West Branch Trail (#960)

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Part of the trail in an open space. Mountain ranges in the background. Photo by Chuck Bell.

The West Branch Trail crosses a bridge about a 1/4 mile from the trailhead and soon enters the Rawah Wilderness. This beautiful trail follows the West Branch of the Laramie River and climbs through switchbacks for the next two miles to the intersection with Camp Lake Trail. From there the West Branch Trail continues west for another mile where it crosses the North Fork of the Laramie River to meet the south end of the Rawah Trail (#961). About two miles farther the trail enters a meadow and meets the north end of the Blue Lake Trail (#959) before continuing steeply to terminate at Island and Carey Lakes. Stream crossings may be tricky during spring runoff. West Branch trailhead accommodates approximately 26 vehicles and 4 horse trailers.

You can find more information at Poudre Wilderness Volunteers. Download trail summary here.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed due to Cameron Peak Fire.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: General Wilderness Regulations: Dogs must be on a hand held leash. No motorized or mechanized equipment. Camps, campfires and stock, where allowed, at least 200 feet from water and trails. Group size limited to 12 people or stock animals combined. Certified weed-free hay is required for stock. Closure Regulations: Alpine area closure, stoves only above 10,800 feet elevation (tree-line).
Closest Towns: Rustic, Fort Collins
Water: Water can be filtered and treated from nearby water sources.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Information Center: Canyon Lakes Ranger DistrictContact Us

General Information

Directions: Travel 11 miles northwest of Fort Collins on U.S. Highway 287 to Colorado Highway 14. Turn left on CO 14 and travel 52 miles to County Road 103, Laramie River Road. Turn right and travel north about 6 miles to trailhead parking on the left just past Tunnel Campground.



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Horse Riding & Camping

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Horse Riding

West Branch trailhead accommodates approximately 26 vehicles.
Hitching Railsno
Loading Rampno
Size Restrictionsno
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

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Areas & Activities

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Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
6.7 miles one way

  Elevation : 
Beginning Elevation: 8,560' - Peak Elevation: 11,130'