Fort Collins, Colorado, is home to some exquisite mountain bike trails that offer a blend of natural scenery, challenging climbs, and smooth descents. One such trail, nestled among the famous Horsetooth Mountain Park, Coyote Ridge, and Devil's Backbone trail systems, is the Blue Sky Trail. This 15-mile Out & Back trail packs a moderate punch for bikers looking to test their skills in a diversified yet not overly technical landscape.
Devil's Backbone Trailhead From Loveland:
- Directions: Take Highway 34 west to just past mile marker #88. Turn right onto Hidden Valley Drive. The trailhead will be on your left.
Soderberg Trailhead via Horsetooth Reservoir Inlet Bay:
- Directions: From Highway 34, go north on Wilson, which turns into Taft Hill Road in Fort Collins. Turn left onto County Road 38E and continue until you reach the reservoir. For further directions, check here.
Coyote Ridge Trailhead:
- Directions: From Highway 34, go north on Wilson for approximately 5.5 miles. The entrance is on the west side of the road.
For more in-depth directions, visit the Larimer County Parks website.
- Terrain: Mainly foothills terrain, occasional sandy spots.
- Difficulty: Rated as intermediate, with optional challenging climbs.
- Trail Type: Multiuse—expect to share the path with hikers and perhaps horses.
- Wildlife: Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes especially around blind corners.
What Cyclists Are Saying
- For Beginners: The trail is lauded for being beginner-friendly, providing an excellent introduction to mountain biking.
- The Climb: If you’re looking to level up, a detour to the Indian Summer loop offers a rigorous climb and an exciting descent.
- Traffic: The trail can get crowded, particularly during weekends and holidays. Early morning or late afternoon rides are advised.
- Conditions: The trail is well-maintained with clear signs and offers a refreshing change from rocky paths, especially for those used to the Boulder trails.
Additional Riding Options
If the 15-mile ride on Blue Sky leaves you craving for more, there are various connecting trails to extend your ride. Options include:
- Rimrock for a technical challenge
- Indian Summer for added mileage and a good climb
- Coyote Ridge for a smooth single track
Tips and Considerations
- Weather: The trail is largely exposed, so on hot days it’s best to ride early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Safety: Watch your speed at blind corners and stay alert for rattlesnakes.
For cyclists of all levels seeking a blend of scenic vistas, cardio-worthy climbs, and smooth terrains, Blue Sky Trail serves as a remarkable choice. Happy riding!