We arrived just before 9 am and the trail parking lot was already full, although you can still park on the street. The trail starts with a bridge over the Poudre River. We hiked up the Meadow trail first. Unfortunately, a lot of the forest in this area is burned, which gave me some appreciation into the scale of these fires.
After a winding 1.5 hour drive from Fort Collins through Estes Park, we arrived at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. By 8:30 AM the small parking lot at Glacier Gorge was already full, so we continued down the road and parked at the Bear lake parking, which had plenty of room.
It was a nice morning on the trail at Devil’s Backbone. Despite the ominous name, it was a nice, short hike. The trail came highly recommend from a friend and it was covered in our new favorite guidebook, Hikes Around Fort Collins, by Melodie S. Edwards. The name refers to the rock formations that span the valley. Quoting Edwards:
The “hogbacks,” as they are known, which stretch from north of Fort Collins all the way down the Front Range and including Devils Backbone, are remnants of an ancient seafloor that has been exposed by wind and water over hundreds of thousands of years.
At the trail head a free trail map and interpretive guide are provided (aslo available here). It’s an easy hike that is family friendly and it allowed me an opportunity to test out the 3D shots with the Nexus 4 (here).