Since moving to Cheyenne and having close access to the Rockies, we have developed an ever increasing interest in hiking and spending time in the mountains. But growing up in the flat plains of Illinois means neither of us have a great deal of experience with the hobby, so we’ve been patiently allowing ourselves grace to learn and acclimate. Even in doing so, the process has still been enjoyable.
Last summer was our second in this area, so it was our second go at getting out and exploring the beautiful places that we live so close to. One of the first hikes of the season for us was Horsetooth Mountain. Nestled in the foothills just west of Fort Collins, this mountainous area offered us some beautiful views and a different perspective of a town we have spent a fair amount of time in.
We took on this hike in mid-July, so it was definitely a sweaty one. We found parking at the Horsetooth Mountain trailhead, but it seems we lucked out because there were only one or two spots left when we arrived. It was $9 for a day pass. We started our hike around 9-9:15am, and we were done within about 3 hours. We followed the Horsetooth Rock Trail which was about 4.5 miles round trip and had about 1400 ft elevation gain. I would say the hike was appropriately labeled moderate, with the harder, steeper portions being towards the end. At the very top we had to do a bit of scrambling to get to the peak, but it was reasonable for novices when done carefully. The views were definitely worth it. On one side of the ridge was a more lush view overlooking the Reservoir and Fort Collins, while the other side was more dry as it led deeper into the mountain region. We enjoyed a snack at the top before heading down. All in all, it was a fun hike and a great way to spend a morning.
Until next time,