- 50 miles west of Fort Collins
- 2.2 mile roundtrip
- 1 hour
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 9600 feet
- Elevation Change:
- -400 feet
The Piedra River Trail begins a steady climb through ponderosa pines, and as you proceed upstream the canyon narrows and there are more Douglas-firs in sight. Farther up, Colorado blue spruce is in evidence.
This area is part of the prime fly-fishing section of the river.
The trail ends in the vicinity of the Sand Creek and Skunk Creek Trailheads, but neither is marked well, and the trails themselves are indistinct. The alpine meadows are full of blooming wildflowers in late July and in August. This area provides excellent views and photographic possibilities. Water can be found off the trail in most of the tributaries, but due to Giardia it should be filtered.
Between the First Fork and the Piedra Campgrounds, the river flows through the Second Box Canyon Trail. At mile 1.5 the trailleaves the river for roughly. 2 miles to go around the Second Box Canyon, but there are places along the trail with easy access to the Piedra River. The river offers some of the finest fly-fishing found in the area: rainbows, browns, and cutthroats, with many fish in the 12-to-14-inch class. Please check the fishing regulations regarding limits, allowable lures, and restrictions on certain lakes, rivers, etc.
Map + Directions
From Fort Collins follow Highway 287 north 10 miles to the intersection with Highway 14 (Poudre Canyon).
Turn left and follow Highway 14 approximately 26 miles to Pingree Park road.
Turn south and drive 16 miles to the Tom Bennet Campground.
The Beaver Creek trailhead is approximately 1 mile past the campground.
To get to this trail you will follow the Beaver Creek trail for the first four miles.
At that point the Comanche Lake trail branches off south from the Beaver Creek trail.