This uniquely quiet trail can be started at the Roaring Creek Trailhead, where hikers can park in a sandy and dirt parking lot on the side of the road, which also happens to run right along the Cache la Poudre River. After soaking in some views near the river, you can start on the trail that begins on the north side of the lot where the parking area turns into a mixture of grassland and desert plains, with wildflowers and shrubs available to see on all sides of the trail.
The first mile of the trail is the most treacherous, with a steep incline that ascends the ridge and travels past switchbacks. The trail begins to enter a thicker forest, with Douglas firs, ponderosa pines, and alpines. The creek can still be heard flowing over rocks, creating rapids and small waterfalls to the west.
The trail eventually runs past cliffsides and sharp ridges of the mountains. There are a few smaller trails that fork off the main Roaring Creek Trail that lead to the edge of the creek, along sandy beaches. This area is also rich in wildlife, with bighorn sheep, moose, bears, mountain lions, beavers, deer, foxes, and birds seen throughout the wilderness. The trail continues up until it reaches its ending point on the side of a road called USFS 517 where a small off-street parking area can be found. Considering the trail mostly ascends, the walk back down will be a piece of cake and go much quicker.
You and Fido will fall in love with the laid back and rural feel of the Roaring Creek Trail, thanks to its natural wonders, wildlife viewing opportunities, and pretty views throughout.