Devil's Backbone

Location:West of Loveland, Colorado
Maps: Larimer County provides a trail map here.
Access: From the intersections of Highways 34 and 287 in Loveland, drive 4.4 miles. Turn right (north) on a road marked by both Larimer County Open Space and Hidden Valley Estates. Parking lot just on the left. 
Trailhead: NAD83 zone 13 487053e 4473486n Elev: 5086'
Trail: Easy, wide trail over open, rolling terrain. Turnaround wherever it pleases you, but the trail continues for 9.1 miles to Horsetooth Mountain Park, where you could keep hiking if you like to Horsetooth Rock, then keep hiking into Lory State Park (Don't stop, Man!)
Dogs: Leash law in effect.
Webcam: Ft Collins/Loveland Airport looking west towards the mountains (and Devil's Backbone)
Weather: Current and recent conditions   NWS Forecast

January 26, 2008
Andra, Christine, Seth and I hiked this nice area on an unseasonably warm Saturday in January. We started at the trailhead on Highway 34, and hiked north along the interesting spine of rocks, remnants of a sedimentary hogback, that runs north-south through the southern part of this 2000-acre open space area. We started hiking around 2:00 on a gently rolling path, stepping off occasionally for bikers, and generally enjoying the pleasant weather. Lots of mountain bikes hit this trail, and I can definitely see the appeal. The trail is wide, generally smooth and the terrain isn't really steep. The melting pockets of snow turned the trail to gumbo in places, coating our boots in red mud, but we soldiered on.  I was thrilled to realize I was hot in my flannel shirt, and took it off to hike in nothing but my t-shirt and jeans, in January. Man, I love Colorado. There are multiple holes in the fin of rock, with a very large one called the Keyhole which is plenty big enough to walk through. Though the view is not great owing to residential development on surrounding private property, it's a great in-town park. Seth commented how it would be fun to hike all the way to Horsetooth from here, and I agree. It's great terrain and a nice trail.We walked about 3.5 miles, almost to the junction with Indian Summer Trail, and turned around to head back. The sun shone unimpeded from the west most of the afternoon, but the sky turned a little hazy as we neared the parking lot, turning the horizon sky a pale orange. Very nice winter hike.

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Page created 1-29-08