Hallow’s Eve October 31, 2015
Arthurs Rock was by far one of my favorite hikes–ever!–in Colorado. It was amazing and there was so much more than I ever thought there could be on a short trail.
The weather was actually pretty warm for the end of October, Halloween to be exact, and the sunshine added a warm touch on the way up. It is about a fifteen to twenty minute drive to the trailhead (where you do have to pay for parking so bring cash!) and you have a couple trail options to take. It is split between a few dirt parking lots, which had plenty of cars, since it is a popular trail. To the east, is flat and laid out miles of trails for bikers or runners. To the west, the trail to Arthurs Rock.
To start, you head straight into the forest, trees covering you ahead so you’re always in shade, and a rocky trail leads you further and further away from the parking lot. You follow this for about a half hour before you come to a clearing. Then, its five minutes in the sun and a great place for a rest if you need one. There isn’t too bad of inclines yet and there has been little altitude change. After that, the hard part comes. The last forty-five minutes to an hour of the hike begins. It is high stepping over rocks, some short switchbacks, and you are embedded within the Coloradan forest. You can sometimes see over the valley you just came from, trees everywhere, and look out over part of Fort Collins.
There is a time when you get to a rocky road. You have a couple trails leading off here but if you continue straight you have a magnificent view through trees looking West and will continue heading up to Arthurs Rock. It seems out of place but it actually is a memorial to a hiker. Its a great place to take a break, read about the remembrance of this hiker, and appreciate nature.
It takes awhile for the rest of the climb, which leaves the road and goes back to a rocky trail. By the top, I had to stop a lot because of the altitude change. The trail isn’t even two miles long but has such a big elevation gain it can wind you. It was pretty tough for me and I was in shape. The very last part is rock-climbing. You are full-fledged hands and feet getting up to the top on the trail. Then, once you have caught your breath and can stand again, you look out and you will be speechless. It is an amazing view from any direction.
My first view, facing South, was of the incredible valley I had just climbed. The sun lit over the trees just perfectly and the view was gorgeous. When I headed to climb some more rocks to face the East, the same experience.
But I still had yet to be on top of Arthurs Rock. It got so windy climbing up, plus having to hold my camera with one hand, I was shaky. But I made it and was in awe. My daredevil friend climbed out on a two foot ledge over a canyon to take the picture (above) of me. It is still one of my favorites and definitely worth climbing out on the rock for. Little does the viewer know, there is a drop-off after that rock, and a fatal one at that.
Arthurs Rock was worth the obstacles getting up. Going down is fast and smooth, since you have gravity to help you out. It was about a two hour hike to the top, then a depending forty-five to 60 minutes on the way down.
I would strongly suggest good hiking boots, comfortable clothing, a jacket for the peak where the wind is ridiculous, water, and even a snack. If you have a camera, BRING IT! You won’t regret it. This hike does take some physicality going up, so be prepared. You can always go a little slower and take your time if you aren’t at your best. There are plenty of cool views and rocks to stop by and there were some other people there as well. It never felt crowded or like a tourist attraction though, so don’t worry.
Arthur’s Rock is one hike you don’t want to miss out on.