Fort Collins Hikes for Families
Family Hikes in Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado and Fort Collins Hikes for Families are ABUNDANT. There is a trick to finding just the right trail for your family's level of difficulty, though.
We have hiked a number of trails in the area with our children in packs and walking with us. We'll share our observations and experiences, to make some of the choices a little easier!
If you need some tips and tricks for enjoying the time with your little one in the pack, check out this article on hiking with small children,
written by a mom and seasoned Colorado hiker, Amy Lucas.
One of our fave hikes (although it's moderate to difficult) close to town is
Arthur's Rock in Lory State Park.
Arthur's Rock trail begins on the west side of the last parking lot. We have taken numerous pictures from this parking lot. For us, this view is classic Colorado beauty.
As the trail begins, you immediately begin walking through a crevasse, with some fun 'scrambling' rocks around the trail. The trail begins to rise, and for the little ones, a ride in a pack will make Mommy feel more secure. There are some very steep drops off the side of the trail, so hand holding becomes necessary for a while.
After passing through the woods for a bit, the trail opens to a meadow, which in the summer is FULL of wild flowers. Past the meadow, you'll rise in elevation again quickly, and at the top will come to a 360 degree view. Beautiful landscape of red rocks, Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins and the surrounding area make this a great spot for pictures!
This trail takes a while to clear of ice at the beginning, because the crevasse stays a bit dark and cold. Another note, in case you are not familiar with the area. Lory is famous for being rattlesnake country, so we tend to stick to these gorgeous trails during 'safer' times.
There are trails headed east from the parking lot, which are a bit less steep, but do drop down to the reservoir. You'll see tons of folks horseback riding in this park, and it's also a very popular mountain biking park. There is a range from very technical rides in Lory, to simple single tracks that are safe for beginning riders. We, however, usually stick to the hiking trails...
Two other Fort Collins hikes we love that are close to town are the
Maxwell Natural Area Family Hike
is behind Hughes Stadium, leading up to the "A Trail". It has some fun features we highlight that work for the kiddos. Then the
Horsetooth Mountain Trail
is a great one for the kiddos, and has some VERY rewarding views at the end!
If you are wanting to go a little out of the immediate Fort Collins/Loveland area,
Rocky Mountain National Park
has some amazing hikes, with breathtaking views and almost guaranteed viewing of wildlife. RMNP is a little less than an hour's drive to the south west of Fort Collins, only about a half hour from the south-western side of Loveland. One of our favorite areas to visit with the kiddos is
The Alluvial Fan area
, with access to a waterfall and water running under a bridge...always a winner with the tots!
We also recently went north to
Vedauwoo in Wyoming
, which was a wonderful area to hike or camp, with awesome boulders for the children to climb along the trails and around the campsites. There's shade, and some water, if you go in the spring and early summer...even some beaver-cut trees along the Turtle Rock Trail.
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