Horsetooth LbNA # 9905 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 8 2004|
|Location||Fort Collins / Masonville, CO|
|Found By||Handsome Hounds (Attempted)|
|Last Update||Oct 11 2007|
CURRENTLY INACTIVE - BOX PULLED BY LARIMER PARKS 9/20/04, BUT MAY POSSIBLY BE REPLACED PENDING NEW LETTERBOXING POLICY.
Horsetooth Mountain Park Fee: $6
Dog Friendly: Yes
Handicap Accessible: No
Round-trip distance (shortest route): 2.25 miles (1.5 – 3 hours, depending on how much time you spend at the falls).
Difficulty: There are lots of ups and downs on this trail, but not too steep. I’m out of shape and can do the hike just fine, although I did find myself huffing and puffing. The park lists this as an “easy” hike, but for me it’s “moderate”.
Box contains: hand-carved stamp, home-made log-book, and is roomy enough for hitchhikers. Be sure to BRING YOUR OWN INK PAD / PEN!
I wanted to leave a letterbox at Horsetooth Mountain Park because Horsetooth Rock is such a prominent Fort Collins landmark. You can take other trails to the top of the rock (which I highly recommend), but the box is hidden at Horsetooth Falls (a shorter and easier hike, and really beautiful). I will miss seeing Horsetooth Rock after living here in Fort Collins for six years!
Directions to Horsetooth Mountain Park: From I-25 (runs north-south between Denver and Cheyenne), take exit 265 (Harmony Road). Follow Harmony Road all the way west, through Fort Collins (you’ll see Horsetooth Rock in the distance), and into the foothills. Drive around the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir; on the west side, you’ll go down a big hill. Horsetooth Mountain Park will be on the right (north) side of the road as you travel up the next hill.
Directions to the Horsetooth Letterbox: From the parking lot, get on the Soderberg trail (not the Audra Culver service road, which is gated, just next to the trail). You’ll walk up to the top of a ridge where you’ll see a trail marker; at this junction, go right (east) on the Horsetooth Falls trail. You’ll follow this trail for about a mile; you’ll get to another junction that indicates the Spring Creek trail. Don’t take this; go straight ahead on the Horsetooth Falls trail. The falls (if there is water) is a short walk ahead. It’s a beautiful spot for lunch or a snack in the cool shade. There’s even a nice bench for stamping. Starting near the bench, there are several steps down to the pool at the base of the falls; go to the fifth step down (the third step from the bottom). To your left, there will be some big boulders; a triangular rock by your feet guards the entrance to the letterbox’s hidey-hole. You might want to use a stick to clear the hole before reaching into it for the box!
Box instructions: Please be discreet – this trail is heavily traveled! You may have to wait for people to leave before getting the box, or returning it to its spot! Please repack the box carefully, double-bagging the logbook and wrapping the entire box in the two freezer bags. MOST IMPORTANTLY, re-hide the box well, making sure that the triangular stone is in place and that you can’t see inside the hole as you are walking up the stairs (it is at eye-level from the bottom!). Email me and let me know how the box is doing.
Caution: rattlesnakes are abundant – keep an eye out. And, while very rare, mountain lions have been seen in this area. Always hike with a buddy! Poison ivy is also plentiful along parts of this trail. In the summer, the first half of this hike is very exposed and hot – bring lots of water and wear sunblock (the best times to visit are in the morning or early evening). Visit the Horsetooth Mountain Park website for maps, current conditions, and additional information: http://www.larimer.org/parks/Htmp.htm