Start at the service road and accept pain... follow the service road up the first steep switch back, hang left at the first turn. Keep following until you reach the "top". You will meet up with a sign that says Horsetooth rock, follow singletrack west, You may have to hike-a-bike up some really steep stairs. Follow singletrack towards horsetooth rock, make a right turn at the sign which says "The Wathan". Remind yourself that what goes up must come down and let it rip... moderately technical, windy, rocky singletrack and lots of speed will leave you wanting more... Horsetooth falls is next. Once at the bottom of the Wathan, follow the singletrack right... you will go over some difficult sections, stay to the left. Welcome to Horsetooth falls!... Don't forget to stay left. Steep stairs with 90 degree turns in them, lots of big rocks, and a drop to the right will make you happy you purchased a 5" travel Marzocchi and some big Tioga tires. Follow the singletrack, stay left damnet!,After you cross a bridge it's fun singletrack with a bit of a climb back to the parking lot. Say HI! to the rangers on your way out.
Get on Harmony road, follow it west. (It will turn into CR 38E) Keep going on this road for about 7 miles. Turn right at the Horsetooth Mtn. Park entrance. Park it, gear up, and watch for rangers... they get mighty testy when you don't pay the "Preservation fees".(Obviously you are paying to preserve the job of those fine rangers and their high dollar trucks.)
Summary: Instead of biatching about fees while you probably ride $1500 bikes, why don't you volunteer for trail maintenance. That way you can screw up trails you built. Might make you appreciate the trails we have in this state.
Recommended Route: Any route if you can pay your fees. If you can't spare a few dollars I recommend not riding at all.
Review Date September 25, 2000
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a week
Visitors rate this review 2.33 of 5,
Reviewed by: Spencer
, from Fort Collins
Summary: I have never, nor will I ever pay to ride in this park... At least as long as Larimer County continues to take money from mountain bikers and while allowing the trails to fall into such a state of decay up here! Most trails need far more mainainence than they get due to Fort Collins' exteremly dry climate, and DUMB FUCKERS who lock their brakes on the downhills and rut the trails 100 times faster than those of us who try to ride and hike with minimal impact. I do this ride 2-3 times a week, and I refuse to pay $7 every damn time I ride it. A whopping 90 percent of all parks fees collected at Horsetooth go to pay ranger salaries (so they can yell at me for not paying) and vehicles. Of the remaining 10 percent, most goes to improvements in the WHITE TRASH CAMPGROUNDS at the park. Only a couple cents of your parks fees actually goes to maintain trails. Now that I'm done ranting, I must say that I love this ride. It is by far my favorite ride in Fort Collins (though it still can't compare to places like Crested Butte, Durango or Fruita). But it still gives you an awesome workout on the climb and an super fun, relatively uncrowded, slightly technical downhill. Riding time from town and back is about 2 1/2 hours, depending on how good of shape you're in. I would recommend this trail to intermediate to advanced riders only. Bonus: I've seen bears (three times), lots and lots of deer, wild turkeys, mountain lions, and bald eagles on this ride, plus the view of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker (and even Pike's Peak on clear days) from Westridge trail are amazing!
Recommended Route: I usually do this ride a little differently than above. I ride from town up and around the south side of the resivor. At the turn for Inlet Bay, I turn RIGHT and head up that road. About 1/2 mile past the boat launch area, the road turns to dirt. Ignoring he sign that says "no park access" continue up another 1/4 mile or so. On the left is a gate and the service road for the towers (a fair amount steeper than the main Horsetooth service road, and far less crowded). Head up this road for 3 miles of nice climbing. At the top, there are two stes of towers, ride past the first set to the end of the road at the south-most set of towers. From here, bikers have formed a semi-trail for about 200 yards heading down (southeast) the hill, if you can't find it, I recomend just riding or walking down in that general direction, you'll hit Westridge Trail no matter what angle you go at. Once on Westridge Trail, follow it for about 1/2 mile of somewhat technical ups and downs to Wathen (left turn). After 1 mile, Wathen dead ends on Spring Creek. Go right on Spring Creek and follow it through a few technical sections to Sodaberg Trail. Go right on Sodaberg, eventually it will turn into the main Horsetooth service Road. Bail down the last 2/3 mile or so as fast as your friggin' bike will carry you (of course, you must keep an eye out for other trail users!!)
Other recommended trails in the same area: Mill creek, Loggers, Stout--hell, they're all fun. Also check out West White Pine mountain if you're into these types of lung-searing climbs--it is at the eastern base of Pennock Pass up buckhorn Canyon Road (1 hour from Ft. Fun). Dadd Gulch, Shoreline Trail, Happy Jack (in Wyoming), and Hewlett's are also fun regional rides.
Review Date August 7, 2000
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a week
Reviewed by: Paul
, from Fort Collins
Summary: see above. But since I have some space, a short rant. Pay the fees at Horsetooth and Lory when you ride here. Be nice to the rangers and thank them when there is evidence of trail work. (granted, some of these rangers are humorless jerks, at least at horsetooth, but maybe if mt. bikers are nice to them, they will change). Don't frighten the hikers and equestrians and say "hello" when you see them. These areas get a lot of use, and we don't need a bunch of "bad ass" mountain bikers giving the sport a bad name. Volunteer for some trail work at Lory. Contribute to making these better places to ride, instead of riding the closed trails and bragging about sneaking in. The park fees you pay get used for the parks and for the trails. So stop whining, eat a PB&J and a banana and take the money you would have spent for your fancy protein bar on a parks pass. We are really lucky to have these trails nearby and to have the some of the best riding on the front range in our backyard. Let's not screw it up!
Recommended Route: For a variation, instead of turning right onto Spring Creek trail at the bottom of Waltham trail and going to the Falls (part of which I am not sure is open to bikes), go left, then take first right on Harrington trail, climbing to the top and going right at the T on Stout trail. Fun descent- cross Radio Tower Road- continue on until you are spit out into Lory Park. Ride south on the single track until you come back to Radio Tower Rd. go through the gate and ride back on the roads to where you started. This is an XC, not downhill bike route, but it is a great trail and close to town. Also, if you can ride up all the log steps, your name must be Hans!
Review Date August 1, 2000
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Reviewed by: Jeff
, from Denver
Summary: That's some fun stuff
Recommended Route: same as above
Other recommended trails in the same area: mill creek, etc...