There sure are a lot of pieces of the Devil’s anatomy lying around the Front Range, aren’t there? While his thumb is closer is Boulder, his backbone is apparently located near Ft. Collins. I presume he fell down while hitchhiking.
At any rate, there are some rad trails near the aforementioned backbone. And they connect up to the trails around Horsetooth Reservoir and to the bike park at Lory State Park. It’s a great way to do a long ride, no matter which end marks the start.
This weekend, I started at the Devil’s Backbone trailhead on the south end. Right away, there were tons of hikers to contend with. But then again, it was peak time on a Saturday. I’d advise getting this part of the trail out of the way early so you can beat the crowds.
After a smooth start, the trail threw in some steep and rocky bits. Weirdly, I saw several raw beginners trying to get up this steep, loose hill — on junky bikes with no helmets. This always amazes me. Especially when I got past the hill and the trail turned seriously rocky and rough.
There’s a lot of shaly rock sticking up out of the ground at an angle, making for some fun negotiation if you’re into technical trails (like me) but can make your life hell if you’re not (like those beginners). While it can certainly be handled on a hardtail, that option doesn’t look super pleasant. My apologies that I didn’t shoot any photos of the area. I was too busy riding. If you really like the rocks and drops, be sure to stay on the eastern side of the Laughing Horse loop. It’s the most challenging option in the area.
At any rate, farther along you encounter the Indian Summer Trail, which forms a loop. You can either return the way you came, or connect onto the Blue Sky Trail. That trail is much smoother and more forgiving, as are the trails around Lory State Park. I can envision having a good time by starting up north and warming up on the mellow stuff before you hit the rockier parts. But either way is cool.
From the Indian Summer Trail, you can also ride the Rimrock Trail out to the Coyote Ridge Natural Area. I didn’t do this option, so I can’t comment, but at least it’s some more mileage. Here’s a map of the area.
All in all, it’s definitely worth the drive. Just be sure you have some energy to take on the rocks. It’s not difficult if you’re an experienced rider, but at the same time, it’s not a trail for a chill day out.
So, where are the Devil’s feet? Colorado Springs?