5 Great Moderate Hikes To Do In Fort Collins

5 Great Moderate Hikes To Do In Fort Collins

You'll need to try all of these.

1. Horsetooth Rock

One of the most iconic places in all of Fort Collins, this rock formation is easy to spot on the foothills at any time. Doing this hike is a must when living out here and it is always pretty popular on the trails (which is a great sign!).

Distance: 6 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 1,526 feet

Time: 3-3.5 hours

Physicality: Moderate

Tips: Bring plenty of water, good hiking boots, and be prepared for some jagged rock climbing at the very end. I promise the view is worth it though!

2. Horsetooth Falls

Horsetooth Falls is an amazing hike--especially since its right on the trail to Horsetooth Rock. Not only is it fast and fun, the actual falls are breathtaking. You won't be disappointed with this one!

Distance: 2.35 miles

Elevation Gain: 425 feet

Time: 1-1.5 hours

Physicality: Easy Moderate

Tips: If you want to see the falls rushing, definitely try going in the spring between March and May. Although the hike is still awesome without the falls, it makes it that much better in the end!

3. Arthurs Rock

This crazy hike will leave you with a view like you've never seen before! Arthur's Rock is a more difficult trail, with less switchbacks and more climbing. I still would definitely recommend it and it has amazing wildlife to see no matter when you go.

Distance: 3 miles

Elevation Gain: 1036 feet

Time: 2-3 hours

Physicality: Moderate

Tips: Don't let the false summit fool you or you will be sorry. But nearing the end, be prepared for a climb and a bit of wind. I recommend bringing a light windbreaker or jacket, since it can get a little chilly.

4. Hike to the "A" (Foothills Trail)

CSU’s famous “A” comes from our roots as Aggies. Before Colorado State was a land grant institution, it was Colorado A&M. Yet, the tradition lives on each year as students paint the “A”, hike up to it, or light it on fire during Homecoming week.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

Time: 30 minutes

Physicality: Easy Moderate

Tips: Its also a great trail for bikers and runners if that interests you.

Can’t make the hike? No worries! There is a road leading to a parking lot right across the street from the “A”. You can get the whole experience without the hike and you’ll still have the amazing view overlooking the reservoir and CSU’s campus!

5. Grey Rock

Of all the hikes on this list, you have to do Grey Rock! This was the best, most beautiful, and amazing hike I have ever been on. There is nothing as rewarding as this trail.

Distance: 7.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 2,417 feet

Time: 3-4 hours

Physicality: Moderate to Difficult

Tips: Bring your camera, reach the summit at sunrise or sunset, and enjoy the beauty. There is so much to capture along the way and give yourself time to just sit and revel in the view.

Cover Image Credit: Maddi Burns

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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The Subconscious Line Between Empathizing And Sympathizing

Be there with the person instead of for the person.


Whenever we see someone we love and care about going through a hard time, we always want to make sure that they know we are fully there for them. It's the line that we draw sometimes which we don't even see that establishes the way that we handle these situations. Although we may think it's apparent that those we love know that we care about them, yet it's difficult when we believe that just words can mend a broken heart or person. We tend to forget that actions speak louder than words and those acts of kindness have the ability to speak volumes to someone who's hurting.

We begin to sympathize and check in on people to see how they are doing to make sure they know that we are there for them and present. Even though that is absolutely amazing to text or call someone, we tend to lose touch of the impact we could make by a kind gesture that could make someone's day. Sometimes it's nerve-racking to do so because we don't fully know what someone's going through as we aren't directly in their shoes. If you think back to an experience in your life that you had difficulty, even though the other person supporting you didn't exactly walk the same path as you, there were able to help you get through it.

That's when empathizing comes into the picture which is an act that any human can perform by just listening and feeling out the situation. There's so need to evaluate or figure out what is wrong with another person, your job is to solely listen and show compassion and kindness towards that other person. The more that we do that, the less we have to worry about the difficulty to open up and show emotions and feelings. You'll find that even better friendships and relationships are grown through empathizing and allowing yourself to be there with the person instead of for the person.

Sometimes we subconsciously draw a line between what we think is right versus what could actually be right for the situation. We tend to draw this invisible line of sympathizing for a person rather than empathizing and not allowing for a space to be created for a conversation about something difficult. We tend to fear trusting others and to let them into our clouded windows due to it being too difficult or complicated to understand. The more we allow love into our lives, the easier it is to let that in and explore those relationships and experiences that could be absolutely beautiful.

It's easy to say these things but living them out is another story, it's not simple and it never will be. Yet it's worth a try and letting some emotions into your life and perspective may alter the way that you view your personal relationships and the things that may be keeping you from letting yourself fully feel. Just feeling something is worth a thousand words, but the second that you feel everything it's worth a million.

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