If you are looking for a quick, scenic trail on the way into or the way out of Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland, Colorado, look no further than Moody Hill Road (FSR #513), a moderately technical 8.1-mile trail located in Roosevelt National Forest about 30 minutes west of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Ed. Note: This area is currently closed due to flash flooding in the Cameron Peak Fire burn area. Please check with Canyon Lakes Ranger District before accessing this area.
Moody Hill Road: Getting Prepared
Moody Hill Road starts and ends with somewhat technical climbs and has several rocky, steep sections that will require high-clearance 4x4s and/ or vehicles with locking differentials. ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, and full-size Vehicles can make it through this trail easily. The road to Crystal Mountain traverses private lands, and as such, it is extremely important to remain on the given route to avoid conflicts with landowners and possible closure.
There are plenty of dispersed campsites along the route that provide options for folks wanting to spend some time in the area. Good campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Look near the intersection of FSR #132 and FSR #513 for the most scenic campsites. Many folks use this area as a base camp to explore Crystal Mountain, Ballard Road, West White Pine, and Storm Mountain.
Roosevelt National Forest History
Theodore Roosevelt set aside the 815,000 acres of Medicine Bow Forest Reserve on May 22, 1902. The area was renamed the Colorado National Forest in 1910 and renamed again in 1932 to honor the former president. There are six designated wilderness areas within Roosevelt National Forest, including Cache La Poudre, Comanche Peak, Indian Peaks, James Peak, Neota, and Rawah Wildernesses. The entire area is managed by the US Forest Service.
If you’d like to get a good overview of the climbs on Moody Road, check out this video from YouTuber, Justin King.
From Loveland: Take Hwy. 34 west and turn right on Hwy. 27 following signs to Masonville. Turn left at the “T” intersection in Masonville and continue another 10.7 miles to Buckhorn Road 44H on the left. Go west 1.5 miles to F.S. 513 on the left across from the parking area.
What to Know:
- Time: 5-6 hours
- Distance: 5.9 miles
- Fuel: Fuel is available in Fort Collins
- Highest elevation: 8,600 feet
- Best Time: July- September
- Water: Available in Fort Collins. During the summer months, temperatures can top 100 degrees, so bring more water than you plan to use.
- Campfires: Campfires are permitted, but please keep them small and don’t leave them unattended. High winds and dry conditions can fuel a wildfire even at unlikely times of the year.
- Other considerations: Roosevelt National Forest is remote, and visitors should be equipped to be self-sufficient. Travelers should wear appropriate safety gear, carry a first aid kit, and never ride alone. Most Forest Service and BLM personnel have radios and can give assistance.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but please clean up after yourself when visiting Roosevelt National Forest. Fully douse your fires and stay on the trails. Please treat the backcountry like you would your home.
Note: This editorial is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions are variable and should be researched and confirmed by you prior to use. Always obey property lines and use common sense to verify boundaries, roads, and trails.