Attending Colorado State University is more than actually attending the classes; it's about being in one of the country's most beautiful states and enjoying it.

CSU students have more than a few ways to blow off steam from the stress of collegiate life in Fort Collins. Sure, there are plenty of bars, we're talking to you, Road 34, but there is also the great outdoors of Colorado while at Colorado State.

Colorado State University recently put out a list of the four best Fort Collins hikes that students typically take while attending the college, looking to find out which of the four students like the best. I saw the list and realized that I needed to get out more to check all of these.


You can't live in the Fort Collins area for any period of time and not hike this trail. It's a 6.4-mile loop with an elevation gain of nearly 1,600 feet. You may see bull snakes, deer and wild turkeys, as well as many others out on the hike, but the falls and the trail overall, are worth it.


Named after the original land owner in Lory State Park, Arthur Howard, this is a great, short hike that only climbs about 1,000 feet in 1.7 miles. The winding trail, which includes a beautiful meadow, leads to a gully of boulders and the top of the trail. The overlook is a vista of Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins and the Front Range.


In the Poudre Canyon, about 8.5 miles, is this 7.5-mile loop trail that you'll find many other hikers on. It can be a "real" hike, as it climbs 2,000 feet in only about 3 miles, so come prepared. After crossing the Poudre River via a great bridge, there are two ways up to Greyrock; one, more accessible, through a meadow, the other more direct and steeper.


This hike takes you to CSU's "A," which represents CSU previously being Colorado Agriculture College and home of the Aggies. It's four miles out and back. Access to the trail lies in the Maxwell Natural area near the former Hughes Stadium. The city of Fort Collins says to listen for the call of the local bird, the spotted towhee; the call apparently sounds like "drink your teeeeee."

Be sure to look out for rattlesnakes on these trails, but grab your shoes and some water and check them out.

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