Lory State Park’s Valley Trails | Lory State Park
Fort Collins, CO | 12/03/20 | 8.58 miles | 820′ gain
Lory State Park might be super busy on summer weekends, but Thursday mornings in December offer a bit of solitude that isn’t often found right outside Fort Collins. I took Lady up to hike some of the trails through the valley in between the foothills and the hogback. I wasn’t expecting anything very difficult (and it certainly wasn’t) but it felt nice to get in some miles.
We started from the Arthur’s Rock Trailhead and first headed south around the South Valley Loop. As the name suggests, this trail loops around the southernmost part of the valley, the very tip just reaching the state park boundary. Lady (a dog/horse) had fun in the horse jumping area.
Next, we began a second loop on the East and West Valley Trails. These extend from the South Valley to the north end of the park, but we just did the lower half. To the east of the East Valley Trail are occasional spur trails that lead down to Horsetooth Reservoir or into its various coves. The first (and longest) is the Shoreline Trail. This trail leaves the valley, climbs up and over the hogback, and then descends to Horsetooth Reservoir.
The water was really low so we had to walk quite a ways to get to the water’s edge, but Lady had fun wading and digging for rocks.
The next spur trail was into Orchard Cove. We walked in quite a ways but never reached the water. It was a little weird knowing that we were in a “cove”, but there was no water to be found.
Back in the valley, we looped around to the West Valley Trail and followed it all the way back to the car.