A guide to Fort Collins outdoor life

One of the best things about living in Fort Collins is the opportunity to get outdoors. Here are some of the Collegian’s top picks.

Horsetooth Reservoir


The foothills of the Rockies can be reached on a half hour drive, with numerous trails to hike, backpack or mountain bike.

There are several mountain biking and hiking trails like Blue Sky trail and Michaud trail that connect at the reservoir. All of them can be done, riding along the reservoir and along the ridge, to find a great view of both Fort Collins and Horsetooth Reservoir.

One of the best hikes is Horsetooth Falls. The hike reaches the top of Horsetooth Rock that gets it’s name from resembling a horse’s tooth in the distance. In the spring, a natural waterfall cascades down at the top and the trail is fairly easy to hike.

The reservoir is also a great place to swim in on those unbearably hot days.

The Cache La Poudre

The Poudre river has a funny name but some serious rapids.

White water rafting is a must-do here. Several rafting companies in town offer half and full-day raft guides, as well as kayaking lessons and tube rentals.

Floating in tubes is one of the most common past times residents of Fort Collins can be seen doing on the hottest days of the summer. It’s a great way to cool off and relax. A common starting point through town beings at the bridge on Shields Streeet and ends when you’ve had enough, or find yourself drifting away from city limits.

Be sure to check the laws before making the trek. When waters are too rough, it can be illegal to float tubes down the Poudre because of spring run off. Floating too late however can mean scraping your bottom on the Poudre’s rocks.



Horsetooth reservoir and the Poudre river are both in biking distance for the hardcores out there.

It can be fun to bike-to-hike. That is, bike to a Horsetooth, lock your bike up and hike a trail, then take a dip in the reservoir.

Make sure to take plenty of snacks or you’ll leave feeling like a bowl of jello.

Rock climbing

Fort Collins is also a great place to get into rock climbing. The Recreation Center on campus has a climbing wall or a few gyms in town offer climbing walls to get practice in before trying to climb in the outdoors.

Horsetooth Reservoir and the Poudre Canyon have several places to boulder and climb real rocks.

A bicycle friendly community

Cycling is one of the most evident characteristics in this town. Immediately upon moving the influx of people using bicycles to commute across town can be a shock.

Most people, who reside in Fort Collins for years, have a bike for every occasion: one for the road, one to cruise around town, and one for the mountains.

One of the best places to get a tune up or help with a flat tire is Brave New Wheel, located on Myrtle Street just outside of Old Town. This bike shop has a friendly and knowledgable staff and offers great prices for all your bicycle needs.

Collegian Staff Reporter Dina Alibrahim Fike can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.