Lory State Park’s Valley Trails | Colorado | 12/03/20

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.

Lady on the horse jumps, Arthur’s Rock peeking up behind
Arthur’s Rock (far left) and the South Valley
The hogback east of the valley
Lady in front of Arthur’s Rock
A cool section of trail

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.

Leaving the valley
From the hogback, looking down 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.

A very dry Orchard Cove

Back in the valley, we looped around to the West Valley Trail and followed it all the way back to the car.

West Valley Trail


2 thoughts on “Lory State Park’s Valley Trails | Colorado | 12/03/20

  1. Great hikes, but I’m a Canadian now resident in the flatlands on London, England, so sadly, no chance (or to be honest, energy) to hike these lovely trails. I am still rock climbing, and canoeing, so that I get my outdoor pleasures. And, your pictures are great too Thank you. Simon


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