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“Wilderness feeling close to town”

Devil's Backbone Open Space
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Located just west of Loveland, this scenic open space is a nice foothills hike. It's open all year but it can be very hot in the summer and is much more enjoyable in the fall and spring. During winter when the higher mountains are snowy, the Backbone is usually snow free and satisfies the cravings of those wanting to get out and hike. The terrain is a mixture of nearly-treeless desert foothills and large rock formations that includes many level stretches and also a fair number of steep Rocky hills. A good short hike goes from the parking lot to to "the keyhole," where there is a scenic view of the distant mountains through a large opening in the uplifted rock formation. Although there are some houses visible along the trail you still feel like you are on a genuine hike. Ambitious hikers and mountain bikers can also travel many miles north, eventually ending up at Horsetooth Reservoir just west of Ft. Collins. Unlike many Larimer County hikes, parking at the Loveland trailhead is free.

Thank Jim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"devil's backbone"
in 14 reviews
"great hiking"
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"viewing area"
in 2 reviews
"blue sky"
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"horsetooth reservoir"
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"unique rock formations"
in 2 reviews
"coyote ridge"
in 2 reviews
"front range"
in 3 reviews
"love this place"
in 2 reviews
"plenty of parking"
in 2 reviews
"difficulty"
in 4 reviews
"horses"
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"miles"
in 9 reviews
"hike"
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"keyhole"
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51 - 55 of 57 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2013

Great hike with wonderful views, close to town. Great for beginners, not to steep, but does require good hiking shoes.

1  Thank sleepyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Our family visits Devil's Backbone regularly, and are thrilled to have open space like this just a short drive from our home. The secret is definitely out, as the parking lot is generally full on the weekends when we have good weather. There's something for everyone, as there are three loops that total about six miles. My son and I typically run all three loops while my husband and daughters walk the dogs on just the first loop. This is a great workout - I always feel like I've accomplished something when I'm done! Don't let the full parking lot fool you: while there might be some congestion on the more popular first loop, far fewer people venture into the second and third loops, so there is still some peace and serenity to be found here.

1  Thank liv2trvl28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I spent the past week hiking around Open Spaces in the Boulder area and this was perhaps the most spectacular one that I did. As other reviewers have noted, one the key things to do is get there early because it is a very popular trail. I also had a few issues finding the Devil's Backbone Open Space because the sign on the road is quite small and my Garmin could not find it at all. The trail itself is an easy walk and you reach reviews of the backbone very quickly. After that point, you can walk several more miles north to the opposite end of the Open Space, but I do not recommend that. Once you are a mile or so past the backbone, the surrounding vegetation and geology is still interesting, but the views are marred by an increasing number of large homes. I just found that depressing. My advice is to walk up to and around the Wild Horse Loop and then back towards the backbone. It's readily walkable at any time of the year.

3  Thank Bonasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2013

Only downside to this beautiful space is the number of folks also enjoying it. The earlier the better.

Thank Schnu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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