Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blue Sky Trail: The Perfect Twenty

A perfect 20 miles, the Blue Sky trail out-and-back is a great and scenic way to get in a relatively easy and fast long run.

Heading south from Fort Collins, the trail is mostly hard-packed, red dirt with a few easily navigable rocks thrown in. The rocks get fairly technical on the Loveland end.

A naughty set of switchbacks at the southern connector of the Indian Summer loop, which adds an opportunity for 2 bonus miles with 400 feet of climbing and great views.

The second of two loops, the Wild loop brings the Devil's Backbone into view.

The 3-mile round trip up to the Keyhole is the most popular hike from the Devil's Backbone parking lot.

Part of the Backbone on the return to Fort Collins

Probably the best view of the run as you cross over to the Fort Collins' side of the hogbacks. The trail essentially hugs the hogbacks all the way to the southern end of Horsetooth Reservoir, which is approximately 6 miles from here. The Indian Summer loop gives you the opportunity to take in the western side of the valley.

A view of the Rimrock trail connector, which takes you up and over the ridge to Coyote Ridge Natural Area on the eastern side of the hogbacks.

Not far to go when Horsetooth comes into view.

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