Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and son and I are taking trip to Fort Collins in a couple weeks. I've done some poking around it looks like Horsetooth would be the closest and probably best option for singletrack. Can any locals give me a good recommendation on a route, where to park, and anything else I might need to know? I'm looking for a 10-15 mile ride, intermediate with a bit of technical and advanced thrown in for good measure. What can I expect for elevation changes? The trail I'm used to riding in Minnesota has a total ascent/descent of 682' which is busch league compared to the foothills. Is there a site that has a trail review of Horsetooth with pictures?

Also, what would be the closest downhill to Fort Collins? I was at Breckenridge a couple years ago and had a blast bombing the mountain and being able to take the lift up like a whimp :) I figure while I'm out there I may as well take advantage of things we don't have back here.

Thanks for any info! I can't wait to come out, I think my wife is sick of me talking about biking!
 

·
slow
Joined
·
7,461 Posts
Closest lift served biking is going to be Winter Park or Keystone - roughly 2 hours from here.

For some basic info, you might check here: http://www.subliminalshiver.com/Subliminalshiver/HTMP.html

Park info here (links to map, driving directions, etc.)
http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Htmp.htm

Map:
http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Htmp.htm

If you search this forum for Horsetooth, or some of the trail names from the map, you will likely find some photos.

Mileage seems to feel like more in HTMP than in other places. There is quite a bit of climbing. I like to park at the lower lot (Soderburg) at roughly 5500'. The towers and Horsetooth Rock are at about 7200'

It is hard to find a bad ride in the park. Typically you don't want to climb Mill Creek above the Loggers junction. Spring Creek and Wathen are best in the downhill direction, but good both ways. Audra Culver has great views. South Ridge Trail and Towers Trail on the map are just service roads, and not that interesting (but a good workout).

Day parking pass is $6 and good unitl noon the following day.

As your trip gets closer, post here and you may find tour guides. There are group rides nearly every day around here.

Enjoy your trip.
 

·
Now with 10% more!
Joined
·
407 Posts
There are several options outside of Fort Collins. The foothills trail runs alongside (east side of) Horsetooth reservoir. It is mostly singletrack, but wide in some spots as it sees a lot of use year round. Offers some pretty good climbs up and down the foothills to the west of town, and is very popular to ride to from town without driving. A map can be found here http://www.fcgov.com/rangers/pdf/foothills-trail-map.pdf

As for Horsetooth, it has 2 lots it's accessible from. A lower lot at Soderburg Open space and an upper lot at Horsetooth Mountain park. It's commonly done by climbing Towers road from the Soderburg lot and descending whichever trails you feel like. This climb is not easy for many people who live here, as it goes from approx. 5600 ft. to 7400ft. in 3.2 miles. By parking at the Horsetooth Mountain park lot, you can cut out some of that gain and climb the service road to descend the trails. Spring Creek, Wathen, and Stout are usually regarded as the trails that are good to descend. Map here if you haven't already seen it. http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/htmp_map.htm

I'll also throw in that just a little up the road from horsetooth is bobcat ridge. This gem is a 5.4 mile ride through an area that was hit by a fire a few years ago. The options on this are to climb the Ginny trail to Mahoney park, and turn around and descend the Ginny trail. Or, you can climb Powerline road (another grueling 2 mile climb) and descend Ginny trail. Ginny trail is pretty tech in some spots (especially going up). Hope this helps some. http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/finder/bobcat Sorry, if it's a little scattered, I typed it really fast. I'm sure more people will chime in with advice tomorrow as well.

Timber and howard trails in lory state park are also pretty challenging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info so far!

One more question I have, where would be a good place to rent a bike from while I'm out there? Unfortunately we're not driving so I won't be bringing my own.
 

·
pain intolerant
Joined
·
745 Posts
Try Cycologist first. If they don't have what you want, Full Cycle (4 blocks from Cyc) also rents bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
So where has everyone been riding that has been dry? All I hear on this forum is about how great the weather has been. I think it has sucked, and I have been stuck on my road bike almost everyday. Tried to go up resevoir ridge on Sunday afternoon and turned around after 400m from the mud. Are people just doing HTM and Blue Sky over and over again, because the trails close to town have not been very good most of this summer. The mud here is just not very fun to ride on.

OP, I would recommend the trails close to town (park behind CSU stadium and go up A Hill, you'll find some good singletrack going along the resevoir on the other side of the road), for the fact that they are close to town (I always feel bad driving to ride).

And make sure you go to La Luz and Cafe Mexicali, both far superior to Big City Burrito!
 

·
slow
Joined
·
7,461 Posts
trimess said:
So where has everyone been riding that has been dry? All I hear on this forum is about how great the weather has been. I think it has sucked, and I have been stuck on my road bike almost everyday. Tried to go up resevoir ridge on Sunday afternoon and turned around after 400m from the mud. Are people just doing HTM and Blue Sky over and over again, because the trails close to town have not been very good most of this summer. The mud here is just not very fun to ride on.
Maxwell from the Prospect trail head has been OK, but behind the stadium has taken a beating. Shoreline has been marginal, so I have been riding the ridge above Shoreline more often for quick rides.

My loop lately has been down to Coyote Ridge on the road, and then looping out Blue Sky and back to town. If more mileage is needed, I'll add Indian Summer and / or DBB. Those trails seem to have been constructed well and tend to drain nicely. I think the rain has been centered more north, too, keeping the south trails drier.
 

·
pain intolerant
Joined
·
745 Posts
I just got back from a quicky starting from the upper HTMP lot. Despite yesterdays rains, the trails on that side of HTMP were all good (Southridge, Audra Culver, Wathen, Springcreek, etc.). Of course, I was chased off the mountain by another thunder head!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Currently I'm planning to head to HTMP and hit the trails on Thursday, probably around noon. If there are any other riders or groups heading out around then and wouldn't mind somebody to tag along let me know. Some company familiar with the trails would be very welcome.

Thanks for all the info so far everybody!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
As a visitor to the Front Range I was in the same boat as you last month. There is a wealth of riding in HTMP and Lory State Park. A great ride is to start at Coyote Ridge, hit Blue Sky and Devil's Backbone then work your way up to HTMP. At HTMP you have several options. Do not underestimate the Tower Road or the first service road that heads up to the tooth itself. They are grueling climbs that can leave you blown up for the rest of the ride if you are not careful.

Descending Mill Creek and then heading up Howard and down Timber are fun too, but Howard is a tough, technical climb. I rode Mill Creek twice and really enjoyed it.

The Ginny trail at Bobcat is really excellent, but you have another tough climb up Powerline.

Make sure you head over to Lyons and visit Dave at Redstone. Dave has a great shop and will set you up on some nice rides. His Tuesday group ride is not to be missed! I really enjoyed visiting with Dave and since I am in the middle of nowhere Alaska I now consider Redstone to be my LBS!

Don't forget to eat and drink at Oskar Blues in Lyons.

Forrest
 

·
pain intolerant
Joined
·
745 Posts
AleutianMTB said:
As a visitor to the Front Range I was in the same boat as you last month. There is a wealth of riding in HTMP and Lory State Park. A great ride is to start at Coyote Ridge, hit Blue Sky and Devil's Backbone then work your way up to HTMP. At HTMP you have several options. Do not underestimate the Tower Road or the first service road that heads up to the tooth itself. They are grueling climbs that can leave you blown up for the rest of the ride if you are not careful.

Descending Mill Creek and then heading up Howard and down Timber are fun too, but Howard is a tough, technical climb. I rode Mill Creek twice and really enjoyed it.

The Ginny trail at Bobcat is really excellent, but you have another tough climb up Powerline.

Make sure you head over to Lyons and visit Dave at Redstone. Dave has a great shop and will set you up on some nice rides. His Tuesday group ride is not to be missed! I really enjoyed visiting with Dave and since I am in the middle of nowhere Alaska I now consider Redstone to be my LBS!

Don't forget to eat and drink at Oskar Blues in Lyons.

Forrest
Note that the Timber trail is closed from Kimmons up to Howard for forest fuel mitigation. An out and back on Howard is still a good ride though.

Also, if you find yourself at Bobcat, I'd recommend doing an out and back on Ginny and avoiding Powerline (a sustained, steep, and loose road that IMO isn't worth the pain). Tower Rd in HTMP is a great workout if you want a steady service road grind.

It's likely to be awfully hot at noon, so bring plenty of fluids. If you can get out there early (~6 - 7am) you can get a good ride in without suffering in the heat.
 

·
!Vamos, flaco!
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
The Cheyenne Rim Trail an hour north of town off Soapstone Natural Area is a new and really nice trail as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Pabs said:
The Cheyenne Rim Trail an hour north of town off Soapstone Natural Area is a new and really nice trail as well.
I was hoping to make it to Soapstone when I was down there, but did not have a chance. Sounds like some decent riding to be had there.
 

·
!Vamos, flaco!
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
AleutianMTB said:
I was hoping to make it to Soapstone when I was down there, but did not have a chance. Sounds like some decent riding to be had there.
I was impressed. Luckily, it'll be here when you come back. :D
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top