Bald Mountain

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (Larimer County)

Last Updated: 08/14/2020
4.4 / 5 ( 5 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Temporary Closure
Typically Open: 06/15 - 11/30
Length: 13.11 miles
Highest Elevation: 10766 feet
Duration: About 2 hours, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Red Feather Lakes
Nearest Town w/ Services: Fort Collins
Official Road Name: 517
Management Agency: Roosevelt National Forest
District: Canyon Lakes Ranger District
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Highlights

Highlight: Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain is a 4WD trail located in the Roosevelt National Forest a few miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, CO. The trail winds through the dense Lodge-pole Pine forest as it climbs to nearly 11,000 feet. The trail offers a variety of experiences as you head west on the 13 mile journey. It is known for its rocky mid-section and then its muddy path near the trail's end. This route is true 4WD experience to escape the summer heat as it remains in the trees.

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Weather

7 day forecast for Bald Mountain

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(DIFFICULT )

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Waypoints

1. Bald Mountain Trailhead (0 mi)
Bald Mountain has a large parking area at the trailhead that is suitable for trailer parking and airing-down for the rocky trail. This trail can handle both small and large. For the first two miles, the road is tame and dispersed camping is abundant. The trail is popular with ATVs and UTVs.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 40.762935, -105.612523

Starting Point: Fort Collins, Colorado

Take US Highway 287 north past the community of LaPorte to the Poudre Canyon. Turn left onto Colorado Highway 14 (Poudre Canyon) at Ted's Place and continue up the canyon about 30 miles. Just before the community of Rustic, turn right onto County Road 69 for 7.3 miles. The trailhead is on your left.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (13)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
A large forest fire near Cameron Pass has this trail closed for a while. The fire is called the Cameron Peak fire. You can track information about the fire at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ As of 08-14-2020, the USFS has a closure order in place for much of the upper Poudre Canyon. Here is a map of the closed areas. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd780833.pdf

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Completed in a JL Rubicon with 35s and a 2.5" lift. As stated in the trail information this is a relatively long one so be prepared for at least 3 hours on the trail if you're like me and like to get out and stretch every so often. After finishing the trail highway legal vehicles can make their way over to Deadman Road for a less bumpy return trip to Red Feather. There were quite a few fallen trees protruding onto the trail just enough to require careful maneuvering to prevent damaging tire sidewall. As another user noted, this can happen if you're not careful. All of the mud bogs towards the end were easy enough with the exception of one that was 3+ feet in depth and had a steep entry and exit. I'd recommend a friend and a winch as a requirement before attempting it. Though one user mentioned doing this in a stock truck I really wouldn't recommend it unless you're prepared to drag your midsection over rocks more than once. If you're lifted and have some experience this trail should provide a decent amount of challenge without ever being too overwhelming. Overall a solid trail with nice views at Middle Bald Mountain.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
According to the MVUM, Bald Mountain is officially open

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The Mountaineers, a 4WD club from Fort Collins, Colorado, completed Bald Mountain as part of their monthly club trip. The trail was in great shape with only two small fallen trees that needed removal. We could feel the fall weather setting in as a brisk 45 degrees with a breeze nipped the skin. Snow is not too far away.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail has not changed much this year, except for the amount of deadfall along the edges of the trail. It was evident that quite a few trees had fallen across the trail over the winter season that had been cleared. In a couple of places, the road was made narrow by the fallen deadfall. I snagged a sidewall on one of these deadfall trees which resulted in the need to change a tire just west of Waypoint 11. With the right tools and a little bit of time, we were back on our way. That tire has seen its last trail and will have a new home getting recycled somewhere.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a fun trail in Northern Colorado. I managed to complete it in a 3rd gen 4runner with a 2" lift and 32's by taking it slow and just creeping along in 4 low. It is very slow going and bumpy for the first bit, but then opens up after the highest point, and turns into some really fun sections of trail. I would say this is a great trail to go do with some lightly modified vehicles if you like tight trees and rocks and you are just looking for a day trip. There was not a ton of epic scenery or awesome camping spots, which I personally gravitate towards, but all in all, I had a great day on Bald Mountain. We did this trail on 8/3 after a heavy snow year for Colorado. There was a ton of mud after the Green Ridge intersection. Make sure you STAY THE TRAIL and go thru the mud, and not around!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The first big snow fall of the season has hit the Colorado Rocky Mountains. A small band of adventurers set out on Bald Mountain to test it's condition. The area received about 12" of snow the night before and the trail was untouched as we began. We were able to get to Waypoint 4 without much difficulty, but that is where things changed. As we reached the rocky inclines, the slippery conditions proved too much to negotiate the the terrain. Only able to proceed for another .5 miles, we decided to turn around before we broke something. We then proceeded up Deadman Road to the Killpecker Road (USFS#300). We followed Killpecker Road to where it intersects Bald Mountain at Waypoint 9. We continued on west Bald Mountain to Roaring Creek Road at Waypoint 11 and exited the vicinity on Roaring Creek Road. Along the way, we found a new Jeep JL stuck along the trail on Bald Mountain occupied by three people. Apparently the driver felt overwhelmed by the snowy conditions and attempted to turn around finding a tree stump hidden by the new snowfall. The stump became lodged between the tie rod and the front axle. Luckily, our group had the tools and know-how to assist and get the inexperienced driver on their way. Chances are that the snow is here for the season and the trail will soon be idle until the late spring. The area officially closes for the season on December 1.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Pre-ran the trail for an upcoming Colorado Association of 4WD Clubs event. The day started out nice, but turned stormy as we got up to the saddle. We did bypass the narrow section in the beginning to avoid pinstriping. While on the saddle, damp foggy day turned to grapple quickly and I had another commitment, so we exited via Killpecker Rd. We had decently setup Toyotas; one 4Runner on 33s and my Land Cruiser on 35s. We didn't use our lockers at all, but did have to use 4wd in a few of the rocky areas due to the rocks being wet. Fall color change has begun.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this with several essentially stock vehicles. Got two full-size trucks through the "original route" narrow section. It's not that bad. A couple multi-point turns and expect to pick up a few pinstripes. The rock section is a ton of fun. I'd put it at harder than Pole Hill Rd and harder than Sevenmile (except for the optional hill climb spur), so not entirely sure about the ratings. We passed a Tacoma that turned around at the worst section. Kissed the rear diff in one section and a rear shock mount in another, but not too bad. Narrower and shorter vehicles will definitely have an easier time as they'll have more choices on lines.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Small group of 6 ran this on the holiday weekend. We kept about 4mph. This was tight for a JKUR so full size not so much. The Rocky sections are a good time, can be done open/open diff. Just need to pick your lines well. As we did this late in the year it was dusty and dry. The girlfriend purse had dust in it! As well the new Jeep needs a deep cleaning. Several spots offer some large ledges for the bigger tires and experience. They all have some turn out. Pictures as well as a more detailed report can be found at Front Range 4x4 here in Colorado.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Bald Mountain is open and in good shape ready for summer wheeling. The rocky first half of the trail is dry. The latter part of the trail is muddy and wet, but easily passable. During this trip, I observed numerous UTVs and ATVs on the trail, but no other other types of vehicles.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Had a good end of the season run on Bald Mountain (Scheduled for seasonal closure on December 1st) located just outside of Redfeather Lakes, Colorado. We started the trip with 12 rigs and shortly dropped to 10 about a mile in when one of them lost a freeze plug out of the side of the engine block. After getting him turned around and the spilled anti-freeze cleaned up we made a plan to have a small group get him back to the parking area and one volunteered to trailer his rig home while he drove their Jeep back following. The rest of the group proceeded slowly as it was one large snow drift after each other, with the deepest drifts getting close to four feet deep. There was a lot of winching and pulling along with some minor body damage to others. We managed to make it about one mile from the top when we decided to turn around to head home, as it took us 6 hours to get that far and probably would of taken another 10-12 to make it the rest of the way through. All-n-All it was a great day of wheeling to enjoy the trail before its scheduled seasonal closure on December 1st.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Bald Mountain trail is a moderate to difficult trail that runs from Manhattan Road to Cr 177 about and hour west of Fort Collins. On this particular trip we started at Manhattan road and exited the trail at Forest service road 300 also known as Killpecker road. The first three miles of the trail are fairly mild with several forks in the road, passable for most stock vehicles (only first three miles). Once past the adjoining loops the trail gets considerably more difficult with some very narrow sections and endless small boulders littering the trail. In some sections there were existing go arounds but not always and easier option. the trail continues like this for the next several miles providing some challenges for less modified vehicles and just tons of fun for the more built rigs. some of the challenges include narrow passes though trees along with lose dirt surrounding 18" to 36" boulders. overall it was an exciting and challenging ride. I Recommend using a GPS to navigate this terrain due to the amount of adjoining loops and trails.

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: How difficult is the mud bog area? Any chance of getting stuck? (I have 2014 Tacoma 3" lift, 32" KO2s and lockers front and rear but no wench) I want to do this trail mid-July....thanks!!
–Mark Lafferty (07/03/2020)
–Tim Palmer (07/07/2020)
–John (07/03/2020)
Q: Hello, Would this trail be to narrow for a Ram Pickup?
–Jayson Sage (03/04/2020)
–Ryan Boudreau (03/05/2020)
Q: I was thinking of taking my 3rd gen stock Tacoma on this, should I be ok as long as I watch my lines? Kind of newbie, but going with some more experienced folks.
–Stephen (08/17/2018)
–Tim Palmer (10/16/2018)
–Todd (10/16/2018)
Q: Any advice on camping out here?
–Jim Long (06/29/2017)
–Tim Palmer (07/05/2017)

Writer Information

Tim Palmer

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well. A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg
For individual use only, not to be shared.