Saturday, June 9, 2007
A short hike about Horsetooth Mountain Park

So, when motorcycling out of town I pass by this park. I'm not sure it's a new park, but it has a new parking lot - and the lot is often active / filled with cars. It must be a popular spot so I put it on my mental "check into it" list. Today's the day.

Temps are around 80 and are sure to jump a bit higher. Mostly blue sky for now with clouds and a small chance of rain for later in the day.

It's a fee based park - $6 per vehicle per day. Reasonable I guess. The lot is staffed by a ranger today (a note on the self pay station says to pay at the ranger table). The ranger informs me that I could purchase a year pass for the 14 county parks - $65 bucks. Seems quite high. The National Parks year pass is now $80 (which I did purchase and am 1/2 way to break even - IMO a better value). I'm not sure that county parks year pass would be a value for me - day pass for 6 it is.

I'm a bit uncertain as to how my 1000' elevation lungs will do in this 5500' elevation area so I scan the map for a somewhat easy route with an option to extend it. Horsetooth Falls it is. I can do an up-and-back for 2.25 miles total or I could check the falls and then continue on and loop back. Since my lungs were doing well and only giving reasonable complaint on the uphills I decided to lengthen to the longer loop. I dotted the map with the loop I walked - counter clockwise.

With only a small portion of the park covered - I will be back. A Horsetooth Rock hike (elevation 7256) is on the list. I might come back with the bike as most of the trails are multi-use (hike / bike / horse).

Click the map for a larger size

This kid had his turtle backpack in use.

Horsetooth Falls - only a little falling today.

A teetering rock

Viewed from above

I toyed with some flower shots today.

A couple deer were near the trail.

Ah, these came out somewhat decent. I was working a large aperture to get a short depth of field (some flowers out of focus and some in focus). There was a bee working these flowers too.

The trail I came up on.
In from the bottom right, straight across to the bottom left for the dead end at the falls, then back and up the stairs then zig to the left, leaving at the top left of the pic.

The next three pictures are a left to right photo set.
This looks east south east. In the flat area in the top left is Fort Collins.

Looking south east
You can see the 'first lines' of hills separating the plains from the Rockies

Back near the parking lot.
Green wagon at the bottom left.