Devil's Backbone open space is managed by
Larimer County Parks and Open Lands.
With the opening of a trail extension to the north, a great trail system
featuring some very technical riding now exists here for mountain biking.
Long term plans include acquiring land necessary to link up with
the RimRock Valley
openspace to the north. When complete, an incredible trail network will
exist stretching all the way from Fort Collins to Loveland - so keep voting for
those open space initiatives!
The Devil's Backbone trail system consists of three short loops connected
together a bit like links in a chain. Head north out of the parking lot onto
a short stretch of trail that brings you to the start of the first loop. The
first loop runs along the east side of the Devil's Backbone rock formation -
the upper loop section, which runs right up next to the rocks, is only open
to foot traffic - stay on the lower section here. This singletrack is smooth
and fast, but keep an eye open for other trail users and remember to follow the
rules of the trail.
At the end of the first loop, a connecting trail goes across the valley
to the north, and climbs steeply uphill to the start of the middle loop. From
here on the riding is more technical.
Either section of the middle loop is open to bikes, so take your pick. I prefer
the easternmost segment (bear right at the intersection) since the trail is a
bit longer, and feels more remote.
After an easy connecting segment, the third loop begins. This loop is the
most technical - the Western segment is practically paved with exposed bedrock
jutting up at a strange angle. The eastern segment has some smooth sections,
but is punctuated with some very tricky rock obstacles. I find the western
segment more rideable, but they will both present a challenge.
After reaching the northern end of the third loop, return to the parking
lot. Come back on the other sides of the third and second loops for "the
complete experience" :-). Total ride distance is about 6 miles...
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