Horsetooth Rock Hike is 5.5 Miles of Rocky Mountain Beauty
If you are looking for a beautiful hike that is not extremely strenuous, the Horsetooth Rock Hike is perfect for you.
The hike ascends above Horsetooth Reservoir just west of Fort Collins. To the east you overlook the flats of Fort Collins and Loveland, while to the east you get an "up close" view of Long's Peak and the Rocky Mountains.
Taking a leisurely pace, the hike to the Horsetooth summit took about an hour and 40 minutes. When you get near the top you have the option of a north ascent which results in very little rock climbing or 'scrambling.' Or, you can to the south summit, like we did, which requires a climb up and over rocks, and crevices, none of which bring you near exposure's edge. For the less agile, I would recommend a north summit approach.
At the top, there are great views, and you will find that most people choose the less challenging north summit ascent. So, while you can see people on the north summit, you can't get to them from the top because of a great divide in the rock.
The later in the year you do this hike the hotter it's going to be, so you will always want to take plenty of water and some protein and energy snacks. The trail is well groomed, and at times even features steps. The elevation gain is about 1500 feet, so it's not an extreme climb.
Our total hiking time was 3.5 hours, which leaves plenty of time for whatever you want to do the rest of the day.
Check out the short video above for some of the good views and good time we had with family.