Hewlett Gulch

 20 votes
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Featured Ride

8.0 Miles 12.9 Kilometers



1,195' 364 m


-1,194' -364 m


6,805' 2,074 m


5,718' 1,743 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)



Fun ride with multiple stream crossings and flowy singletrack.

Cody Terkhorn


Routine closings due to High park and Hewlett Gulch fires. Check USPS for closures.
This is the first bike friendly trail you come to in the Poudre Canyon, with only a 20+ minute drive from the edge of north Fort Collins. The trail gets far enough into the mountains that it has more tree cover and also is not as rocky as its hog back cousins like devils backbone. It has a plethora of stream crossings, is 100% singletrack, and pairs nicely with a ride on Dadd or Youngs gulch (also up the Poudre).

The primary drawback to its location is that it also has a lot of traffic and can get quite busy on weekends and later in the day. This however, shouldn't keep you from riding this great northern CO trail.

P.S. The best part about this trail is there is no leash law for dogs - having your four legged riding buddy isn't a problem.

Need to Know

There are lots of creek crossings so don't wear your fancy pants and bring a change of cloths for the post ride festivities.


From the parking lot you'll follow Hewlett Gulch along the stream that winds through, crossing it at least a dozen times. This climb is not steep and has a couple rocky areas which shouldn't be too difficult to navigate for an intermediate rider. At around 2 miles into the ride you'll come to a fork in the trail.

Taking the trail to the left introduces you to a set of switchbacks, followed by a nice tacky trail that rolls up and down. The trail will eventually bring you to the summit of the ride. From here it's all downhill, with lots of singletrack where you can really open her up a bit and fly.

You'll eventually reach the rock garden that posses the most difficult portion of the ride however going this direction it's a downhill garden and might pose a challenge to an intermediate rider. From here you'll return to the gulch and the burn out from the recent fires. The charcoaled trees have an erie beauty to them and if you lean up against them you'll end up bringing a little bit of it home with you. Eventually, you'll reach the fork and return back to the parking lot.

The other direction is the same only in reverse and the rock garden will be a Hike-A-Bike for many riders. The switchback section is fast, slow, fast, slow and hard to build a good rhythm. I prefer the clockwise route, but I will let you be the judge.

History & Background

This area has been hit by several fires in the past year and as such has a lot of black toothpicks for trees. It's actually beautiful although bittersweet.


Rate Featured Ride


3.5 from 20 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Nov 16, 2016
Brett Keck
Nov 8, 2016
Sean Hauss
Oct 8, 2016
Lloyd Gauthier
Oct 1, 2016
David Kim
Austin, Kent, and Chris 8mi
Sep 24, 2016
Jared Crockett
The descent was great, but the difficulty of the climb in the clockwise is undersold. Steep and loose.
Sep 22, 2016
Tyler Richards
Jun 15, 2016
Mark Cooley
First part easy, switchbacks tough with 12 year old in tow.
Jun 3, 2016
Hendo Henderson
12-15 river/stream forges! So much fun. Fell into two cactuses

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Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 20 votes


in Poudre Park


  3.5 from 20 votes
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in Poudre Park


in Colorado


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7,201 Since Jun 10, 2013
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Conditions weren't great. No wonder I was the only biker on the trail. I crossed the stream maybe 15 times total in this ride. It really slows down the pace. Its a beautiful trail with some great scenery, but save it for an afternoon hike. If you're like me, you don't want to have to get off your bike every 5 minutes to scout the best way to cross a stream. Maybe its a better ride later in the season when the water isn't so high, but I wouldn't recommend riding this trail early season. Jun 2, 2016

Election day! Took the clockwise (left at the fork) route super rocky and loose gravel steep and had to dismount on the bike to get to the summit. Do not recommend the clockwise (left at the fork route). Many stream crossings, may try this again at a later date or next season but not by bike. It is a hiker rather than a biker trail. Nov 8, 2016

I definitely prefer it in the clockwise direction (left at the fork). The switchbacks are tough but don't last long, and are much less fun going down than the awesome flowy downhill and fun rock garden at the bottom. Mar 3, 2017

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