The Indian Summer trail is part of the Fort Collins/Loveland, Colorado trail system that connects Horsetooth Mountain Park, Coyote Ridge Natural Area, and Devil’s Backbone Open Space. However, the Indian Summer trail can only be accessed from the Blue Sky trail. For more information regarding trailheads and parking, please visit one or more of the following blog posts: Soderberg trailhead in Horsetooth Mountain Park, Coyote Ridge Natural Area, and Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Primary activities on Indian Summer are mountain biking and trail running but horseback riding, leashed dogs, and hiking are also allowed.
The Indian Summer trail is 2.1 miles long and horseshoe shaped. It traverses open landscape at elevations ranging from 5,400 to 5,800 feet. Its characteristics are very similar to those of the Blue Sky trail in that it is single track, relatively smooth, and only contains moderate climbs. One difference is that it is not as curvy. The subsequent pictures and description are detailing a counter-clockwise mountain bike ride.
The ride starts with some rolling switchbacks and tight corners.
About half way through the ride the trail straightens out for longer stretches and the landscape opens up.
The following picture illustrates a typical ascent which is challenging but only moderate in difficulty. There are only a few technical stretches and one blind corner, which make it a fun experience for riders of all skill levels.
The subsequent picture shows the wide views that become available as the trail reaches its highest point in elevation.
The final picture shows the fast and enjoyable zigzag that a counter-clockwise ride ends with and the only stretch that was too fast/bumpy for my fully rigid mountain bike.
The next video was taken from the highest point on the trail. It highlights the open landscape that is home to strong winds, appealing scenery, and little shade.
In sum, the Indian Summer trail combined with the Blue Sky trail is pure fun (i.e., no dismounts or other headaches) and, thus, a compelling place for mountain bikers and trail runners of all skills levels. The only catch is the amount of riding or running it takes to gain access to it. Approximate trail distances are 4.5 miles from Horsetooth Mountain Park (recommended approach), 3.7 miles from Coyote Ridge Natural Area, and 4.5 miles from Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Read Colorado mountain bike trails for a list of other places to explore.