Larimer County, Colorado
Roosevelt National Forest
Canyon Lakes Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Roads: 132, 513
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: LaPorte, Ft. Collins
Nearby Trails: Ballard Road, Crystal Mountain, Old Flowers Road, West White Pine Mountain, Monument Gulch, Greer Road South, Pennock Pass
Trail Length: 6.4 miles
Elevation: 6,575 to 8,548 feet
Named Obstacles: Rock Quarry
An optional set of obstacles at the Rock Quarry can make this trail very challenging, though without it Moody Hill is a nice, moderate trail. It would be the perfect trail for a stock 4x4 without the obstacle, and drivers can test their more equipped vehicles on the obstacle.
If you do not attempt the Rock Quarry later in the trail, the most difficult part is just past the start of the trail. A little way past the trailhead you turn left to go uphill. It is a steep hill with some loose rocks, and can be very challenging if wet and muddy. There are also some tight switchbacks as you make your way to the top of Moody Hill.
For a diversion, take the right turn on your way up the hill to a short spur that ends in a turnaround spot. You can find nice views if you walk around a bit, and it's flat so you can have a break from the hill climb.
After reaching the top of Moody Hill you continue on a dirt road with little difficulty, unless it is muddy. It is primarily a flat trail with very few rocks. Stay on Forest Service road 513 to remain on the trail (you will intersect with other spurs like 513A and 513B).
You'll cross a flat meadow and go up a hill, where the trail ends and intersects with Forest Service road 132. If you turn right here you can go a little way to the obstacle (with plenty of room to turn around, so it's a quick trip to go check it out). If you go to the obstacle you'll come back to this intersection.
On your way to the Rock Quarry you come to three spurs all going the same direction but at different levels on the hill, you can take any of them to reach the obstacle. The top spur goes to the top of the obstacle, the bottom spur goes to the bottom, and the middle spur goes to the middle of the Rock Quarry, between the two parts of the obstacle. It is probably best run from the bottom to the top. There are places to turn around in all three, and a hill connects all three sections at the Rock Quarry as well.
If you do want to do the Rock Quarry obstacles, start from the bottom to find a lower obstacle and an upper obstacle. They are chained together, with an escape route in the middle that would make it very easy to only run one of them.
The lower obstacle is in a ravine and is a steep section of rock and dirt that is slippery and difficult to climb. There is no danger of falling very far if you have problems (you could roll but the bottom of the obstacle is flat and there are no hills). The obstacle is closed in on both sides. At the top of the lower obstacle you immediately turn right to either get back on the trail or do the upper obstacle.
The upper obstacle is quite different, considering how close it is to the lower one. It is a steep hill of loose, sandy dirt, with a rock wall to climb at the top. One half of the obstacle could have you climbing vertical marble slabs (a long wheelbase could do this section) and the other half is marble mixed with loose sand. If this is wet it is very slippery and difficult to climb.
From the obstacle, go back the way you came to get back to the intersection. Continue on 132 and the road is primarily an easy dirt road. You will pass through two gates, then later you end up at the intersection of a few major trails.
If you turn right at this intersection you will be on Crystal Mountain Road. This road passes through a gate and ends up at the Pennock Pass trail (Buckhorn Road), where you turn right to get back to the original trailhead and Ft. Collins. If you go straight you are at the start of the Crystal Mountain trail. A left turn puts you in a network of trails, many of which go near old mines.
Information last updated on July 26th, 2015.
- July 18th, 2015: ran by AJ, Ben, Dave H., Frank, Holly, Julie, Matt K., Monica, Roger and Walt
- June 24th, 2006: ran by Bill S., Corrie, Dane, Don, Eric B., Mark U., Micheal, Mike S., Monica, Patrick D., Perry, Rob C., Roger and Walt
- July 16th, 2005: ran by Monica, Rob C. and Walt
- June 26th, 2004: ran by Bob S., Brian E., Jed, Jeff B., Kendall, Ladd, Landon, Mike C. and Monica
From Denver, take I-25 north to the Ft. Collins exit 269B. Head west and follow signs through town to Highway 14 north. Follow the sign to LaPorte where Highway 14 intersects with Highway 287. Turn left at road 52E, marked with signs pointing to Rist Canyon (not a large sign). You will come to an intersection at 13 miles where you turn left on Stove Prairie Road 27. Continue 4 miles and turn right on Buckhorn Road, marked 44H (small sign). This is the Pennock Pass trail. You will see the trailhead on the left in 1.6 miles, with an air-down area across from the trailhead on your right.
If coming from Denver, meet at the McDonald's at the Longmont I-25 exit 240. If you are further north it might be
a better idea to meet at the trailhead.