Hiking Arthur’s Rock – A Quick And Beautiful Fort Collins Hike


Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: Colorado | Day Hikes

Arthur’s Rock is a beautiful hike located in Lory State Park in Fort Collins, Colorado. This is one of the more popular hikes in Fort Collins due to the close proximity to town, easy to intermediate ascent, and fantastic views. Below is all the information you’ll need to get out there and have a great time.

Distance – 3.4 miles round trip (5.47 km)
Height – 6,746 feet (2,056.22 m)
Elevation gain – 1,155 feet (352.0 m)
Duration – 2 to 3 hours (book time)
Difficulty – Intermediate
Dogs?: Allowed
Seasons – Year-round (caution and experience needed in winter – see below)
Trailhead Location – Arthur’s Rock Trailhead – Lory State Park – (directions below)


Trail Map

Arthur's Rock Trail Map

Arthur’s Rock Trail Map


Lory State Park Trails & Map

If you want to see the Lory State Park trail map with routes and descriptions, as well as a map of the Howard Trail and other options, check it out here.. We also included an image at the bottom of this post.




Arthur’s Rock Trail: 3.4 Miles Round Trip | 1,155 Feet Elevation Gain

This is the most common route up Arthur’s Rock and begins at the Arthur’s Rock Trailhead parking (directions below). This lot is open year round, and can fit quite a number of cars.

The trail is well marked, easy to follow. Hikers begin by quickly entering a small canyon where a gorgeous small waterfall resides during certain months.

Around .5 miles in, hikers will reach the Howard Trail junction. Another route that will take you to Arthur’s Rock. Stay on the Arthur’s Rock Trail (marked by sign).

Hikers will experience switchbacks and a few relatively steep sections on this hike. During cold weather months, ice build up can occur, which is why we highly recommend bringing microspikes for traction.


Howard Trail: 4.6 Miles Round Trip

This trail is often used for hikers that want to return a different way from Arthur’s Rock summit. It is a little bit longer, but also a well traveled and easy trail to follow. This loop will be just about 4.2 miles if they decide to do both Arthur’s Rock Trail and the Howard Trail.


Howard Trail & Arthurs Rock Trail Loop | 4.2 Miles Round Trip

Many hikers choose to ascend the Arthur’s Rock Trail and descend the Howard trail to add a little mileage and change the scenery a bit.


Hiking in Winter

This is a fantastic winter hike. Though significantly less popular in winter months, it is still very well traveled. Even during warm times, the well traveled trail often results in packed down ice and snow. Winter traction is highly recommended. Microspikes are your best option here. Slipping and falling on this trail is extremely common due to the icy conditions and many unprepared hikers. A little extra traction will go a long way.


Camping Information

Lory State Park has plenty of Backcountry campsites, including near Arthur’s Rock. Campers will need to acquire a backcountry permit, and a parking pass to do so. More information on Lory State Park camping can be found here: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Lory/Pages/Fees.aspx

Current weather conditions:

Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days.

Laporte, CO

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. West northwest wind 3 to 7 mph.

Partly sunny. High near 39, with temperatures falling to around 32 in the afternoon. West wind 9 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

Saturday Night
A chance of snow after 5am. Mostly cloudy. Low around 27, with temperatures rising to around 32 overnight. West wind 13 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

A chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 44. Northwest wind 15 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Sunday Night
A slight chance of snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. West wind 10 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 51.

Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 33.


Directions & Parking

This trailhead is accessible year round. The road leading up to the trailhead is a well maintained dirt road within Lory State Park. This is an extremely popular hike, so parking can fill up. Hikers will need to park at the nearest parking lot if the lot is full.


Parking Permits

Parking permits are required. Individuals can purchase day passes (Currently $8), or year passes when entering the park area. Information on this can be found on the Lory State Park website: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Lory


Directions to Arthur’s Rock Trailhead in Lory State Park:


Additional Pictures

Lory State Park Trail Map

Views from Arthur's Rock

Views from Arthur’s Rock

Arthurs Rock Summit Views

Arthurs Rock Summit Views

Horsetooth Reservoir From Arthur's Rock

Horsetooth Reservoir From Arthur’s Rock

Arthur's Rock Trail Views

Arthur’s Rock Trail Views

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about