Rimrock Open Space 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, Rimrock trails can only be accessed from two places: Coyote Ridge Natural Area and Blue Sky trail. For more information regarding trailheads and parking, please visit one or more of the following blog posts: Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Soderberg trailhead in Horsetooth Mountain Park, and Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Primary activities in Rimrock Open space are mountain biking and trail running but horseback riding and hiking are also allowed. Dogs are not allowed in the park.
Rimrock trail is 1.8 miles long and traverses elevations ranging from 5,400 to 5,600 feet. Mountain biking east to west, the trail starts at Coyote Ridge Natural Area at approximately 5,600 feet in elevation. Arriving at Rimrock trail from Coyote Ridge Natural Area, you have already mountain biked a tough 2.0 mile, 600 feet elevation climb so fatigue can be factor while on Rimrock trail (at least it was for me).
The following picture illustrates a section of trail with large rocks; which is a common theme on Rimrock trail.
The trails drops 200 feet in elevation on its way down the ridge towards the nearby valley. Dismounting your bike is required in order to make it down to the valley because of the large steps seen in the subsequent picture.
In the valley, the trail is smooth, fast, and level.
Coming out of the valley, the trail becomes narrower, more rugged and, thus, more technical. A 200 feet climb is required to get on top of the western ridge.
Rimrock trail forms a loop on the western edge of Rimrock Open Space that connects to Blue Sky trail. Riding counter-clockwise, the following picture (facing southwest) highlights the views that become available while on the loop.
The subsequent picture faces east and was taken while riding the Rimrock trail loop towards to Coyote Ridge Natural Area. This section of trail is very rocky and not very fun on a rigid mountain bike.
In sum, Rimrock trail is a rugged, challenging trail with a couple of spots that require dismounting and a couple more that can be technical enough to heed dismounting. Further, the trail traverses two ridges so mountain biking out and back means two solid climbs. In isolation, Rimrock trail is not particularly challenging. However, a significant ride from Horsetooth Mountain Park, Coyote Ridge Natural Area, or Devil’s Backbone Open Space is required to reach the trail. Thus, a big part of the challenge of Rimrock trail is mountain biking on it after having already expended a significant amount of energy. For more fun, read our list of mountain bike trails along the northern Front Range.