Horsetooth Mountain Open Space remains closed after mountain lion attack

Delaney Allen

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space will remain closed after a mountain lion attacked a trail runner Feb. 4.

The runner was attacked by a juvenile mountain lion and killed the predator in self-defense.

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After multiple more mountain lion sightings in Horsetooth, Larimer County park rangers closed the park Feb. 5. The area will remain closed until rangers determine it is safe for visitors.

“We’re continuing to approach the situation with an abundance of caution for the safety of all of our visitors,” said Steve Gibson, district manager for Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

Gibson added that he and his team are currently looking into the mountain lion sightings. 

“We are actively assessing mountain lion activity in the area with our partners at Colorado Parks and Wildlife and need more time to complete that assessment before we reopen to the public,” Gibson said.

While there is always the chance for park visitors to encounter wildlife, Larimer County rangers said visitor safety is a top priority. However, they stress that wildlife is incredibly valued and Horsetooth Mountain will forever be intended as a space for animals to thrive on the open range.

“We recognize this is a really popular place to recreate and appreciate everyone’s patience,” Gibson said.

Although the forecast is cold, visitors are encouraged to check out alternative hiking spots, such as Blue Sky Trail, located south of Horsetooth Mountain, or Eagle’s Nest Open Space near Livermore.

For more details on the incident, please visit the CPW website.

For more information about precautions being taken at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, please contact Gibson at (970) 498-5621 or sgibson@larimer.org.

Delaney Allen can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DelaneyAlleon0.

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