Devil's Backbone

3.89 out of 5
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↑ 3,500 ft
↓ 3,500 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
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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Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Hall Ranch
Mary's Loop / Horsethief Bench
Monarch Crest Trail
Buffalo Creek
Kessel Run
Oil Well Flats
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (167 total check-ins)
  John Jackson   on Oct 6, 2019
  the_salaminzer   on Sep 13, 2019
  teables   on Aug 11, 2019
  Chase Magruder   on Jul 29, 2019
  Brian Jacobsen   on Jul 27, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (121)
Trail Photos & Videos (121)
Reviews (27)

Granny Gear

July 7, 2018
joebaloba Granny Gear  
Review: I'm a southeastern visitor and enjoyed the trail from the parking area to Hunters Loop: not much difficulty, a mild climb. It got much harder on Hunters Loop with some steep rocky climbs, and I had to walk my bike a couple of times because of the combination of steepness and rockiness. A good rider would have less difficulty. The return trip to the parking lot was surprisingly downhill and fun -- the way up had not seemed like much of a climb but the downhill was nice. No shade; take water and be ready for the aerobic blowout if you're coming from sea level. This trail is at about 5,000 feet and put me in debt on Hunters Loop.


May 7, 2016
jkey6 Gnarly  
Review: This trail is a shining example of how to manage multiple types of trail users with trail design. Certain sections branch off and split up "foot travel" and "multi-use." This is a pretty exhausting ride if you do the entire park as an out-and-back (about 19 miles, 2k ft vert but the terrain can really slow you down in some spots). I recommend only doing the Laughing Horse Loop in the clockwise direction, if done the other way the rocks angle against you. Minus one star for heavy traffic, no shade, and rattlesnake frequency.


March 16, 2016
bigAD Trailblazer  
Review: One of my all time favorites when I lived in Fort Collins. A majority of the trail is twisty buff single track that is a hoot to descent. Good views. Watch for rattle snakes.

Granny Gear

February 14, 2015
Chad_Pease Granny Gear  
Review: Trail gets very busy with hikers. Please stay home and watch more tv hikers.

Granny Gear

December 3, 2014
Review: Road for the first time early this afternoon because of the 60 degree December temperatures. Lots of varied sections. Some too steep and rocky for me but overall a good ride. Several spots had to walk it going up and down. Beautiful colors and views. Will ride again.

Similar Trail: Rabbit Mountain

Granny Gear

October 5, 2014
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.


June 10, 2014
Jared13 Epic  
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.


May 16, 2014
Gdb49 Gnarly  
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.


April 7, 2014
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

Bunny Hop

October 9, 2013
blask06 Bunny Hop  
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

Devil's Backbone MTB Trail 3.89 out of 5 based on 27 ratings. 27 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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