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Horsetooth Mtn Park/Lory St. Park Tour

Difficult
 3.8 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

21.7

Miles

34.9

KM

90%

Singletrack

6,979' 2,127 m

High

5,442' 1,659 m

Low

3,178' 969 m

Up

3,190' 972 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

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.

Need to Know

$9 to park your car. Summer afternoons see frequent isolated lighting storms.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brook Mooney

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 21 votes

#1068

Overall
  3.8 from 21 votes
5 Star
48%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
10%
1 Star
10%
Recommended Route Rankings

#199

in Colorado

#1,068

Overall
152 Views Last Month
26,835 Since Jul 26, 2013
Difficult

5%
5%
5%
0%
85%
0%

Photos

My daughter's first ever mountain bike ride!  I couldn't be happier!
Sep 19, 2015 near Laporte, CO
Winter stage on the Timber Trail. Riding all four seasons presents a variety of trail conditions.
Sep 28, 2016 near Laporte, CO
Beautiful views of Horsetooth Reservoir from a little off of South Ridge
Oct 9, 2017 near Bellvue, CO
Little climb.
Jul 26, 2017 near Bellvue, CO
Working up the northern section of Timber Trail.
Nov 17, 2019 near Bellvue, CO
Fort Collins has some fun trails!
Nov 17, 2018 near Bellvue, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 10, 2020
Sam Ross
Jun 27, 2020
Ron Wahler
Mar 21, 2019
Jeff Bruce
Aug 18, 2018
Brian Schulz
M-train
Jul 29, 2018
Clark Sperry
several food breaks and photo opps 21.1mi — 4h 30m
Jul 14, 2018
Noel Jones
May 10, 2018
Clare Liu
Mar 25, 2018
Matt Greenfield
First MTB shit. Didn’t feel too good. 13mi