Fort Collins is the fourth largest city in the state with more than 160,000 residents. The town has been named one of the nation’s best places to live in numerous publications, including Money magazine. It’s located about an hour north of Denver on I-25.
The historic Old Town of Fort Collins is the city’s lovely downtown district, consisting of several blocks of shopping, dining, and lodging. It’s easy to stroll thru this favorite Colorado city. You can also imbibe in a tour of the breweries around town, which include the likes of New Belgium, Odell, and a massive branch of Budweiser.
The estimated 2018 population was 167,830 residents in this Larimer County Seat. Fort Collins was commissioned in 1864 and incorporated in 1883. It resides at an elevation of 5,003 feet.
Cache La Poudre River – The Cache la Poudre River is one of the most scenic and dramatic rivers in Colorado. It runs from the northern part of Rocky Mountain National Park, east past Fort Collins. This river flows directly through town. There are many ways to enjoy the Poudre, from fishing and tubing to a scenic auto tour along the Cache La Poudre-North Park Byway. This paved highway CO-14 goes west to Walden.
The Poudre River is an exciting river to raft, with steep drops and plenty of narrow sections. It’s the only river in Colorado with a designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. Due to limits with the number of outfitters that guide trips on the river, it is much less crowded than some, such as the Arkansas River.
Colorado State University – About 30,000 students attend CSU making Fort Collins a true college town. The Rams play their rival CU Buffs in early September at the Mile High Stadium.
Horsetooth Reservoir – This is one of the largest lakes in Colorado. It’s a beautiful public park located only a few miles west of Old Town Fort Collins.
- Inlet Bay Marina – You can rent boats during the summer season at the Inlet Bay Marina.
- Roosevelt National Forest is located just west of Fort Collins and offers numerous campgrounds and backcountry camping opportunities. Just take Highway 14 west of town.
- Read about the camping near Fort Collins and Loveland.
- Cache La Poudre River begins near the Rocky Mountain National Park and flows east past Fort Collins. Ample chances to fish this world-class river exist.
- Horsetooth Reservoir permits boating and fishing on this vast lake.
- Read about the lakes and rivers to fish near Fort Collins.
- Lory State Park is full of beautiful trails. It features more than 20 miles of multi-use trails. They also have hikes to backcountry campsites.
- Horsetooth Reservoir has plenty of great hiking trails. There is an entry fee and information center on the south bay.
- Read about the hiking trails near Fort Collins.
- Read about the best hotels in Fort Collins.
- Read about the cabins to rent near Fort Collins, Red Feather Lakes, and Estes Park.
- Read about the top bed and breakfasts in Fort Collins.
Hotels and Lodging:
- Armstrong Hotel – This accommodation features 45 unique, modern rooms set in a historic hotel, which first opened in 1923.
Old Town Fort Collins has plenty of places to eat thanks to the town’s large size and robust university presence. Whatever you’re hankering for, you can probably find it in FC.
Bars and restaurants:
- Silver Grill Cafe – Since 1933, the Silver Grill Cafe has been serving up Larimer County locals and visitors with comforting breakfasts and lunches.
- Read about the best restaurants in Fort Collins.
Jun – Colorado Brewers’ Festival – Two days of beer-filled madness in Washington Park. It’s the 4 longest-running beer fest in the nation, held in late June.
Aug – Rocky Mountain Irish Gathering Three days of Irish shenanigans in downtown Fort Collins, held in early August.
Aug – Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest – Three days of can’t miss free concerts in downtown Fort Collins, held in mid-August.
Activities near Fort Collins
- Holiday Twin Drive-In (4mi)
- Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area
- Cache La Poudre Wilderness Area
- Comanche Peak Wilderness Area
- Neota Wilderness Area
- Pawnee National Grassland (58mi)
- Rawah Wilderness Area
- Rocky Mountain National Park (43mi)
- Roosevelt National Forest
- Carter Lake Reservoir (26mi)
- Coyote Ridge
- Devil’s Backbone Open Space (16mi)
- Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
- Horsetooth Reservoir
- Maxwell Natural Area
- Pineridge Natural Area
- Red Fox Meadows Natural Area (3mi)
- Reservoir Ridge Natural Area (5mi)
- Riverbend Ponds Natural Area (3mi)
- Rotary Park Open Space (7mi)
- Seaman Reservoir (17mi)
- Sheldon Lake (City Park) (1mi)
- Soapstone Prairie Natural Area (29mi)
State Wildlife Areas:
- Ault (18mi)
- Bellvue (7mi)
- Berthoud (6mi)
- Boulder (46mi)
- Denver (65mi)
- Estes Park (42mi)
- Greeley (31mi)
- Johnstown (25mi)
- Laporte (5mi)
- Longmont (30mi)
- Loveland (13mi)
- Lyons (37mi)
- Rustic (41mi)
- Severance (16mi)
- Virginia Dale (34mi)
- Walden (98mi)
- Windsor (16mi)
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