Devil's Backbone

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↑ 900 ft
↓ 900 ft
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3.91 out of 5
About This Trail
added by Guest on October 11, 2004
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Ask the locals, this is the best trail in the area. The devils backbone is beautiful enough, but there is much more to view. I've encountered rattlesnakes on the trail twice before, so they are out there. This trail area is three trails combined, the backbone, the wilds, and the hunters. Soon it will be connected to horsetooth and lory state park!!! Over 50 miles of trail. But for now the on the devils trail there is only one route for riders (the other is for hikers only), I recommed heading left when you reach the wilds loop, taking the stem (of the lollypop) out to the hunters trail and heading right on the pop. Either direction is fun on the wilds trail, but on the hunters if you go left, the rocks angle against you. There is very little shade on this trail.
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Hall Ranch
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Monarch Crest Trail
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ultrarabbit3 on October 5, 2014
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Review: Great trail over all, starts off pretty easy, then as you keep going you get a preview of what's to come. Definitely want to know your skill level for certain parts of this trail.

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Jared13 on June 9, 2014
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Review: Chunk, chunk, and more chunk! The "more difficult" part of the trail has some really impressive technical rocks. Later on, you get a rip-roaring descent. Indian Loop has a decent climb and descent to it. Unfortunately, my ride was cut short by hail/rain so I wasn't able to explore more.

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Gdb49 on May 16, 2014
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Review: Great trail, should be on your list to ride. Rode the loops opposite of recommended way and will tell you they are tough ups when ridden that dirrection. Fun down sections and beautiful scenery. Add Blue Sky and Indian Loop then to Horsetooth Res for a big ride. Also can head up to top of Coyote Ridge. Need to be in shape and like challanging ups for this trail, but all in all a great ride, will ride again.

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MaelstromWBC on April 7, 2014
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Review: If there was one word to describe Devil's Backbone, I would choose 'chunky'. The trail starts out as fairly smooth singletrack for about two miles. Then begins the mild climbing. It's enough to put me out of breath. There's also some technical features that are extremely challenging going up, but super fun going down. You'll get to a trail fork. Going right is nearly expert level. Lots of slow technical stuff. Going left is mild, but still some walking parts. Once you get to an overlook, if you continue dropping down into the river valley, you're on Blue Sky. So, if you just want to do the backbone, turn around. I work 15 minutes from this trail, so I do it quite a bit. It's a good trail for someone who is intermediate level, because it will have challenging parts, parts to admire being able to get through, and parts that you can fly though. So it's a good mix that keeps you from getting bored. Some of the trail is also very very wide. So you can 'choose your line' to make it as difficult or easy as you like. The large rocks make this one of the few trails that made me wish I had a nice full suspension 29er vs my 26. Definitely bring your full suspension mountain bike, and knee pads if you have them. The trail will have a bit of hikers and runners and dogs, but mostly in the first few miles. Also watch out for equestrians, too. I'd say this trail is a bit more challenging than many other 'blue/intermediate' trails listed on Singletracks. Physically, it's fairly easy due to little climbing compared with many CO trails, but it's almost 6 miles of chunk. Don't go on this trail unless you are used to obstacles that can easily cause over the bars or 'superman' crashes.

Similar Trail: Dakota Ridge

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blask06 on October 9, 2013
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Review: I'm new to mountain biking so this trail was a little tough for me, but with some walking it was doable. Good for an afternoon ride. Connects to horse tooth if you're up for it. Seemed like it was all up hill, but the ride back down was fun

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stumpyfsr on June 29, 2013
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Review: Nice trail with some tough sections and rolling singletrack. Very well maintained. locals say its best in Ft. Collins area. Blue Sky trail has blind corners, so be careful out there. Looks like its connected to Horsetooth trail too, I didn't check this yet. Overall good ride here with something for everyone. Devil's Backbone remotely reminds me Porcupine Rim

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alskoj on October 12, 2012
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Review: From the other reviews looks like you'll either love or hate this trail. There is some good singletrack here but there's also a lot of rocky sections ("way too much" according to my 16 year old son). Definitely ride this trail if you're from the local area - you can always turn around if you don't like it. Blue Sky trail is to the north. A much better option in our opinion.

Similar Trail: Blue Sky Coyote Ridge Lory State Park

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Tr0gd0r on September 3, 2012
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Review: Meh. Not a bad trail by any means, but nothing to write home about. Not much flow to be had, just a lot of tooth rattling. Despite all the rocks, there are hardly any real technical challenges (save a couple unrideable spots). Has a few little grunts, but no serious climbs. When riding in this area, I think I'll just stick to the Ginny trail.

Similar Trail: Hogback

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sniswend on April 22, 2012
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Review: My second favorite trail in the area. Lots of loose rocks and sand from recent trail work. First few miles always seem to be busy with hikers and bikers. Great climbs and down hills.

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delphinide on March 4, 2012
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Review: This trail starts out with a lot of foot traffic from hikers and easy rolling wide singletrack. Don't let that foot you. This trail is chok-a-block with row after row of technical rock sections, tight corners, fast descents, and unforgettable vistas. Epic mileage. I would highly recommend this for XC or Trail riders.

Similar Trail: Hogback MTN

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DanK_NoCo on October 3, 2011
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Review: The first ~1.5 miles is easy dirt, with some ok views of the backbone. However, the mtb trail (east part of the Wild Loop) doesn't get really close to the rocks - you have to be a hiker for that trail. The mtb part of Hunter's loop is a steep, but doable climb with a few steps. The Laughing Horse is where things really get fun (why I gave this a trail a 4). The entire loop is really rocky. The west side of the loop is challenging, but ridable. The east side adds a few super challenging obstables. You can continue north on Blue Sky, connecting to a bunch more trails: Indian Summer, Rimrock to Coyote Ridge, and the trail systems of Horsetooth and Lory Parks. I typically miss traffic by riding during weekdays, or riding in on Blue Sky.

Similar Trail: Coyote Ridge and Rimrock

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cucycling44 on June 23, 2010
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Review: One short but very steep climb. Back loop as several technical rock sections. The downhill back to the parking lot is fast and open. Great after work ride.

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kuala_tahan on May 31, 2010
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Review: Wouldn't recommend this trail. Tons of hikers and horses. I love rocky/technical trails, but the rocks take away any speed/flow that the trail has to offer, in addition to having to stop every few feet for hikers. Drops - didn't come across anything noteworthy. Not even very good singletrack, trail is as close to doubletrack as can be without really becoming doubletrack. There's way better front range rides

Similar Trail: Rabbit mountain

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Greg Heil on May 26, 2010
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Review: Bottom Line Classic Colorado Front Range Hogback singletrack dishing up uber-rocky trails and grandiose views!

Similar Trail: Coyote Ridge

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danny_mcspadden on December 13, 2008
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Review: trail has a lot of fun fast drops, short climbs pretty veiws of the rockies, and is easy to find i loved it, im from tennessee flew out to meet a friend he told me about this place so we went a must ride trail onlt takes a couple of hours

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John Fisch on October 7, 2007
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Review: This trail follows a hogback out on the prairie. Being out on the prairie, you wouldn't expect to find such technical terrain. There is one killer climb, short but very steep. The last loop has a mandatory portage for anyone not very comfortable with large rock drops and few line choices. This is a great, fun, and often challenging ride not far from the growing Denver/Loveland/Ft Collins Megalopolis.

* Review edited 2/3/2011

Similar Trail: Hall Ranch (midday/midweek only)

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arnolda14 on July 29, 2007
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Review: A lot of rocky sections and some challenging climbs. I've heard/seen some people describe this as a "beginner ride". Definately not. On a scale of 1-5 for difficulty, I'd give this a 3.5 with a few 4's here and there. It's a good ride though and some great scenery. I'll go back again when the weather cools down.

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yadamir on May 25, 2007
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Review: This is a really fun trail! Killer technical climb on the Hunters section with a fun rocky decent on the way back. The lower section is great for begginers with lots of smooth singletrack. Great after work ride!

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jeff82 on August 21, 2006
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Review: Very cool trail. Hilly singletrack with several rocky sections and pretty technical in areas. The backbone is worth checking out.

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dauw on June 11, 2006
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Review: Devil's Backbone Trail is nice rolling singletrack, that on the return there are places to get some air when it is mostly downhill. Hunters Trail is the loop that is - simply rocky; the rockiest I've been on. Very nice scenery. From the top of the lollipop, the trail now connects to Coyote Ridge and the Blue Sky Trail over to Horsetooth and Lory State Park. I rode this after Lory SP and Horsetooth, and probably didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if my legs were fresh.

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Rebus on September 13, 2005
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: The Backbone Trail is smooth singletrack rolling through the valley to the Wild Trail that is often steep and mostly rocky. Taking the left stem is the smoothest way to go, but the right stem is sometimes challenging but mostly simple enough. The Hunter Trail going left is sometimes unrideable, and going right is an extreme technical challenge that was above my skills. I really wasn't that impressed with this trail. It was crowded and not laid out very well. It just wasn't my kind of trail.

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Guest on November 1, 2004
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Review: Challanging at places, a great ride to hone your skills on technical stuff before going to Horsetooth. My calculated mileage on this trail is just under 7, but if you do the lollipop both directions its about 8. The back look is easier to tackle going counter clockwise (make a right at Hunter's Trail sign), but it can be ridded both ways for an interesting alternative. This has recently become my usual Saturday ride. Drawbacks are its short, it can be ridden in competely in just over an hour, but the Larimer county is going to be extending this trail to tie in with Coyete Ridge and eventually Horsetooth Mtn Park, supposedly late in '05, then this will be an awesome network of trails that you could do an epic ride on.

Similar Trail: Coyete Ridge is has similar terrain to this one but is much easier technically.

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Devil's Backbone MTB Trail 3.91 out of 5 based on 22 ratings. 22 user reviews.
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