Out the door and into the foothills: Arthur's Rock

A sweeping view of the Horsetooth Reservoir from the top of Arthur's Rock.

Photo by Sarah, p2p participant

Arthur’s Rock is the perfect hike for any outdoor enthusiast, providing spectacular views of the Horsetooth Reservoir and the city of Fort Collins.

A sign directs hikers to Arthur's Rock.


A view of Arthur's Rock from a distance.


One of the streams near the Arthur's Rock.

Photos by Nastya and Sarah, p2p participants

About Arthur's Rock

From the top of Arthur's Rock, the outlook provides a great space to spread out a blanket and enjoy a well-earned picnic lunch. It’s also a great place to sit back and soak up some Colorado sunshine. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen! Arthur’s Rock is located in Lory State Park, a beautiful open space west of downtown Fort Collins, situated between the reservoir and the foothills. The park contains over 26 miles of running, biking, horseback riding, and hiking trails, and it is also popular among rock climbers. Arthur’s Rock trail is 1.7 miles one way and winds through beautiful grasslands and pine forest. There is 1,100 feet of elevation gain, topping off at 6,700 feet above sea level at the summit. The trail is clearly marked and easily accessible, making it ideal for not only avid hikers but also for anyone who wants to enjoy a few hours in nature without driving for miles outside the city.

In our opinion...

A Personal Account of Arthur's Rock

We went to an interesting place named Arthur's Rock. The day was very sunny and hot. This is a wild and wide open space with beautiful meadows and mountains in the background. Moreover, the path to the top of the rock is called a trail. This is unusual to me because it sounds like the word 'train'.

Also in this peaceful place we saw graceful deer. I wonder why they weren't afraid of us. Now let's describe this interesting place!

You should be ready to go on a rocky path under the very hot sun which shines hotter and hotter as you climb the trail, so your shoes should be comfortable. Next important thing is you should store up a lot of water in a bottle.

In my opinion you should pick out the whole day to enjoy a relaxed climb in an unhurried manner.

The countryside and nature was beautiful with different plants which I have never seen before. In addition, you should be careful when you sit down on the ground, because in this place there are a lot of cactus.

If you have never been in the mountains and don't climb, don't worry, because it's suitable for a first experience.

The landscape has a lot of pine and that is why the air is very clean and fresh and has a nice smell. It changes to more rocky as you go higher. There are also a lot of fresh streams and you may see frogs.

This was my first climb so I am very tired. However I was very happy when I got to the top. There's a lot of energy and it's very peaceful  with fantastic views around the landscape!!

In conclusion I want to say that it's the best trip I've ever been on.


An Arthur's Rock Haiku

The Fort Collins way

To escape into nature

Is up Arthur's Rock.


A Brief Historical Overview


The 2,600 acres that comprise Lory State Park were sold to the State of Colorado in 1963 from a man whose family had lived in the area ranching and working the land for generations. This paved the way for the land to become the public open space that it is today. The name of the man who sold the land was Arthur Howard, hence the name Arthur’s Rock, which is the park’s most popular hiking trail. In 1975, the park was officially named Lory State Park after a man named Charles Lory, a former president of Colorado State University.


Foto from Charles A. Lory

Where is Arthur's Rock, anyway?

Get a better look at where Arthur's Rock is located by checking out the map below.

It is impossible to be lost in the Lory State Park since various signs guide hikers to Arthur's Rock!

Video made by Nastya, p2p participant

Flora and Fauna near Arthur's Rock

Near Arthur's Rock you can see a lot of different plants. For instance, there is yucca plant, scotch pine and opuntia cactus.


Photos of Yucca plant, Scotch pine and Opuntia cactus.

Photos by Nastya and Sarah, p2p participants

Video made by Nastya , p2p participant

You have a chance to see beautiful and graceful deer at the meadow near Arthur's Rock.

Don't scare these animals!

Video made by Nastya , p2p participant

Video made by Nastya , p2p participant

An interview with employees of Lory State Park

Check out the video to the left for a look at what Lory State Park employees do to keep Arthur's Rock safe and fun for visitors.


About the Authors

Nastya is from Tomsk, Russia and is a first year PhD student studying Condensed Matter Physics through the Department of Natural-Science Education in the Institute of Technology at Tomsk Polytechnic University. She believes participation in this project will help to develop communication and organizational skills and establish friendly relations with CSU representatives. You can find her on Facebook here.

Sarah is currently pursuing her master’s degree in TESL/TEFL at Colorado State University. She grew up in Middlebury, Vermont and moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in the summer of 2014. She enjoys spending time outdoors and is excited to share her favorite hiking spot (Arthur’s Rock) with the Russian team. You can find her on Facebook here.

Still Can't Get Enough?

For ideas of other great hikes to go on in and around the Fort Collins area, check out the Rocky Mountain Collegian's list of nearby trails by clicking here.

Some tips before you hit the trail

  • A daily parking pass to enter the park is $7.
  • Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash!
  • Stay on the designated trail - there are snakes!
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks for the top.


  • Foothill means a lower slope of a mountain or a relatively low hill at the foot of a mountain.
  • Trail means a path through countryside which you can follow in order to see the interesting plants and animals that are found there.
  • Yucca plant means any of several plants of the genus Yucca, of tropical and subtropical America, having stiff lancelike leaves and spikes of white flowers: family Agaraceae.
  • Scotch pine means a type of pine tree that is widely planted for its wood and other products.
  • Opuntia cactus means any cactus of the genus Opuntia, esp prickly pear, having fleshy branched stems and green, red, or yellow flowers.


WAIT! One more thing!

Learn more about Lory State Park and Colorado Parks and Wildlife by finding them on Facebook using the link below ↓

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