Horsetooth Reservior, Fort Collins

Directions: From Fort Collins take LaPorte Avenue west, past Overland Trail and park at the end of the road at the base of Soldier Canyon Dam. Look for trail access to the left of the closed gate at the end of the road.

Trail Information:   This ten mile loop is very challenging with steep climbs and switchback trails, but very rewarding with awesome views of Horsetooth Reservoir and Horsetooth mountain to the west, and the eastern plains of Colorado including the city of Fort Collins.  The first mile is a steep uphill climb to the top of the hogback just north of Soldier Canyon Dam.  Follow the trail another mile north and take the left branch at the "Y" which will bring you to the west side of the hogback and loop back around to the south through a meadow.  The trail will take you to Centennial Drive.  Run this road past the Dam and get on the trail again (on the west side of the road), and drop down to where the trail follows the shore of the reservoir.  The trail eventually works its way back up to Centennial Drive (another steep climb).  Follow this road back down the hill towards Hughes Stadium.   At the bottom of the hill (just southwest of the stadium), get on the trail or ditch that heads back to the north.  Follow this trail all the way back to the end of LaPorte Avenue where you started.

Miscellaneous Information: The best time to run this loop is early morning if you want solitude and the opportunity to see wildlife, including deer, coyote, fox, prairie dogs, and bald eagles.  Use caution on some of the switchback trails as they are fairly rocky and washed out in spots.  Be aware on warm days for rattlesnakes that sun themselves on the trail!