Devils Backbone In Loveland, Colorado: An Easy Hike With Great Views

While I wouldn’t say it’s the best hike in Colorado, Devils Backbone in Loveland is a nice way to do a little hiking without straying too far from a city.  It’s not to be confused with the Hell’s Backbone drive in Utah.  This hike is easy, conveniently located, and has a good view of the surrounding area.  Whether you are looking for a nice after work walk or a quick stop on your way through town, this is a good option.

It’s a pretty easy trail with very little elevation gain, only 564 feet.  The whole trail is just over four miles, but if you want something short to watch the sunset, just turn around at the hole in the featured picture of this post.  It’s not too far, but it’s still far enough to let you unwind from the day.


The trail is dirt and gravel taking you through a grassy area along the Devil’s Backbone, a rock formation sort of resembling a spine, to your left.  I think the biggest thing to watch out for on the trail is rattlesnakes.  I didn’t see any but hear them quite frequently.

When I went, we set out in the late afternoon and only spent maybe an hour on the trail altogether.  We had plans for dinner already, so this was a good way to fill a little extra time.  You’ll have awesome views of the foothills you’re walking through along with the backbone itself.


There isn’t a whole lot to say about this trail.  It’s pretty straightforward and easy to find.  I think it was on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park.  If you’re in the area and have some spare time, it’s a good hike.  I don’t know if I would go out of my way specifically for this, though.


What to bring to Devils Backbone in Loveland

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long if you’re out and about.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong desert sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and the time of day and season.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.


Where is the Devils Backbone in Loveland?


Tips for visiting Devil’s Backbone in Loveland:

  • This is a pretty easy hike.  You don’t need super fancy hiking shoes.  Tennis shoes or Chacos are good.
  • Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.  I didn’t see them, but there were plenty around that I hear rattling.
  • In the summer, especially, wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.
  • If you prefer mountain biking to walking, you can do that around here as well.
  • If you’re looking for a place to eat in Loveland after your hike, Origins is delicious.  They have wine, pizza, salads, that kind of thing.
  • If you’re going to Rocky Mountain National Park, this is a good stop along the way.


Have you been to Loveland?  Did you do this hike?  What is your favorite hike in the area?

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