Horsetooth Mtn Park/Lory St. Park Tour

 15 votes

21.1 Miles 33.9 Kilometers



3,213' 979 m


-3,222' -982 m


6,982' 2,128 m


5,442' 1,659 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

All Clear

13 days agoUpdate

A great way to experience both Horsetooth Mountain Park and Lory State Park.

Brook Mooney


Just a few miles from downtown Fort Collins, this ride offers up a great sampler of what the area has to offer. Horsetooth Mountain has enough elevation to challenge anyone, lower Lory State is full of fast singletrack, and both offer amazing views of Horsetooth Reservoir and the Fort Collins area.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

$6 to park your car. Summer afternoons see frequent isolated lighting storms.


There are many different ways to ride this, with endless variations based on direction and trail choice. This is a great way to see a lot of it, but you should check the map to alter it for your personal taste and skill level.

Start by parking at the Blue Sky parking lot (if you drove past the Canyon Grill you went to far). Ride back out to the road that you came in on and continue to the west up the hill.

After an easy 1 mile warm up on the road, turn right into Horsetooth Mountain Park. Take your only option out of the lot, South Ridge Trail. South Ridge is a steady climb up an access road, enjoy the big views.

After about two miles you'll come to Audra Culver Trail. You can continue on the easier South Ridge Trail but the more technical Audra Culver is worth the extra sweat. You'll be rewarded with some great singletrack and an amazing view to the west.

Either way you'll eventually come to Wathen Trail. Wathen is one of the best descents in the park. Fast and flowing, there are a few technical turns and rock sections to keep you on your toes. Enjoy, you've earned it!

Once you reach the bottom of Wathen, stay hard left and prepare yourself for the climb up Spring Creek Trail. The first part of this climb is moderate singletrack and the second half has some steep sections and step-ups. This top portion is the most challenging part of the ride.

At the top of Spring Creek go straight across the access road (Towers) and catch your breath at the top of Mill Creek Trail. Mill Creek is roughly 1500' of descent through several different types of terrain. Expect large loose rocks, dark forest, a couple short steep climbs, sharp turns, and lots of water bars toward the end.

At the bottom of Mill Creek, stay left, and know that the remainder of the ride is easy singletrack, at least in comparison to what you have done. After a short distance you'll find yourself at one of the the Lory State parking lots. Turn right at the lot and you'll connect back up with the singletrack on the other side. Stay left at the first T and continue for 2.5 miles till you get to the Timber Trail parking lot.

Stay left through the Timber Trail lot untill you find singletrack again. After a hundred yards or so, stay right on Timber Trail. This trail is a moderate climb with some great views of the park and reservoir.

When it appear that you have started to descend on Timber Trail watch for an intersection and turn left on to Kimmons Trail. Kimmons is an excellent descent with some rocky sections and lots of nice turns.

Once at the bottom of Kimmons Trail, stay right. Your ride is not over but what remains is mostly smooth easy singletrack and path back to the car. The West Valley Trail and South Valley Trail Loop follow the base of the mountains to the furthest southern point of Lory State Park. From there stay headed south on Nomad Trail, Swan Johnson, and Inlet Bay Trail to get back to The Blue Sky lot and your car.


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4.2 from 15 votes

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  4.1 from 14 votes
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All Clear 13 days ago

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Climb up South Ridge to decend Wathen, then climb Herrington to Towers to the Start of Spring Creek. Go down Spring Creek, and take the connecter back to the fireroad to bring you back to the parking lot. Best ride I have done in Horsetooth!! Oct 19, 2015

I take my 8 and 10 yo kids to rip this park. Walker/White/Hall ranch etc is apples and oranges to Lori Park. This is for after work blaze and family friendly learning. So please do me and my family a "favor" and keep your monster thighs off these trails. Jun 17, 2016

Wow, sorry to say but you probably did not give this place a chance. There are so many miles of trail and combinations, you really have to ride here a dozen times to appreciate all of the combinations available. I ride here on weekends and rarely see more than a couple riders up at the top of the trails. One of my favorite combinations is going up South Ridge, down Wathen, Spring Creek to Sout. Go right on Stout until Towers and then a nice healthy climb up to the towers. Have a snack and come back down to Mill Creek. I prefer not to take Mill Creek back into Lory but to stay right and take Loggers. Take this to Sawmill and down to Nomad and head back to your car. This has about 3200-3500 ft of climbing and super fun downhill. This is only one combination available and there are rarely other riders/hikers past Carey Springs. I live in Longmont and happily drive 50 minutes and pay $6 parking fee-absolute worth it!!! White Ranch is a close second for me. Have fun! Sep 2, 2016

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