MY FAVORITE TRAIL RUNNING ROUTES IN THE FORT COLLINS, COLORADO AREA
A continuous list of my favorite trails/routes for trail running in and around Fort Collins, Colorado. Feel free to contribute.
- •Rez RidgeBy far my favorite technical "in town" trail. You can put in a 4-miler with a decent 1-mile climb by doing a lollipop from the pond and up and around the ridge counter-clockwise. Make it 5.5 miles and add another short climb by adding a quick out and back to the parking lot on the west side of the ridge. You can also add one or two more solid climbs by continuing south along the ridge and dropping down to the wastewater treatment plant.
- •Blue Sky with Indian Summer LoopGreat 11-miler lollipop with ~1,100 ft. of elevation gain. Most of the climbing is back on the Indian Summer Loop. Unlike the forested trails in Lory and the shrubby trails in the closer foothills, this route offers more arid terrain and red rock cliffs. They don't call it Blue Sky for nothing, so enjoy the views while running south. This route is less technical, but there is little shade and the red rock heats up the place quickly, so head out early to beat the heat and the mountain bikers.
- •The One I Unaffectionately Call the Lory TrundleStart at the Arthur's Rock trailhead and run up to Arthur's Rock. Summit and reflect for a moment, then head west to Timber trail. Take Timber trail all the way to the Timber trail parking lot and hook a right onto East Valley trail. Head south on East Valley to Wells Gulch and take the long hard climb back up to Arthur's via Wells Gulch and Timber trails. Summit and reflect again then head back down to the car. This is a tough 12-miler with a bit of climbing and mixed terrain.
- •The SkylineThe Skyline because you tag the three "peaks" that make up the Ft. Collins "Skyline" - Arthur's, Towers, and Horsetooth. Start at Arthur's trail head and head up to the top. Summit then go south to Howard's trail. Take Howard's to Mill Creek, and Mill Creek to Towers Rd. Hook a right on Towers and "summit". Cut through the Towers to a trail on the backside that links up to Westridge. Take Westridge to Horsetooth trail and go right. Summit, turn around, and head back. ~15 miles lots of elevation.
- •Arthur's RockAnother great weekday local run. Short but steep. Start at the Arthur's rock trailhead and head to the top. This is a ~3.5 mile run, short but no reprieve until the top. The views (and the incline) will take your breath away. There is a high probability of seeing wildlife like mule deer, Stellar's jays and Abert's squirrels, so keep an eye out.
- •Timber TrailTechnical 4-mile loop with great views of Horsetooth Reservoir and the City of Fort Collins. Start at the Timber trail parking lot and head up the hill. Cut off on Kimmons trail and head back down. Hook a left on West Valley trail and head back to the parking lot. You can make this a little longer by skipping Kimmons and going down Wells Gulch instead. Before you head back down, be sure to take in the views of the lake while your heart rate finally slows back down.
- •The "A" with a Lakeshore or Suck Canyon LoopThe closest and most accessible, but also busy. Start at the Maxwell parking lot and head up the hill. This is the biggest climb and the busiest section. At the top of the switchbacks stay to the left. Head up and cross the road. Stick to the right and run along the single track that runs alongside the road. Stay on the rolling trail until you get to the swim area. Here you can go left and head back via Lakeshore trial or head back and find the trail that cuts across the road into Suck Valley.
- •Arthur's Rock with Westridge VarianceStart at Arthur's Rock parking lot and go up Arthur's or deviate to Westridge and come back down the opposite trail you go up. Going up Westridge offers a longer climb with more switchbacks. Enjoy scenic meadows and great views of the mountains on the backside.