5 Great Northern Colorado Hikes

Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Lyons, Boulder and Estes Park; there are so many great communities in the foothills north of Denver, Colo. What makes these communities so great to live in or visit? They're close to the mountains for short adventures. Don't believe me? Try any one of these five great Northern Colorado Day Hikes.

Horsetooth Rock

Horsetooth Rock Looking northwest from the summit of Horsetooth Rock.

Horsetooth Mountain Park is a Larimer County Open Space located just four miles west of Fort Collins.The mountain park offers many trails and loops perfect for trail runners, mountain bikers and hikers. Follow the signs to Horsetooth Rock for a panoramic view of Fort Collins, and the mountains to the west. The views are definitely worth the five-mile round trip hike.

Note: This hike requires a very short scramble at the top. If you're hiking with kids or have any reservations about scrambling, hike to the Horsetooth Falls instead. Grab a trail map at the trailhead. You'll be good to go.

Crossier Mountain

Nrothern Colorado Hikes View from the Summit of Crossier Mountain Photo by Andy Hawbaker

If you're looking to reach a summit without the crowds or fees of the national park, check out Crossier Mountain. There are three different trailheads that will take you to the top of this peak. I suggest taking the Glen Haven trailhead for a nice eight-mile round trip hike. It's worth it for the views of Rocky Mountain National Park's Mummy Range to the west.

Twin Sisters Peak

great day hikes Hiking Twin Sisters Peak

Located south of Estes Park, Twin Sisters Peak is a fun 7.4-mile hike with 2,475 feet of elevation gain. It'll get your blood pumping and you'll be rewarded by 360-degree views that include the plains to the east and Longs Peak directly to the west. The trailhead is located across the street from Lily Lake and is easily accessible for a great winter hike.

Arthur's Rock

family hike Hiking Arthur's Rock

Here's a great hike for the whole family. Grab the kids and drive to Lory State Park, located just minutes northwest of Fort Collins. Arthur's Rock is a 3.5-mile roundtrip hike that will get you and the family to an awesome overlook that includes views of Fort Collins and Horsetooth Reservoir.

Greyrock Trail


Ask any Fort Collins local where to hike and they're likely  to send you up the Poudre River canyon. It's worth the drive to head all the way up the Poudre Canyon to hike a trail on Cameron Pass but if time doesn't allow for that, be sure to hit the Greyrock trail. You can hike a 7+ mile loop that takes you to the summit of Greyrock Mountain and winds you through the meadows on the way down. This is a fun hike you'll thoroughly enjoy.

Note: The final section near the summit is rocky and the trail markers aren't always clear. Pay close attention to the trail markers and keep your eyes peeled for the heard to follow trail.

Want to try some trails in Rocky Mountain National Park? Try these:

Top 4 Mountain Climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park
Top 5 Day Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Need to gear up for these hikes? Stop by our new Fort Collins, Colorado store at the Corner of Horsetooth and College. Opening Thursday October 9, 2014

Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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