If you and your buddy are looking for a quick but challenging hike with fabulous scenery near Fort Collins, CO, you’d be barking mad not to check out Arthur’s Rock Trail! The 1.7-mile out-and-back route can easily be hiked in an afternoon, but if you’d like to explore the rest of the furrifically fur-friendly routes in Lory State Park’s 26-mile trail system, you and your pooch can pitch your tent at one of the backcountry camping sites. You’ll find plenty of parking at the southern parking area near the trailhead, but keep in mind that there’s a $7 per vehicle per day fee. The trail is moderately trafficked -- while you’re unlikely to have to deal with crowds, those seeking solitude should probably search elsewhere.
Arthur’s Rock is remarkable for the variety of its scenery. The route meanders through forest, past striking Alpine landscapes and rocky outcrops, and around wide open, grassy meadows. This means that not all of the trek is shaded, though, so you might want to get there early if you’re going during the summer months. If you can, visit in spring, when the wide variety of wildflowers along the trail burst into a riot of color. However, the real draw to Arthur’s Rock is the view from the top. The panoramic vistas of the Front Range, Horsetooth Reservoir, and Fort Collins might make those steep inclines worth it!
This is definitely not a trail for committed couch pup-tatoes or older furry friends who can’t quite move like they used to. Not only are there some sharp slopes, but the path to the top of the rock itself is very... well, rocky. You’ll need to be used to keeping your balance! In terms of facilities, there aren’t any toilets along the trail itself, but you’ll find restrooms at all of Lory State Park’s several picnic areas, and at the visitor’s center by the entrance. Remember to bring waste bags and water for your pupper, and have a pawesome hike!