Mountain Biking on Lory State Park Valley Trails

If you prefer to hike in Lory State Park instead of bike then please read about Arthur’s Rock Trail and Well Gulch Nature Trail.

Lory State Park has nine miles of single track mountain biking trails that are primarily rolling hills with very few prolonged climbs in elevation. What’s more, you can ride into Horsetooth Mountain Park for free as long as you carry your Lory State Park parking pass receipt with you. The bike loop described here starts from the Corral Center Mountain Bike Skills Park (marked on the Google map with a mountain biker icon) and runs clockwise from the East Valley Trail (#8 on the trail map) to the South Valley Trail Loop (#10 on the trail map) to the Nomad Trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park and back towards the skills park via the South Valley Trail Loop and West Valley Trails (also #8 on the trail map). As described, the ride totaled 10+ miles because it included a 2.4 stretch through Horsetooth Mountain Park.

East Valley Trail

The East Valley Trail (#8 in the trail map) is a 2.3 mile single track trail with a minimal number of rocks, no extended climbs, and an open view of the surrounding landscape. It contains short branches of trail that extend eastward towards the Horsetooth Reservoir. A red fox was seen along this trail though not in the following picture.

The following panoramic picture was taken from middle of the East Valley trail and highlights the trail’s smooth surface and open landscape.
Shoreline Trail

The Shoreline Trail (#6 in the trail map) is the most difficult trail on this loop because it requires climbing up a ridge that has a few challenging points. In addition, the ride down the ridge towards Horsetooth Reservoir contains a long stretch of large rocks clustered together (see the following picture). The Shoreline Trail is a branch off of the South Valley Loop Trail so it does not need to be ridden in order to complete the full loop. Specifically, this trail is not recommended for fully rigid mountain bikes.  On the other hand, this trail is only an 1,800 feet extension of the South Valley Loop Trail so a failed attempt will not incur a significant loss in time.

South Valley Trail Loop

The South Valley Trail Loop is a 2.7 mile single track that connects with the Nomad Trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park. The trail grade is consistent with the East Valley Trail in that it is rolling with an intermixed set of switchbacks and short bursts of elevation changes.

The following panoramic picture was taken at the south eastern corner of the South Valley trail and, particularly, from the corner just south of the intersection between it and the entrance to Horsetooth Mountain Park.

Nomad Trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park

The Nomad trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park is the fastest stretch of trail on this ride because the switchbacks are farther spread out and the elevation changes are longer and more pronounced. The trail is 1.2 miles in one direction so it totals 2.4 miles when entering and exiting from Lory State Park. In addition, connects to the Towers Trail which connects to a myriad of other trails in Horsetooth Mountain Park.

Shoreline Trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park

The Shoreline trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park is 1.1 miles long and branches off of the Nomad trail. Similarly to the Nomad trail, the Shoreline trail ends at the Towers trail. The following picture was taken at the half-way point on the Shoreline trail.
For a more challenging mountain bike trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park, check out the Blue Sky mountain bike trail.

West Valley Trail

The West Valley Trail is 2.3 mile single track that is twistier and slower than the other trails in Lory State Park. Specifically, it includes several bridge crossings located at the curviest points in trail.

In sum, the valley trails are ideal for anyone looking for a fast, easy ride. Read our list of more mountain bike trails along the northern Front Range.
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