Where to go

There’s lot’s of adventure to be had in the Fort Collins area. From tecnical, steep climbs to beautiful trails that are perfect for family trips. Check out our favorite places to explore here.

Ballard Road

Ballard Road / Greer Road: Open year round although snow is still deep in areas as of May 5, 2019.

This trail is long and filled with many different types of terrain. It’s great for most SUVs, and perfect for someone new to offroading.

The trail starts on a well-graded road through private property. The private property signs on either side of the road make it appear that this is a private road, but the road is open to the public. You must continue up 2.9 Miles to the parking area past the private property before unloading the UTV. Several spurs leave the trail, but all are marked as private trails. Stay on the main trail.

At 1.2 miles from the trailhead a switchback cuts to the left, F.S 129A. Greer Road South, a spur off of Ballard Road, continues to the right at a wooden sign. Keep left to stay on the main trail. Ballard Road continues to climb and descend with no obstacles as the trail winds through the woods.

At 3.9 miles from the trailhead, turn right to find a fun spur that connects to the western half of Green Road South. Follow this for a fun little climb with some rocky places that would test a stock SUV and provide some rocky fun to more modified vehicles. The area is often muddy and usually rutted. The spur ends at the intersection with the Greer Road South trail when you are 5.3 miles from the Ballard Road trailhead. There is room to turn around here and return down to the main trail.

The main trail continues to climb through a couple switchbacks and gets quite narrow. Passing oncoming traffic would be difficult during this portion of the trail as there is little room to get around another vehicle. This section is interesting as it passes more mining sites and very large piles of wood that appear to be edgings left from a sawmill operation.

The trail abruptly ends at a mining site with another large pile of the wood edgings. There is only room to park a few vehicles, but this is a good place to stop and explore or to eat lunch.

Turn around and continue back to Pennock Pass the way you came in.

Miles

Elevation Gain (Ft)

  • Sand & Mud
  • Water Crossings
  • Playground
  • Cliffs and Ledges
  • Steep Hills

Kelly Flats

  • Heart Attack Hill
  • Aneurysm Hill
  • The Chutes

“Kelly Flats has long been the premier hard-core trail in northern Colorado. The trail climbs steeply out of the Cache La Poudre River Valley and winds for a considerable distance across a high ridge with beautiful views of the Mummy Range on a clear day. Noted obstacles include The Chutes and Heart Attack Hill. A wet spring often delays May 15 opening of the trail, so call ahead to verify. ATVs and UTVs may find this trail too difficult. Located in Roosevelt National Forest. For current conditions call Canyon Lakes Ranger District (970) 295-6700.

First part of trail is extremely steep and rocky. Middle is easy as it passes through a residential area. Last part has some large mud holes. Body damage is a frequent occurrence on The Chutes. Not for stock SUVs.”

Directions:

From Ft. Collins, take Highway 287 around LaPorte. Take Highway 14 left at Ted’s Place and go about 25 more miles until you see a sign for the Kelly Flats campground on the left. There is a large parking area immediately to your right where you can air down. The trail starts right away from there.

Miles

Elevation Gain (Ft)

  • Rock Crawling
  • Sand and Mud
  • Water Crossings
  • Playground
  • Cliffs and Ledges
  • Steep Hills
  • Scenery

Sevenmile Creek

This trail starts the “Mud Loop” followed by Bald Mountain and Green Ridge. It is also a great trail to do with Kelly Flats as they are right next to each other. It is usually a dirt road though there are some fun rocky areas and a few good rocks for posing. There is also a few places where you cross Sevenmile Creek which can get fairly deep in the spring. This trail is also known as Sevenmile Road 225 because it follows Forest Service road 225 for most of the trail.

 

Directions:

The trail starts off on a dirt road and you really don’t need 4-wheel drive yet. Cross through a gate, then turn left at the crossroads. You will come to one of many muddy areas, which may have deep areas where tires have gone.

There are a few rocky sections that may cause difficulties for some stock vehicles with low clearance. Bear left at all intersections as you cross the creek several times.

When you get to the meadow at 4 miles into the trail, bear right on the other side. There is a spur road to the left of the meadow where you go through a deep hole of water and a more difficult section. You must come back to the main trail if you take this spur road. There are lots of other spurs, though most of them dead end.

When you see the old cabin, turn left and start climbing. The way off of the trail at this half can be confusing. Forest Service road 162 will go left at the townsite of Manhattan, and you can follow several marked Forset Roads and return out Sevenmile Creek to the parking area the way you came in.

Miles

Elevation Gain (Ft)

  • Rock Crawling
  • Sand and Mud
  • Water Crossings
  • Playground
  • Cliffs and Ledges
  • Steep Hills
  • Scenery

North Sand Hills

You can’t experience anything else like this in Colorado. Motor vehicles aren’t allowed on the Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado, so Northern Colorado is your only option for sand. Some routes have been closed for re-vegetation so be aware and DO NOT go in closed areas.

There are a couple flat areas of sand the size of a few football fields where you can do donuts and race in the sand. These areas also have smaller hills in them that are perfect for playing around. The 1000CC engine of your rental can really be opened up here!

The rest of the area is a network of trails that are mostly sand (though some are dirt) that weave their way around the area. You can’t get lost and you can easily spend all day here exploring. We’ve provided a map and GPS track of one of the many possible ways through the sand. Just be sure you can get back up any hills you go down.

Directions:

There are a few different ways to get there but the most scenic route from Denver is through the Cache La Poudre River Valley and over Cameron Pass. From Denver, take I-25 north to the Ft. Collins exit 269B and head west. Follow signs through town to Highway 14 north. You will make a left turn at Ted’s Place (a gas station) to continue to follow Highway 14 into the Valley. In Walden, turn left at the stop sign, then right onto Route 125 to Cowdrey. Just past Cowdrey turn left to air down at Lake Cowdrey or continue on to the dirt road on your right marked 2509. Follow signs to the North Sand Hills.

Elevation

  • Rock Crawling
  • Sand and Mud
  • Water Crossings
  • Playground
  • Cliffs and Ledges
  • Steep Hills
  • Scenery