Coyote Ridge / Rimrock Valley
Coyote Ridge and Rimrock Valley open spaces are managed by
Fort Collins Natural Areas and
Larimer County Parks and Open Lands.
With the recent opening of the Rimrock Valley open space, a great trail system
now exists here for mountain biking. But this is just the beginning - the
Rimrock Valley open space extends north all the way to County Road 38E where it rounds
the tip of Inlet Bay (which is very close to Horsetooth
Mountain Park), and a trail extending to that end is
The Indian Creek Ranch open space has also been
acquired, which will link Rim
Rock with Devil's Backbone open space
to the south. When complete sometime in 2006, an incredible trail network will
exist stretching all the way from
State Park northwest of Fort Collins
to Highway 34 west of Loveland!
From the parking lot, the trail heads west on a gravel road for roughly a
mile. The road is flat at first, then it climbs over the first ridge, follows
the top for a short distance, then drops down into another valley.
Near the visitor's center, the trail becomes singletrack, and the real
climbing begins! After an uphill grind for another mile or so, you reach the
top of a high ridge, with excellent views both to the east and west...
The trail follows the top of the ridge for a short distance then drops down
into the valley to the west - watch out for the stairs here!. After crossing
the valley, the trail starts climbing again.
Soon, you'll come to an
intersection marking the start of a short loop. The loop is best travelled
counter-clockwise, this way you'll hit most of the technical stuff on downhill
stretches. At the far end of the loop, an overlook offers views of Devil's
Backbone to the south, and the site of the new Indian Creek Ranch open space
to the west.
From here, complete your way around the loop and follow the
main trail back to the parking lot. The total distance is about 6.8 miles.
The descent from the ridgetop is a real
screamer, but make sure to watch out for others on the way up!
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