|Trail Name||Arthurs Rock|
|Distance||3.4 Miles Round Trip|
|Elevation Gain||1,140 Feet|
|Low Point||5,640 Feet|
|High Point||6,780 Feet|
|Trip Reports||Arthurs Rock|
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The Arthur's Rock trail in Lory State Park, northwest of Fort Collins adjacent to Horsetooth Lake, winds through forested mountainsides and open meadows to the summit of Arthur's Rock. Upon reaching the summit of Arthur's Rock, hikers are rewarded with a breathtaking view of Horsetooth Reservoir and the Front Range from an elevation of 6,780 feet.
How to get there
From Fort Collins, take US Hwy 287 north through Laporte (stay on the route that goes through Laporte, not the 287 bypass). At Vern's Place, veer left onto County Rd. 52E and proceed 1 mile to County Rd. 23E in Bellvue. Go south 1.4 miles to County Rd. 25G. Turn right, and continue 1.6 miles to Lory Park Rd. Turn left onto Lory Park Rd., and stop at the entrance station to pay the $6 entrance fee. From the entrance station, continue south on Lory Park Rd. 2.4 miles to the end of the road, which is the parking area for the Arthur's Rock Trail.
Alternately, from downtown Fort Collins, go west on Mulberry St. until it deadends into Overland Trail Rd. Turn right (north) on Overland Trail, and go about 2.5 miles to Bingham Hill Rd. Turn left (west) on Bingham Hill Rd, over the hill, and continue until it intersects with CR 23E. Turn left (south) on 23E, and turn right onto 25G. Follow the directions above into the park.
Restroom facilities (outhouse) are available at the parking lot, no water.
Lory State Park is located northwest of Fort Collins and south of the town of LaPorte, along the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir. From rolling valleys to mountainous hillsides, Lory State Park's 20 miles of trails rarely exceed a 12 percent grade. The variety of trails is great for short or long hikes, mountain bike rides, horseback rides and jogs. Backcountry camping is also available for visitors looking for a quiet getaway close to suburban Ft. Collins.
The trails on the east side of Lory provide access to some of Horsetooth Reservoir’s bays and coves. Canoeists, kayakers and rafters can hand-launch their crafts within a short walk from the North Eltuck Bay parking lot.
Lory State Park lies adjacent to Horsetooth Mountain Park, operated by Larimer County Parks and Open Lands. The Mill Creek Link Trail in Lory State Park connects to the Mill Creek Trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park.
From the Arthur's Rock Trailhead parking lot at the end of Lory Park Rd., the trail is clearly marked, and begins on the west side of the parking lot near the lavatories and information kiosk. The trail starts up Arthur's Rock Gulch, then ascends to a ridge, and soon thereafter opens up to a meadow, with the first views of Arthur's Rock. The walk through the meadow is a pleasant stroll, and the hiker is reward with abundant wildflowers in the spring and early summer. At the meadow, the trail intersects with the Mill Creek Trail, coming up from Horsetooth Mountain Park to the south. Continue up the Arthur's Rock Trail toward your destination.
From the meadow, the trail becomes steeper as you begin the ascent up Arthur's Rock. The path soon leaves the Gulch, and climbs the side of the mountain, switchbacking a couple of times until you reach an overlook, where the trail connects with the Overlook Trail. This is a great place to take a break and enjoy the views of Fort Collins, Horsetooth Lake, and the plains to the east.
Leaving the overlook, the trail skirts along the south side of the rock. Along this stretch is an impressive patch of Poison Ivy (with a sign prominently marking it). This is a good spot to teach kids (and others not familiar with it) what Poison Ivy looks like.
Continuing along, the trail ascends to a saddles, where it intersects with the Timber Trail. Go right here, and return east for a short distance to the base of the rock. A large crack in the rock provides the route to climb to the summit. Some hand over foot scrambling is needed, but the climb is not technical.
Hikers are well rewarded for making it to the summit with breathtaking views of the foothills, Fort Collins, and the surrounding plains.
From here, you can return the way you came. Alternately, there are a couple of other options: 1) If you bring 2 cars, leave one car at the Timber/Waterfall Trailhead. This is the first trailhead after you leave the Visitor's Center. After you descend from the rock, take the Timber Trail back to the Timber Trail Trailhead. It's about 3.7 miles from the intersection to the trailhead; 2) For a loop of about 8 miles, take the Timber Trail to the Wells Gulch Trail. Turn right to descend the Wells Gulch trail, then return to the Arthur's Rock Trailhead on the Overlook Trail.
Note: The last two photos in the image gallery (Arthur's Rock and View From Arthur's Rock) are used with permission and are courtesy of the [Colorado State Parks Dept.]
Fees, Permits, etc.
After the Hike
Map of Lory State Park trails, in PDF format
Lory State Park on Colorado State Parks Dept. web site