Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to the New and Improved Go Hike Colorado!

I started Go Hike Colorado in March of 2014 and it has been an incredible first year.

This was a project that I have wanted to dive into for years, and I am certainly glad that I have taken the plunge.  In our first year we had more than 30,000 page visits, the first three months of the 2nd year have so far seen 15,000 visits.  Support for this site is growing rapidly and I couldn't be more excited.  I have received some wonderful comments from fellow hikers, and a photo from the site was used by 5280 Magazine in their April 2015 Issue (See the Beaver Brook Trail article...  By all counts it has been a great success.

Blogger has been a terrific tool, the site has made it possible for me to organize the hikes and photos, create descriptions, and get a taste of how a website like Go Hike Colorado could work.  With all due gratitude to is time to move on.

The new site can be found at:   Please feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment on the blog and let me know what you think of the new site.  Please let me know if you would like the new site to have any other features or if anything on the new site should be changed or improved.

I truly hope that you enjoy the new site.  I'm sure you will appreciate the improved organization, functionality, and features.  Updating two sites will push the limits of my free time.  So unfortunately, I won't be updating this site any more.  However, there are many new wonderful hikes to be found at  At some point I will install a redirect so typing in will take you to the new site, but I'll leave this site up and running for a while, just in case you can't handle the change...

Thank you all for your support and I hope you like the new site as much as I do.


Monday, May 11, 2015

3 Bar & OT Trails Loop, Eagle's Nest Open Space

3 Bar & OT Trails Loop
Eagle's Nest Open Space

Date Hiked: May 1, 2015

Distance: 5.1 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 900ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,612 to 6,101ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 40º 46' 59" N; 105º 12' 56" W
Managing Agency: Larimer County Open Space
Fee: None

Directions:  From Fort Collins head north on 287 past the turn off for Poudre Canyon to the town of Livermore.   Turn left off of 287 at the “Forks” onto Red Feather Lakes Road.  Almost immediately turn right at the sign for Eagle’s Nest Open Space.  Follow the narrow but good dirt road for about 1 mile to the end of the road and the trailhead and parking area.

The Eagle’s Nest Open Space is a wonderful and exciting hiking area northwest of Fort Collins.  The hike showcases the towering Eagle’s Nest Rock and Eagle’s Nest Peaks and looks west toward the Rawah Mountains in the distance.  The area is made up of two loops connected by a scenic crossing of the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River.  Hiking both loops results in a 5 mile jaunt over hills and across open flowing meadows along the river.  

From the parking area, bear left at the trailhead sign and skirt along the hillside gradually descending down to the valley floor on the 3 Bar Trail.  This portion of the hike provides great views of the wide open spaces of northern Colorado.  As you descend, the western views open up and the unique topography becomes more evident.  The trail leads down to a 4 way crossing with a dirt road.  White lines have been spray painted on the ground here to show that the trail continues straight ahead on the other side of the road.  This is also the spot where the first views of Eagle’s Nest Rock can be seen in its full glory…don’t worry it won’t be the last.  Gain some elevation after the road, then descend further, through a gate down to the Cache La Poudre River crossing.

On the other side of the Poudre River you begin the OT Trail, I suggest a counter-clockwise direction by bearing right at the fork.  The trail climbs up to the top of a ridge with 360 degree views.  As the trail descends the canyon views to the west are stellar and the Eagle’s Nest Rock becomes ever more iconic.  Descend down to the river and turn left as the trail parallels the river back to the crossing.  When you re-join the 3 Bar Trail bear left and follow the wide dirt road as it gradually rises back to the parking area.  As you near the trailhead be sure to look behind you for the wonderful westerly views.    

Friday, May 1, 2015

Valley View Loop, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

Valley View Loop
Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

Date Hiked:  May 1, 2015

Distance: 4.4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 575ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,418 to 5,753ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 40º 28' 47" N; 105º 13' 33" W
Managing Agency: City of Fort Collins
Fee: None

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Trail Map

Directions (from the Fort Collins Website):  From Fort Collins, take Harmony Road west, it turns into CR 38 E. Follow CR 38 E to Masonville. Go left (south) at the Masonville Mercantile onto CR 27. Follow CR 27 about 1 mile to CR 32 C, head west about 1 mile to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot.  From Loveland, go west on Highway 34 about 4.5 miles west of Wilson Avenue. Turn north on CR 27 by Big Thompson Elementary and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left on CR 32C and go 1 mile west to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Bobcat Ridge is a wonderful open space park tucked away between the massive hogback ridges of Fort Collins and the Front Range foothills.  The park basically consists of two loop options; the Ginny Trail (about 6 miles) and the Valley View Trail, described here. The hike climbs up onto a ridge and skirts the side of the foothills providing terrific views east to the red rock ridge and the hogback beyond.

From the parking area, start out on the paved trail to the trailhead kiosk. Continue straight and turn left at the trailsign for the Valley View Trail.  Gradually head up-hill to another trail junction with the Ginny Trail, rather than continuing uphill, turn right and follow the Valley View Trail for 1.25 miles as it rises and falls along the mountain side.  The trail weaves through very pleasant evergreen forests and open meadows, with great views at every turn.

When you reach the trail junction for the Power Line Trail, continue as the trail turns uphill and gains a small ridge.  From this point the trail veers to the east and heads back downhill, across the meadow towards the red rock ridge.  Before joining with the trail back to the parking area, take a short detour to a historic cabin.  The cabin itself is a nice picnic area (with restrooms), but the real reason to take this side trail is that it gets you much closer to the red rock wall that you've been looking at for the past 3.5 miles.  After your side trail, take the main gravel trail all the way back to the parking lot to complete your loop.

Bobcat Ridge provides a wonderful relaxing stroll or a great late afternoon fitness hike.  The park also provides a quieter experience with half as many visitors as the nearby Horsetooth Mountain or Devil's Backbone parks.