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Horsetooth Mountain Park Trail Descriptions

Soderburg Trail

(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 trail.

Riding on the Soderburg trail is technically easy, but contains a few steep climbs...

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.

Service Road

(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 trails.

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 it...

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)

The trail passes the ruins of a collapsed cabin (67 k)

Technical section at the bottom of the trail (67 k)

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 definately rideable...

The upper section is so gnarly, that it's only suitable for descending, and even then, only if you have nerves of steel...

Wathen Trail

(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...

West Ridge

(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...

Herrington Trail

(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.

Stout Trail

(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)

Horsetooth Rock, as seen from the radio towers (47 k)

Me, after the long climb... (59 k)

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...

Loggers Trail

(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.

Sawmill 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 junction with 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 trail...

Nomad / Valley Floor Trails

(Surface: singletrack)

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 entrance.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 04:54:14 PM, -0400