Amazing views, 30 minutes from town, with a steep and rocky road in between.
At the top of Storm Mountain, you’ve got a panoramic view of the northern Front Range. You can see Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Longmont, and beyond. Storm Mountain is accessible via U.S. 34 and Drake. Storm Mountain Rd. starts as a paved, steep, switchbacked road shortly after the turn towards Glen Haven from Drake. The first few miles are residential and lined by private property. Then you get into national forest land.
From the southwest slope of Storm Mountain, you have a panoramic view of the Front Range mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. Longs Peak is clearly visible as well as several other peaks in the national park.
The first several miles of Storm Mountain Road are lined by private property, with short sections of public land on the road between properties. Once you gain significant elevation and the road becomes markedly less maintained, you’re in national forest land. After an initial meadow, the road to the top turns sharply to the northwest and steeply uphill, this is the point where high clearance and four wheel drive is warranted, especially if it’s wet.
There are plenty of dispersed camping and spots to shoot on Storm Mountain. There aren’t really any real opportunities for hiking, however Crystal Mountain is fairly close and so are trails in the Buckhorn Canyon system (however there is no way via vehicle to get from Storm Mountain directly to Buckhorn Canyon/Crystal Mountain).
On a weekend, Storm Mountain is usually fairly crowded, simply because it is so close to major population centers and very convenient to get to. We went up on a Thursday, and were the only ones up there.