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Maxwell Natural Area Ridge

Intermediate
 4.0 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A popular local hike with wonderful views of Fort Collins to the east and mountains to the west,


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Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.7

KM

Out and Back

5,727' 1,746 m

High

5,141' 1,567 m

Low

585' 178 m

Up

583' 178 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a quick but rewarding out-and-back through the Maxwell Natural Area. The hike culminates in panoramic views.

Description

From Banyan Drive, hike west on the Foothills Connector out of the neighborhood north of Hughes Stadium. You'll soon arrive at a junction with Foothills Trail which continues west through the grassland and mahogany shrubland climbing towards a saddle in the hills just north of the 'A'.

After you climb to the saddle in the hills, the trail dips into a meadow before turning south and climbing up to the ridgeline above the 'A'.

This trail begins on flat, easy ground with few obstacles before climbing the hillside and passing through some more technical rocky sections. The views of the front range come when you reach the ridgeline above the 'A'.

Enjoy the views both from the top and on your descent. This is a great local option for any day in the Fort Collins Area.

Flora & Fauna

This trail runs through grassland, shrubland, and ponderosa forest. Wildflowers, including Bell's twinpod, grow in the area. Mule deer, prairie dogs, and various bird species, may also be spotted throughout your hike. Watch for rattlesnakes.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nicholas Shannon

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 10 votes

#3020

Overall
  4.0 from 10 votes
5 Star
30%
4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
10%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#402

in Colorado

#3,020

Overall
29 Views Last Month
4,216 Since Jan 30, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Foothills Trail & Horsetooth
Feb 18, 2015 near Laporte, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 26 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jan 15, 2022
Haley Partin
4.6mi — 1h 30m
Dec 26, 2020
Chris Ashby
Oct 4, 2018
Evan Redd
8h 45m
Apr 30, 2018
Matt Nelsen
3.8mi
Mar 30, 2018
Lauren H.
Great trail! Good for mountain biking as well. 3.6mi
Mar 11, 2018
Julie Megan
Easy stroll up to the lake view. However, path is narrow and rocky, which makes it difficult to navigate when crowded.
Sep 16, 2017
Lukas Fontone
3.6mi
Jun 4, 2017
Keith McCue