It’s the fall season, folks! Know what that means here in Phoenix? Absolutely nothing. Our temps remain warm until October here, but I know the perfect place to go: The Devil’s Backbone in Loveland, CO. During the hot months, this park is full of rattlesnakes and isn’t always safe for small humans and dogs. It also doesn’t have a lot of shade. Once the calendar flips to September, though, it begins to cool off quickly in the Rocky Mountains, and Devil’s Backbone becomes a great option.
Devil’s Backbone is a 2,000+ acre recreational open space just off the 34, west of Loveland, Colorado. The address is: 1725 Hidden Valley Dr, Loveland, CO 80538. It’s free and a fun place to explore! Have your humans park their cars in the dirt lot and fill up on water here. There are also human restrooms. Then, follow the trail signs.
You can go for a longer loop of just over 4 miles or a shorter, inner loop, of 2 miles. Both are relatively easy with some elevation gain but nothing too strenuous. If you are really adventurous, you can connect this trail to a Fort Collins one. Check the map before you proceed.
Once on the trail, you’ll go through some grasses and cross a small bridge. If it has rained recently, be careful with your footing here. The posts that hold the bridge up can get washed out and leave some holes. I know this because my mom’s foot fell in one once, and she twisted her ankle pretty good. Not this day, though. Woof!
You immediately have a choice to hike up the ridge or down to the grass lands. Whichever way you choose, you’ll come back the other way as it is a loop. We usually go up the steeper part first, which follows the Devil’s Backbone—a rock formation that looks like a backbone. It’s pretty cool!
About one mile in, you will come to a small trail off to the left that takes you to the “peek through” hole in the red rock. This is worth the extra steps as you will get incredible views of Loveland, Fort Collins, and Meeker and Long’s Peaks. Look for snow on those peaks! They are way up there, both above 14,000 feet.
This scenic spot has a bench and some rocks perfect for sitting a spell. My dad brought some drinks, and we enjoyed the breeze and view before heading back out the other side of the loop. Your return will take you down into the flats and grasses. Depending upon the time of year, you’ll see some pretty flowers. During the winter, the snow is a great contrast to the red rock.
In other words, you can’t go wrong with Devil’s Backbone. It’s easy to get to and enjoyable for the entire family. Should you have plans to visit Estes Park, this would be a great addition for some local flavor without all the tourists. Bring your camera!
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith (Founder of the FIT Leader Formula™) is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/ and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!