Fort Collins, Colorado, to Laramie, Wyoming

I have thought about biking from Fort Collins to Laramie many times, but never really had an excuse. In June 2014 I found one. Most years we (myself, husband, sister, and various friends) run the oldest footrace in Wyoming, the Pilot Hill 25K. This year I  biked up to Laramie the day before the race, spent the night, and then ran the race the next day. (I will admit my bike and I got a ride home.)

I rounded up my sister and a few friends to join in the fun. Two of us have biked toured quite a bit, one had done a three-day ride, and one had been on the bike five times and never ridden over 30 miles. This ride was 62 miles, starting at 4,900 feet above sea level and finishing at 7,160 feet, with a high point of 8,144. 

On Friday morning we left my house at 7 a.m. and followed U.S. Higway 287 all the way from Fort Collins to Laramie. Very scenic, and with a wide shoulder with rumble strip for protection most of the way. It's beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains and foothills and lots of wildlife (think pronghorns and bald eagles). The only downside is there aren't many places to stop, except for the side of the road.

The one and only food stop on the way is The Forks at mile 16. We hit this at 9 a.m., and made sure to fill up on northern Colorado's best frozen treat, Walrus Ice Cream.

We stopped at the Colorado-Wyoming state border for lunch. The rest stop there has clean bathrooms, picnic tables, and information boards. The road was a bit rougher and the shoulder narrower once into Wyoming, but they are doing a lot of road construction to mitigate these issues.

After arriving in Laramie, we stayed in an old Victorian house/apartment that I found on AirBnB. The host allowed us to keep our bikes in his workshop, and we were within walking distance of downtown and the race start line. What more could we ask for?

On Saturday morning, those of us who wanted to run made it to the top of Pilot Hill and back while the others spent a leisurely morning drinking coffee and exploring the University of Wyoming campus.

Great trip!

Get more information about bike overnights.

Tips for this adventure: The best view is from the top of Pilot Hill on the east side of town. For good eats and drinks go to Altitude Chophouse & Brewery. Unexpected find: Cowgirl Yarn.

Favorite local bike shop: The Phoenix Cyclery in Fort Collins.



3 responses so far ↓

Auntie J - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Great article, Cec. Well written, packed w/info and important tips. Now I'm going to Google Pilot Hill for images!

Derek - Aug 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Great weekend trip idea! I live in the area and look forward to taking this route. Thanks for sharing.

Joey - May 4, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Sounds like a blast. How wide is the shoulder along 287? I'm thinking of doing this route myself, but only from fort collins to the state line. I think I can handle it but nothing scared me more than traffic whizzing by within a foot of me at 65 mph.

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