Day trip ideas from Fort Collins?

Are you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Fort Collins for a day? Want to discover new destinations just a short journey away? Look no further! We’ve curated a list of day trip ideas that will satisfy your wanderlust and introduce you to stunning destinations near Fort Collins.

From scenic drives and outdoor adventures to charming towns and national parks, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re in the mood for hiking, exploring museums, or simply immersing yourself in nature’s beauty, these day trip destinations have it all.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your map, pack some snacks, and let’s embark on a day trip adventure from Fort Collins. Get ready to explore the hidden gems and breathtaking landscapes that await you just a short drive away. Let’s dive into the top day trip destinations near Fort Collins and start planning your day trip itinerary today!

Scenic Drives and Outdoor Adventures

Embark on a day trip from Fort Collins and get ready for a scenic drive surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures. Just a short journey away from the city, you’ll find an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreation options to indulge in.

Start your day trip by hitting the road and immersing yourself in the stunning scenery that awaits. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, these day trip destinations near Fort Collins offer the perfect blend of serenity and excitement.

As you traverse through picturesque landscapes, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in various outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Unleash your adventurous spirit and explore the hidden gems that dot the surrounding areas.

Experience the thrill of adrenaline-pumping activities like whitewater rafting along the Cache la Poudre River or zip-lining through the treetops of Roosevelt National Forest. Tackle the challenging trails of Rocky Mountain National Park or soak in the tranquility of Poudre Canyon while casting your fishing line into the crystal-clear waters.

With its diverse range of day trip activities, Fort Collins proves to be an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures or a serene escape.

Outdoor Adventure Checklist

Before you set off on your day trip, make sure you have everything you need for a successful outdoor adventure:

  • Comfortable hiking or walking shoes
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Binoculars for wildlife spotting
  • Camera to capture the scenic views

So pack your bags, fuel up your car, and embark on an unforgettable day trip from Fort Collins filled with scenic drives and thrilling outdoor adventures.

Fort Collins day trip activities

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, located just a short day trip away from Fort Collins. This national park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and wildlife enthusiasts alike. With its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, it offers a truly unforgettable experience.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Explore over 415 square miles of pristine wilderness, from towering mountain peaks to tranquil alpine meadows. The park is home to numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks, allowing you to discover its hidden gems at your own pace.

Keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and colorful bird species. Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant throughout the park, providing a chance to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Rocky Mountain National Park is a true natural wonder. Its beauty and serenity will leave you in awe, and the multitude of outdoor activities available make it a perfect day trip destination from Fort Collins.” – Sarah, Fort Collins resident

For those seeking a scenic drive, the Trail Ridge Road offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. With its winding road and high elevation, it is one of the most breathtaking drives in Colorado.

Hiking Trails

Here are some popular hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park:

  • Emerald Lake Trail
  • Sky Pond Trail
  • Alberta Falls Trail
  • Chasm Lake Trail

Wildlife Viewing Areas

Make sure to visit these wildlife viewing areas in the park:

  1. Moraine Park
  2. Horseshoe Park
  3. Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Visitor Centers

Learn more about the park and its fascinating history at the various visitor centers:

  • Beaver Meadows Visitor Center
  • Alpine Visitor Center
  • Fall River Visitor Center

Plan your day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that await.

Estes Park

When it comes to picturesque mountain towns near Fort Collins, Estes Park is a must-visit destination. Located just a short drive away, this charming town offers a perfect day trip for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Estes Park is renowned for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and its close proximity to the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park.

As you venture into Estes Park, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking landscapes, towering peaks, and an abundance of wildlife. The town itself boasts a vibrant atmosphere with cozy shops, galleries, and restaurants, perfect for exploring and indulging in local delights. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, leisurely strolls, or cultural experiences, Estes Park has it all.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be thrilled with the wide range of activities available. Explore the spectacular trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, go hiking to see stunning vistas, or enjoy a picnic among nature’s wonders. For a more laid-back experience, take a scenic drive through the park, capturing the beauty of the mountains, forests, and lakes.

Estes Park is also a haven for wildlife lovers. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, bighorn sheep, or even the majestic bald eagles that call this area home. Take a leisurely walk along the charming downtown riverwalk, where you can spot trout swimming in the clear waters of the Big Thompson River.

After a day of adventure, immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the iconic Stanley Hotel, known for its historical charm and inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Explore the galleries and boutiques that showcase the artistic talent of the area, or simply relax in one of the many scenic spots and soak in the beauty that surrounds you.

Estes Park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and small-town charm, making it a top choice for a day trip from Fort Collins.

Estes Park

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of mountain town life, Estes Park has something for everyone. Its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park makes it an ideal destination for exploring the great outdoors and immersing yourself in nature’s wonders.

Places to Visit in Estes Park:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • The Stanley Hotel
  • Downtown Estes Park
  • Estes Park Aerial Tramway
  • Estes Park Museum

Outdoor Activities in Estes Park:

  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Mountain biking
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife watching
  • Horseback riding

Poudre Canyon

Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Poudre Canyon, one of the top day trip destinations from Fort Collins. Located just a short drive away, this picturesque canyon offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Begin your adventure with a scenic drive along the Cache la Poudre River, where you can witness breathtaking views of towering cliffs, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. The winding roads provide an awe-inspiring journey that is sure to captivate your senses.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, lace up your boots and explore the numerous trails that wind through the canyon. From easy strolls to challenging treks, there’s a trail for every skill level. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch and find a serene spot to enjoy a meal amidst nature’s tranquility.

For those who enjoy fishing, the Poudre River is a haven. Cast your line into the crystal-clear waters and try your luck at catching trout, a prized fish in these parts. Spend the day by the river, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.

Day trip ideas from Fort Collins

If you’re seeking a thrilling whitewater rafting experience, look no further than the Cache la Poudre River. This river offers various levels of rapids, providing an adrenaline-pumping adventure for both beginners and experienced rafters alike.

As the day draws to a close, take a moment to bask in the vibrant hues of the sunset reflecting off the canyon walls. Capture this magical moment and create lasting memories.

Hike and Fish in Poudre Canyon

Get ready for an unforgettable day trip as you hike the scenic trails and cast your line into the Poudre River. Here are some highlights:

  1. Explore a network of trails, ranging from leisurely walks to challenging hikes.
  2. Discover breathtaking viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the canyon.
  3. Enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst the serenity of nature.
  4. Relax by the riverside and try your hand at fishing for trout.
  5. Experience heart-pounding adventure with whitewater rafting on the Cache la Poudre River.

Witness the natural wonders of Poudre Canyon and make the most of your day trip from Fort Collins. This hidden gem is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Activity Details
Scenic Drives Enjoy a picturesque drive along the winding roads of Poudre Canyon, taking in breathtaking views of cliffs, forests, and waterfalls.
Hiking Explore a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels, offering opportunities to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.
Fishing Cast your line into the Poudre River, known for its trout population, and enjoy a day of peaceful fishing.
Whitewater Rafting Experience the thrill of navigating rapids on the Cache la Poudre River, an exhilarating adventure for all.

Embark on a day trip to Poudre Canyon and indulge in the wonders of nature. Its breathtaking landscapes, outdoor activities, and serene atmosphere make it a perfect escape from the bustling city.


Looking for an exciting day trip from Fort Collins? Head to Boulder, a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and a thriving food scene. Just a short drive away, Boulder is one of the top day trip destinations for Fort Collins residents and visitors alike.

Start your day trip by exploring Boulder’s downtown area, filled with unique shops, art galleries, and charming cafes. Take a leisurely stroll along the famous Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly street lined with street performers, shops, and restaurants. Indulge in some retail therapy as you browse through locally owned boutiques and galleries, or simply relax and people-watch from one of the outdoor patio cafes.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Boulder offers incredible opportunities for adventure. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a scenic hike in the stunning Flatirons, iconic rock formations that dominate the city’s skyline. These majestic sandstone slabs offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and are a favorite destination for rock climbers and nature enthusiasts.

After working up an appetite, experience Boulder’s renowned food scene. From farm-to-table eateries to innovative culinary concepts, the city is a food lover’s heaven. Indulge in a delicious brunch at one of the many trendy cafes or savor a gourmet dinner at a fine dining establishment. With numerous fantastic dining options, Boulder offers a wide array of cuisines to satisfy every palate.

“Boulder is a city that combines natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and a vibrant downtown scene. It’s the perfect day trip destination for anyone looking to explore beyond Fort Collins.”

Complete your day trip with a visit to one of Boulder’s many attractions, such as the University of Colorado Boulder campus or the fascinating Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. If you’re more interested in culture and history, explore the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art or catch a performance at the historic Boulder Theater.

So, if you’re searching for the best day trips from Fort Collins, look no further than Boulder. Immerse yourself in its lively atmosphere, stunning natural landscapes, and diverse culinary experiences, making unforgettable memories along the way.

Red Feather Lakes

Escape to the peaceful and serene Red Feather Lakes, where you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Just a short distance from Fort Collins, Red Feather Lakes offers the perfect day trip destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

one-day trips near Fort Collins

Surrounded by lush forests and picturesque lakes, Red Feather Lakes provides a tranquil setting for hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the area, offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

Bring along your fishing gear and cast a line in one of the pristine lakes around Red Feather Lakes. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you wait for a bite, surrounded by the beauty of the natural surroundings.

For those seeking a more relaxed day trip, simply take in the stunning scenery and embrace the peaceful atmosphere. Bring a picnic and find a scenic spot to unwind and enjoy the serenity of Red Feather Lakes.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or a peaceful escape, Red Feather Lakes has something for everyone. Plan your day trip today and experience the beauty of this hidden gem near Fort Collins.


As you explore the day trip destinations near Fort Collins, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Greeley. This historic city offers a delightful blend of fascinating museums, a vibrant downtown, and a rich agricultural heritage.

Immerse yourself in Greeley’s past by strolling through its historic downtown. Admire the beautifully preserved architecture and charming Main Street, lined with local shops, boutiques, and restaurants. You’ll find unique treasures and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere as you explore this bustling area.

Greeley is also renowned for its captivating museums, which provide a glimpse into the city’s diverse history. Learn about the pioneering spirit of the early settlers at the Centennial Village Museum, where you can walk through restored buildings and experience life in the late 19th century.

If you have an interest in art, be sure to visit the Greeley Art Museum. This cultural gem showcases a diverse collection of contemporary art and hosts engaging exhibitions and events throughout the year.

When it comes to Greeley’s agricultural heritage, the city proudly celebrates its roots. Visit the Greeley Freight Station Museum, housed in a beautifully restored train depot, to learn about the significance of rail transportation in the region’s agricultural development. You can also explore the Colorado Model Railroad Museum, featuring intricate model trains that depict the history of railroads in the state.

Discover Greeley’s fascinating history, explore its downtown charm, and immerse yourself in its agricultural heritage.

Indulge in the delectable local cuisine and experience the flavors of the region at one of Greeley’s many dining options. From farm-to-table eateries to international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Plan your day trip to Greeley and enjoy a delightful blend of history, culture, and gastronomy, all within a short distance from Fort Collins.

Greeley day trip destinations

Greeley Day Trip Highlights

Attraction Description
Historic Downtown Greeley Explore the preserved architecture, charming shops, and local restaurants along Main Street.
Centennial Village Museum Step back in time and experience life in the late 19th century in this beautifully restored historic village.
Greeley Art Museum Discover contemporary art exhibitions and collections showcasing the talent of local and national artists.
Greeley Freight Station Museum Learn about Greeley’s agricultural heritage and the importance of rail transportation in the region.
Colorado Model Railroad Museum Marvel at the intricate model train displays that depict the history of railroads in Colorado.

Wyoming Border

Looking for more day trip ideas from Fort Collins? Head towards the Wyoming border and explore the unique landscapes, abundant wildlife, and attractions in Fort Collins’ neighboring state. With its close proximity to Fort Collins, Wyoming offers a range of enticing options for a memorable day trip.

Experience the rugged beauty of Wyoming’s natural scenery, from rolling plains to majestic mountains. Discover hidden gem destinations that showcase the state’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone at the Wyoming border.

Outdoor Adventure

Immerse yourself in outdoor adventure at Wyoming’s numerous state parks and national forests. Engage in activities like hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting in the vast wilderness. Take a scenic drive through scenic byways, offering breathtaking views and opportunities to connect with nature.

Historical Exploration

Delve into Wyoming’s rich history by exploring its historic sites and museums. Visit landmark locations that played a significant role in the region’s development. Uncover the stories of Native American tribes, mountain men, and pioneers who shaped Wyoming’s past.

Attractions and Entertainment

Discover unique attractions and entertainment options near the Wyoming border. From rodeos to cowboy culture, experience the vibrant western heritage that defines this region. Explore charming towns and local establishments that offer a glimpse into Wyoming’s authentic way of life.

Wildlife Encounters

Embark on wildlife encounters in Wyoming’s pristine natural habitats. Spot iconic species like elk, bison, and pronghorn as you journey through scenic areas. Capture awe-inspiring moments and create lasting memories with the diverse wildlife that call Wyoming home.

Attractions Distance from Fort Collins
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum Approximately 45 miles
Buffalo Bill Center of the West Approximately 240 miles
Devils Tower National Monument Approximately 240 miles

Explore the wonders of the Wyoming border, just a short trip away from Fort Collins. With its diverse offerings and natural beauty, it is no wonder that Wyoming is among the best day trips from Fort Collins. Plan your next adventure and make unforgettable memories in this neighboring state.

Day trip ideas from Fort Collins


Explore the capital city of Wyoming, Cheyenne, and immerse yourself in its rich western history, cultural events, and bustling downtown. Just a short distance from Fort Collins, Cheyenne offers a range of attractions and activities that make for an exciting day trip.

Western History

Delve into the fascinating western history of Cheyenne by visiting historic sites and museums. The Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that highlight the heritage and traditions of the American West.

Fort Collins day trip activities

Cultural Events

Experience the vibrant cultural scene of Cheyenne through its year-round events and festivals. One of the city’s most famous events is the Cheyenne Frontier Days, known as the “Daddy of ’em All,” which features rodeo competitions, live music performances, parades, and more.

“Cheyenne Frontier Days is an incredible celebration of western culture and heritage. The rodeo events and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the Wild West.”

– Traveler Magazine

Bustling Downtown

Stroll through the vibrant downtown area of Cheyenne and explore its unique shops, art galleries, and local restaurants. The historic Union Pacific Depot is a must-see, with its stunning architecture and fascinating railroad history.

Attractions Activities
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum Exhibits on western history
Cheyenne Frontier Days Live music, rodeo competitions, parades
Union Pacific Depot Historic architecture, railroad history

With its rich heritage, lively cultural events, and charming downtown area, Cheyenne is a perfect destination for a day trip from Fort Collins. Explore the capital city of Wyoming and discover its unique attractions and activities.


Explore the charming town of Loveland, one of the top day trip destinations from Fort Collins. Known for its vibrant art scene and charming downtown area, Loveland offers a delightful mix of attractions and activities for visitors.

In Loveland, you can immerse yourself in the world of art. The town is famously referred to as the “Sweetheart City” and is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and outdoor sculptures. Take a leisurely stroll through the city center and discover captivating works of art that bring beauty and creativity to every corner. From contemporary masterpieces to intricate sculptures, Loveland’s art scene is truly remarkable.

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Artworks Loveland is a must. This contemporary art space features exhibitions, artist studios, and workshops where you can witness the creative process firsthand and engage with local artists.


Besides its art scene, Loveland is also known for its delightful downtown area. Spend time exploring the boutiques, specialty shops, and quaint eateries that line the streets. From unique gifts to handmade crafts, you’ll find something special for yourself or your loved ones.

If you’re seeking outdoor activities, Loveland won’t disappoint. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, making it an ideal destination for hiking, biking, and fishing. Head to Boyd Lake State Park and enjoy a day of outdoor adventure with stunning lake views and recreational activities.

“Loveland offers a unique blend of art, culture, and outdoor beauty. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a charming town to explore, Loveland is sure to captivate your heart.”

In summary, Loveland is a wonderful addition to your day trip itinerary from Fort Collins. Explore its vibrant art scene, wander through the charming downtown area, and bask in the natural beauty that surrounds the town. With its artistic charm and picturesque landscapes, Loveland is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories.


Uncover the best day trip ideas from Fort Collins and plan your next adventure to explore the surrounding areas. Whether you choose to embark on scenic drives, discover charming towns, or engage in outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone just a short journey away from Fort Collins.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, where breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife await. Visit the picturesque Poudre Canyon for a scenic drive along the Cache la Poudre River and opportunities for hiking and fishing. Explore charming mountain towns like Estes Park and Red Feather Lakes, where you can soak in the serene atmosphere and enjoy outdoor recreation.

For a change of pace, take a day trip to Boulder or Greeley and experience vibrant downtown areas, fascinating museums, and thriving food scenes. Don’t forget to venture to the Wyoming border and discover the unique landscapes and attractions of Fort Collins’ neighboring state. And if you’re interested in western history and cultural events, make sure to explore the capital city of Wyoming, Cheyenne.

With so many options to choose from, start planning your day trips today and enrich your Fort Collins experience with unforgettable adventures and discoveries.

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