Horsetooth Mountain Colorado – Trails, Map, Pictures, Descriptions & More


Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: Colorado | Day Hikes

Horsetooth Mountain is a beautiful mountain located just west of Fort Collins in Larimer County, Colorado. This is a heavily trafficed mountain in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies with views of Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, and larger peaks to the west (including Longs Peak).

Difficulty – Intermediate
Distance – 5 miles round trip (8.04 km)
Height – 7,259 feet (2,213 m)
Elevation Gain – 1,400 feet (426.7 m)
Duration – 4 to 5 hours
Seasons – Year-round.

Trailhead Location – Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Trail Map

Horsetooth Mountain Trail Map

Horsetooth Mountain Trail Map


There are quite a few paths to the summit of Horsetooth Mountain. Hikers can easily make a loop out of any of these trails by following a trail map like above. You will also see on the trail map where hikers can start on a trial, switch to another where they meet up, and continue on. An example would be starting on the south ridge trail, and then taking the Horsetooth Rock Trail to the summit.

It is also important to note that some trails are “multi-use” meaning, you will see bikers or horse riders.

Horsetooth Rock Trail – 2.5 miles to summit

This is the most common and direct route to the summit. Hikers begin at the right end of the parking lot on the trail, and stay on the trail all the way to the summit. You will cross various junctions, Horsetooth falls, South Ridge Trail, and the Soderberg trail. Often, hikers will see Mule Deer, and views are abundant all the way up.

Horsetooth Falls Trail – 3.5 miles to summit

This is a very well trafficked trail for hikers looking to see Horsetooth falls. When dry, the rock formations are cool, but not nearly as nice during more wet months. Hikers begin hiking on the Horsetooth Rock Trail, but turn right onto the falls trail. Hikers will then connect with the Spring Creek Trail, then turn onto the Soderberg Trail, before returning back to the Horsetooth Rock Trail.

South Ridge Trail – 2.6 miles to summit (multi-use trail)

This is also a well trafficked trail. This trail features great views the whole way, but it is also a shared path with bikers and horse riders. A great option is to start on the South Ridge, and then turn onto the horsetooth rock trail.

Directions & Parking

Hikers park at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space area managed by Larimer County. Hikers will need to either pay a $9 daily parking fee, or have a Larimar county yearly permit. These can be found here.

Current Weather Conditions

Here is the next 4 day detailed forecast:

Fort Collins, CO

This Afternoon
Mostly sunny. High near 46, with temperatures falling to around 34 in the afternoon. East southeast wind around 7 mph.

Partly cloudy. Low around 27, with temperatures rising to around 32 overnight. North northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

A chance of snow after 5pm. Mostly sunny. High near 51, with temperatures falling to around 41 in the afternoon. Southwest wind 8 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Monday Night
Snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. North wind 6 to 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Snow before 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 25. North northwest wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 6.

Sunny, with a high near 33.

Additional Pictures

West Facing Views from Horsetooth Mountain

West Facing Views from Horsetooth Mountain

Horsetooth Mountain Summit Views

Horsetooth Mountain Summit Views

Horsetooth Reservoir from Summit

Horsetooth Reservoir from Summit

Soderberg Trail Views

Soderberg Trail Views

Horsetooth Mountain Panorama

Horsetooth Mountain Panorama

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor 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. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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