“A rocky climb and fun descent right through the rattlesnake's backyard.”
— Jared Crockett
Larimer County parking permit required to access the Ramsay Shockey Open space. These are $7 a day per vehicle. The same pass is good at all Larimer County parks (e.g. Horsetooth Mountain Park).
You may choose to park at either the Ramsay Shockey or Blue Mountain Trailheads. From either parking spot, take the Besant Point Trail
to access the Shoshone Trail. If you start at the Ramsay Shockey Trailhead, there you'll traverse the dam of Pinewood Reservoir
. On the far side of the dam, there is a restroom. Here the trail splits, you'll see what appears to be two trails to the left of the restroom (Besant Point Trail
), and there is one trail to the right of the restroom (Shoshone Trail).
I rode the trail from the other direction, coming from the Blue Mountain Trailhead. In that direction, as you're riding along the Besant Point Trail
you'll come to a trail junction with a marker post for the Shoshone Trail. The trail is on your left and heads up the mountain. Take that trail and begin a roughly mile-long ascent. There are several rocky sections and steep sections. There are also some steps (both ascending and descending). It's tough going in some spots, but the trail runs through some beautiful ponderosa pine forest. It's worth it for the adventure.
About mid-way along the trail, near its highest point, you'll see what appears to be a trail junction, with another trail heading off in the direction of the lake. This is just a short social trail to a nice viewpoint.
The ride back down the mountain, in the clockwise direction, is flowing and fun. There is one point, however, where you're flowing nicely down the hill and the trail throws a sudden and sharp turn at you, and immediately after that turn are some steps. Be on the lookout for that - it could cause you to crash if you got caught off-guard.