Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HorseTooth Hike

Every time I am in Fort Collins and look to the West, I wonder what it would be like to be at the base of Horsetooth, a prominent and massive rock structure that is named as such because, well it looks like a horse’s tooth. Imagine being this horse’s dentist, that would be a project…holy molar! Starting the climb you are at 5,430 feet and when you reach the base you are at 7.255 feet, and surrounded by over 2,700 acres that are yours to explore.
My mountainous man bro saddled up his gear and took off to take me to the top. My yak tracks were beating into the snowpack until we were met with a scary edge and a drop off! I was distraught, we HAD to summit to Horsetooth. Clayton Tyler, brother of all brothers, took off straight up hill. As I watched him spider man and dominate the mountain, I realized that he was waiting for me to do the same thing! I pretended I didn’t hear him call for me to follow! This girl was ready to run down the mountain, run girl run!
But he is always about pushing the limits…in a good way, and I was climbing more vertically than horizontally. I looked for good places for foot holders, hand holders just anything to hold and Claybro was there for the entirety for support and to help pull me when necessary, and most of all add encouragement.
After limbo'ing under branches, over and under rocks, we were in the crevice of Horsetooth! Giddy up! The view shows off the nearly 2,000 acres of water in Horsetooth Reservoir to the East, Pikes Peak to the South, Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park to the West and Wyoming to the North.
Ya, you will do a couple 360’s. I was thrilled…until I looked back down and knew that I was going to have to break out the childhood tricks and crabwalk back down the mountain until I reached the trail. It’s a good thing I have a brother who is sure-footed and sure as heck patient!
Native Americans lived and hunted in the area around 10,000 B.C. and the legend said there was an evil giant that terrorized the region, but a heroic warrior killed the giant, and Horsetooth was thought to be the heart of the terrorist. It later became known as Horsetooth by fur tappers and traders who passed through the land looking for good fortune and believed it looked more like a horse tooth, and that’s where it stands and waits for you to come see this major landmark just four miles from Fort Collins!


  1. Did you hike that today? I found your post doing a search trying to figure out if I could hike the trail this Friday - the high will be in the 50s, but I don't have anything like Yak Trax. Do you think I could still hike it?


  2. Yes you should be fine, just watch out when you get to the very top there will be some trails that might still be pretty snowpacked. If you have to pick up a pair of Yak Tracks that might help you out a lot! Have fun!

  3. Well, I was thinking about staying low this time - not trying to climb to the rock till it gets a bit warmer. So thanks for the response!