
to get to Wathen or West Ridge
Horsetooth Rock Trail
(Surface: Singletrack, Distance: 1.75 miles, elevation change 960 feet)
While the lower section of this trail is open to bikes, because of
the steep, loose terrain, and the number of hikers, I'd recommend taking
the service road
to the upper section of the trail.
The upper section of the trail has steep climbs, technical conditions,
and lots of stairs! You will do a lot of walking on this section, but it's
a short distance, and the descent down Wathen is worth
The last quarter mile of the trail that leads to Horsetooth Rock is closed
to bikes. It's worth the hike, so bring your lock!
Spring Creek Trail
(Surface: Singletrack, Distance: 2.0 miles, elevation change 880 feet)
Spring Creek trail consists of steep technical sections at the top and
bottom, with a deceptively smooth and flat section in the middle.
Flood Update: The lower section of the trail has been re-opened, and
the flat middle section has been re-routed a couple hunderd feet up the side
of the hill. The middle section isn't flat and smooth anymore, but it's
The upper section is so
gnarly, that it's only suitable for descending, and even then, only if you have
nerves of steel...
(Surface: Singletrack, Distance: 1.0 miles, elevation change 640 feet)
One of the smoother spots on Wathen... (60 k)
This is my favorite trail in the park. The only thing wrong with it is that
the fun is over too soon. :-( It would probably make for a challenging but
do-able climb (I've never tried this), but it really makes for one heck of a
descent! The trail is moderately technical (enough to be interesting, but
not enough to be scary) and very twisty - a couple of areas were damaged by
the flood, but it's still fun...
(Surface: Singletrack, Distance: 1.75 miles, elevation change 520 feet)
This trail runs just below the top of the ridge, running between Horsetooth
Rock and the radio towers. It has some steep and technical sections - I think
it is better when ridden from north to south. There are a couple of spots that
offer wonderful views...
(Surface: singletrack (mostly), Distance: 1.25 miles, elevation change 400 feet)
Coming in to a switchback on the northern end of Herrington... (71 k)
Herrington is a nice singletrack, with some technically challenging
spots, that makes a good connector from here to there. At its junction
with Stout, it offers a nice view of Horsetooth
Reservoir, and Fort Collins.
(Surface: singletrack, Distance: 3.0 miles, elevation change 840 feet)
The Stout trail is split into two sections by the Radio
Tower Road. The southern section is a loose, rocky descent out of the
trees from the Herrington trail, with a surprise
short-but-brutal climb as it winds north towards the Radio Tower road. The
north section is best traversed southward from Sawmill
trail, and includes some technical, ledgy descents.
Radio Tower Road
(Surface: 4WD road, Distance: 4.0 miles, elevation change: 1720 feet)
The Radio Tower Road (aka: Tower Road) Is The climb in the park.
Over the course of its four miles, it climbs from near the elevation of
Horsetooth Reservoir, all the way to the top of the ridge. If you can make
this one without stopping, give yourself a pat on the back. The descent
is a screamer, but is over too soon. To prolong your enjoyment, I'd
recommend another way down such as Mill Creek...
(Surface: 4WD road and singletrack, Distance: 1.5 miles, elevation change: 360 feet)
The loggers trail appears to have been a road at one time, but has since
degenerated into a singletrack in most places. This is a fun one, with a
nasty loose downhill section, and a short-but-cruelly-steep climb as it joins
Mill Creek trail.
(surface: 4WD road and singletrack, Distance: 1.0 mile, elevation change: 720 feet)
Cabin at the junction of Loggers and Sawmill (69 k)
Sawmill trail is a nasty, loose 4WD road, that turns into a nasty, loose
singletrack, as it drops from Loggers trail to
the valley floor. Use it as a way to get to Stout, or
as a bailout if you don't want to go all the way to the north end of the park.
East Ridge / Carey Springs
(surface: singletrack, Distance: 0.75 miles, elevation change: 280 feet)
East Ridge trail follows the Radio Tower Road for a
while, and then splits off into a short singletrack which drops down towards
Loggers. About halfway down, by a watering trough,
it changes names to Carey Springs trail, and then ends at loggers. This is
a fun, but short descent...
Mill Creek Trail
(Surface: singletrack, Distance: 3 miles, Elevation change: 1360 feet)
My initial notes on this trail from around 1995, described it as
extremely loose rocky and technical - by far the most difficult surface in
the park. However in recent years, the trail condition has improved
dramatically due to alot of hard work on the part of the Larimer County Parks
trail crew. (thanks guys!) While it's still one of the more technical descents
in the park, it's much more rideable now. It makes a great way to descend from
the top of Tower Road to the valley floor. After the
Loggers, the trail alternately climbs and descends
until you reach Lory State Park, and the Arthur's Rock trail. Continue
down Arthur's Rock trail until you reach the valley floor. While the trail
conditions have improved recently, I still wouldn't recommend climbing up this
Nomad / Valley Floor Trails
The valley floor is covered by several smooth, rolling singletracks which
are very fast. There are a few technical spots, so don't fall asleep. The
northern section of these trails is within Lory State Park, and the rest
are within Horsetooth Mountain Park. Use these trails in conjunction with
Shorline Road and County Road 38E to complete a loop back to the main
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