The Mount McConnel Trail and Kreutzer Nature Trail trailhead are located along the Cache la Poudre River, offering up restrooms and a small parking area for visitors. The trail starts at the south side of the parking area, and heads past a few developed areas before reaching the wilderness. For the first half a mile of the trail, hikers will head deep into the forests of the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee National Grassland, walking along a small, but even path made from compacted soil. The trail is shaded nicely thanks to the canopy of alpines and Douglas-Furs.
After that, the trail becomes a bit steeper as it begins to climb Mount McConnel, and becomes more open to the sharp grassland and ridges that mark the side of the mountain. This part of the trail is a little hard to navigate, as it winds through rocky fields and steep switchbacks. If you're determined though, the trail gets to the top of the peak after another half a mile, where hikers can enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding forests and grassy fields from the ridgeline.
The trail descends down another part of the mountain while surrounded by grasslands for another .75 miles. The end of the trail enters back into the thick forest and returns to the entrance of The Mount McConnel Trail and Kreutzer Nature Trail trailhead, but not to the parking lot itself. Hikers will have to walk a couple hundred feet along the road of the entrance to reach the parking lot. You'll be able to reach your car in no time and enjoy a peaceful time in the next door picnic area.
Bring any supplies with you, such as water and clean up bags, and leave nothing behind along your journey.
For a pawrific hike in the beautiful Colorado mountains, check out the Mount McConnel Trail with your pup!