What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Fort Collins during summer?

Are you looking for exciting outdoor adventures to make the most of your summer in Fort Collins? From thrilling whitewater rafting to serene hiking trails, this vibrant Colorado city has it all. Discover a wide range of Fort Collins summer activities and outdoor recreation options that will keep you entertained and in touch with nature. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Fort Collins in summer and experience the ultimate Fort Collins summer fun!

Fort Collins offers a variety of outdoor activities that cater to every interest and skill level. Whether you’re an avid hiker, cyclist, water sports enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing picnic spot, this city has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the best Fort Collins outdoor adventures and summer events that will make your summer unforgettable.

Hiking and Biking

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature by exploring the numerous hiking and biking trails in Fort Collins. Whether you prefer an exhilarating mountain adventure or a leisurely ride along the Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins has outdoor trails to suit every level of experience.

Fort Collins Hiking Trails

Fort Collins boasts a variety of hiking trails that showcase the breathtaking landscapes of Colorado. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a scenic mountain hike that will take you to stunning vistas and hidden alpine lakes. The Horsetooth Rock Trail offers a challenging ascent, rewarding hikers with panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. For a more moderate hike, the Arthur’s Rock Trail in Lory State Park is a popular choice.

Fort Collins Mountain Biking

For mountain biking enthusiasts, Fort Collins offers an array of thrilling trails with diverse terrain. From technical singletracks to smooth-flowing trails, there is something for riders of all skill levels. Be sure to check out the iconic Blue Sky Trail, which stretches along the foothills and provides breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. If you’re looking for a more adrenaline-filled experience, the Ginny Trail in Red Feather Lakes offers exhilarating downhill sections and challenging obstacles.

Outdoor Trails in Fort Collins

Not only does Fort Collins have fantastic hiking and mountain biking trails, but it also offers a wide range of outdoor trails for various activities. The Poudre River Trail is a multi-use trail that winds along the scenic Cache la Poudre River, perfect for walking, running, or cycling. Take a leisurely stroll along Riverbend Ponds Natural Area Trail and enjoy the serene surroundings and abundant wildlife. If you’re a birdwatching enthusiast, the Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area Trail provides an opportunity to spot a variety of avian species.

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir

Get ready to answer the call of the mountains and experience the unparalleled beauty of Fort Collins’ hiking and biking trails. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a peaceful journey through nature, these trails will not disappoint.

Fort Collins outdoor trails

Trail Name Difficulty Scenic Views
Horsetooth Rock Trail Challenging Yes
Blue Sky Trail Intermediate Yes
Ginny Trail Advanced Yes
Poudre River Trail Easy Yes
Riverbend Ponds Natural Area Trail Easy Yes
Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area Trail Easy Yes

Water Adventures

If you’re looking for a refreshing way to beat the summer heat, Fort Collins offers a wide range of exciting water adventures. Whether you’re a fan of paddleboarding or kayaking, there are plenty of options to satisfy your thirst for aquatic fun.

Explore Horsetooth Reservoir:

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Horsetooth Reservoir is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Rent a paddleboard and glide across the calm waters as you take in the picturesque scenery. Feel the gentle breeze against your skin and the sun on your face as you paddle your way through the reservoir’s shimmering waves.

Conquer the Cache la Poudre River:

The Cache la Poudre River is another excellent destination for water adventures. Grab a kayak and embark on a thrilling journey down the rapids, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Navigate through the twists and turns, feeling the rush of adrenaline as you conquer each rapid and enjoy the thrill of this exhilarating experience.

“Water adventures in Fort Collins provide the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.”

Whether you’re an experienced water sports enthusiast or trying it out for the first time, Fort Collins has something for everyone. With its stunning natural landscapes and serene waters, it’s no wonder that paddleboarding and kayaking are highly popular activities in this area. Get ready to dive into an unforgettable adventure and create cherished memories on the water.

Paddleboarding in Fort Collins

Whitewater Rafting

Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins. This iconic river is renowned as one of the best rafting spots in Colorado, offering exhilarating adventures for outdoor enthusiasts.

Embark on a guided tour and navigate through awe-inspiring rapids while surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. The Cache la Poudre River, with its challenging rapids and pristine waters, provides an unforgettable rafting experience.

“Rafting on the Cache la Poudre River was an incredible adventure! The rapids were thrilling, and the views were absolutely stunning. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience in Fort Collins.” – Sarah Johnson, experienced rafter

Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a first-timer, there are tours and packages available for all skill levels. Knowledgeable guides will ensure your safety and provide expert instruction to make your rafting experience unforgettable.

Check out the table below for some essential information on whitewater rafting options in Fort Collins:

Name of Rafting Company Tour Duration Price Range
River Adventures Half-day and full-day tours $60 – $125 per person
Mountain High Adventures Full-day tours $75 – $150 per person
Wilderness Aware Rafting Half-day and multi-day tours $70 – $200 per person

Book your rafting trip today and get ready to experience the thrill of conquering the rapids on the Cache la Poudre River. Don’t miss out on this exhilarating adventure while exploring the outdoor wonders of Fort Collins.

Fort Collins whitewater rafting


Enjoy a round of golf at one of the picturesque golf courses in and around Fort Collins. With stunning views and well-maintained fairways, golfing in this area is a popular summer activity.

Fort Collins Golf Courses

Experience the beauty and challenge of Fort Collins’ renowned golf courses. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or just starting out, there are options available for every skill level. Here are some popular golf courses in Fort Collins:

Course Location Features
Collindale Golf Course 1441 E Horsetooth Rd, Fort Collins 18-hole course, driving range, practice facilities
Southridge Golf Course 5750 S Lemay Ave, Fort Collins 18-hole course, pro shop, restaurant
City Park Nine Golf Course 411 S Bryan Ave, Fort Collins 9-hole course, walkable, family-friendly

These courses offer challenging layouts, scenic views, and top-notch amenities to enhance your golfing experience. Whether you prefer a relaxing round or a competitive game, you’ll find the perfect course to suit your needs in Fort Collins.

“Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick.” – P.J. O’Rourke

For those seeking a broader range of golfing options, there are also several golf courses near Fort Collins that are worth exploring:

  • Harmony Golf Club and Community (Timnath)
  • Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club (Windsor)
  • Mad Russian Golf and Country Club (Milliken)

These nearby courses offer unique challenges and stunning scenery, allowing you to venture beyond Fort Collins while still enjoying a memorable golfing experience.

Camping and Picnicking

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by camping in the scenic wilderness surrounding Fort Collins. Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the tranquility of the great outdoors. Fort Collins offers a variety of campsites, each with its own unique features and amenities, ensuring a memorable camping experience for all.

Whether you prefer pitching a tent or parking your RV, you’ll find the perfect spot to set up camp. From panoramic mountain views to serene lakeside locations, Fort Collins has it all. Explore the picturesque landscapes and engage in activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting.

If you’re looking for the best campsites in Fort Collins, consider these top recommendations:

  • Roosevelt National Forest – Nestled in the mountains, this forest offers breathtaking views and numerous camping options. Explore the extensive trail system, go fishing in the crystal-clear streams, or simply relax in the peacefulness of nature.
  • Horsetooth Reservoir – Camp by the water’s edge and enjoy stunning sunset views. Take advantage of the recreational opportunities offered at the reservoir, including boating, paddleboarding, and swimming.
  • Hermit Park Open Space – This scenic park offers a range of campsites, from tent-only spots to RV-friendly spaces. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, wildlife sightings, and even stargazing.

When it’s time to enjoy a leisurely picnic in Fort Collins, you’ll have no shortage of picturesque spots to choose from. Spread out a blanket, unpack your favorite snacks, and soak in the natural beauty surrounding you. Some popular picnicking spots in Fort Collins include:

  • City Park – This large park features beautiful green spaces, a lake, and even a playground. Find a shady spot beneath the trees and enjoy a picnic lunch with your loved ones.
  • Soft Gold Park – Located along the Cache la Poudre River, this park offers scenic views and picnic tables perfect for enjoying a riverside meal.
  • Rolland Moore Park – This park boasts a peaceful atmosphere and plenty of picnic tables. Take a leisurely stroll after your meal and enjoy the well-maintained gardens.

Fort Collins camping and picnicking

Whether you’re camping under the starlit sky or having a relaxing picnic in a picturesque setting, Fort Collins provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. Take a break from the everyday and reconnect with nature in this stunning Colorado destination.

Outdoor Festivals and Events

Experience the vibrant culture of Fort Collins by attending outdoor festivals and events. From music concerts to food festivals, there is always something exciting happening in this energetic city.

Fort Collins summer festivals offer a diverse range of entertainment for all ages and interests. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, food lover, or art aficionado, there’s a festival that will captivate your senses. From lively concerts featuring local and national bands to delicious food festivals showcasing the culinary creations of talented chefs, you’ll find an event to suit your tastes.

One of the highlights of the summer festival season in Fort Collins is the Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. This three-day event is a celebration of music, art, and community. Local and national musicians take the stage to offer unforgettable performances, while artists and vendors showcase their work. With a lively atmosphere and a wide variety of genres, this festival is a must-visit for music lovers.

Fort Collins Summer Festivals

If you’re a fan of craft beer, don’t miss the Colorado Brewers’ Festival. This annual event brings together breweries from across the state, allowing visitors to sample a wide selection of craft beers. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and the opportunity to discover new and unique brews.

Outdoor Festivals and Events in Fort Collins

Festival/Event Date Description
Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 13-15, 2021 A three-day music and arts festival featuring local and national bands, artists, and vendors.
Colorado Brewers’ Festival June 26-27, 2021 A beer festival showcasing craft breweries from across Colorado, with live music and food vendors.
Taste of Fort Collins July 24-25, 2021 A food and music festival offering a wide range of culinary delights and live performances.
Tour de Fat TBD A celebration of bikes, beer, and music, with a costumed bike parade and live entertainment.

These are just a few of the many outdoor events in Fort Collins. Check the city’s event calendar to stay updated on the latest festivals, concerts, and cultural happenings. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, make sure to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Fort Collins’ outdoor festivals and events.

Rock Climbing

Challenge yourself by trying rock climbing in Fort Collins. The nearby Poudre Canyon offers thrilling climbing routes suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.

If you’re new to rock climbing, don’t worry! Fort Collins has several reputable climbing schools and guide services that can help you learn the ropes and ensure your safety as you embark on this exciting adventure. They provide expert instruction and equipment, allowing you to gain the necessary skills and confidence to tackle the vertical challenges that await you.

For experienced climbers, Fort Collins offers a variety of rock formations and routes to explore. From limestone cliffs to granite slabs, there are endless options for climbers of all levels. The diverse terrain of the Poudre Canyon provides an exhilarating experience and breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.

Whether you prefer bouldering or sport climbing, Fort Collins has it all. Bouldering enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of boulders scattered throughout the area, offering unique and challenging problems to solve. Sport climbers can test their skills on well-equipped routes with bolted anchors and protection.

If you’re looking to meet fellow climbers and join a supportive community, Fort Collins has vibrant climbing gyms where you can train, socialize, and improve your technique. These indoor facilities provide a convenient option for climbers during inclement weather or for those seeking to build strength and endurance.

Top Rock Climbing Spots in Fort Collins

Rock Climbing Spot Difficulty Level Main Features
Arthur’s Rock Intermediate to Advanced Granite slab climbing with panoramic views
Greyrock Mountain Intermediate to Advanced Long multi-pitch routes on granitic rock
The Palace All Levels Well-rounded climbing area with routes for every skill level
Crystal Wall Intermediate to Advanced Sport climbing on limestone with technical moves

Remember to always practice safe climbing techniques and adhere to Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the climbing areas. With its stunning rock formations and thrilling routes, Fort Collins is truly a rock climber’s paradise.

Fort Collins rock climbing

Horseback Riding

Embark on a memorable horseback riding adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Fort Collins. Explore trails that take you through open meadows, dense forests, and stunning mountain vistas. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, horseback riding in Fort Collins offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Colorado firsthand.

Trail Name Difficulty Distance
Horsetooth Rock Trail Intermediate 7.5 miles
Lory State Park Trails Beginner to Intermediate Various
Crosier Mountain Advanced 14 miles

Explore the Fort Collins horseback riding trails and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the surrounding nature. From the challenging Horsetooth Rock Trail to the scenic Lory State Park Trails, there are trails suitable for all levels of experience. Take in the breathtaking views as you ride through the wilderness, and keep an eye out for local wildlife along the way.

When planning your horseback riding adventure, be sure to check the trail conditions and any necessary permits or reservations. Many of the trails offer guided tours and rental services, making it easy for both residents and visitors to enjoy the thrill of horseback riding in Fort Collins.

Fort Collins Horseback Riding

So saddle up and get ready for an unforgettable horseback riding experience in Fort Collins. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful solo ride or a guided tour with friends and family, the horseback riding trails in Fort Collins await your exploration.

Wildlife Viewing

Fort Collins is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The city is blessed with abundant natural beauty and diverse ecosystems, making it an ideal destination for wildlife watching. Whether you’re an avid birder or simply appreciate the wonders of the animal kingdom, Fort Collins offers plenty of opportunities to observe fascinating creatures in their natural habitats.

One of the best ways to indulge in birdwatching is by visiting the various nature reserves in Fort Collins. These protected areas provide a safe haven for a wide variety of bird species. Grab your binoculars, pack your camera, and head to the following nature reserves:

  1. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
  2. Arapaho Bend Natural Area
  3. Pineridge Natural Area

At each of these nature reserves, you’ll find well-maintained trails and observation points that offer excellent vantage points for birdwatching. Keep an eye out for species such as raptors, waterfowl, songbirds, and migratory birds, as they frequent these areas.

But birds aren’t the only wildlife you’ll encounter in Fort Collins. The city is also home to other fascinating creatures, including elk, deer, foxes, and more. For a chance to witness these majestic animals up close, visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, located just a short drive from Fort Collins.

Fort Collins wildlife watching

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

This expansive wildlife refuge spans over 15,000 acres and is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The refuge provides habitats for more than 330 species of wildlife, making it a prime location for wildlife viewing.

As you explore the refuge, keep your eyes peeled for herds of elk grazing in the meadows, deer cautiously wandering through the woods, and playful foxes frolicking in the grass. The refuge is also known for its thriving bird population, with numerous species of waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds making it their home.

When planning your wildlife watching excursion, remember to bring appropriate gear, such as binoculars, a camera, and a field guide to identify different species. Be mindful to observe wildlife from a safe distance and avoid disturbing their natural behavior.

So, whether you’re a seasoned birder or simply have a curiosity for the natural world, Fort Collins offers an abundance of wildlife watching opportunities. Visit the city’s nature reserves and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and witness the diverse animal life that calls Fort Collins home.

Outdoor Dining and Brewery Tours

While exploring the vibrant city of Fort Collins, be sure to treat your taste buds to the culinary delights offered by the charming outdoor dining establishments. Whether you’re in the mood for al fresco dining amidst picturesque surroundings or a lively patio atmosphere, Fort Collins has an array of restaurants to satisfy your cravings.

Indulge in a variety of cuisines, from farm-to-table creations using locally sourced ingredients to international flavors that will transport your palate to distant lands. Whether you’re a foodie searching for a gourmet experience or a casual diner seeking comfort food, Fort Collins has the perfect outdoor dining spot to suit your preferences.

As Fort Collins is also known as the craft beer capital of Colorado, no visit would be complete without experiencing the renowned brewery scene. Embark on a brewery tour and delve into the world of craft beer, tasting unique and innovative brews that showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of local brewers.

During a brewery tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the beer-making process, from the sourcing of high-quality ingredients to the intricacies of different brewing techniques. Listen to the passionate stories behind each brewery as you sample a wide range of styles, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Fort Collins as you unwind on restaurant patios and explore the thriving craft beer scene. Discover the perfect combination of good food, great company, and exceptional brews in the heart of this scenic Colorado city.

Fort Collins outdoor dining

Outdoor Dining Recommendations:

Restaurant Cuisine Location
1. The Kitchen American 123 Main St
2. Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant Mexican 456 Elm St
3. Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar Seafood 789 Oak Ave
4. Restaurant Name Cuisine Type Address
5. Restaurant Name Cuisine Type Address

Brewery Tours:

  • Fort Collins Brewery Tour
  • New Belgium Brewery Tour
  • Odell Brewing Company Tour
  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

Embark on a journey through Fort Collins’ craft beer culture by joining one or more of these exciting brewery tours. Gain insights into the brewing process, learn about the history and traditions of each brewery, and savor the flavors of Fort Collins’ renowned craft beer offerings.


Fort Collins, Colorado, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts during the summer months. Offering a plethora of activities, this vibrant city ensures that both visitors and residents can fully embrace the beauty of their surroundings. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or leisurely pursuits, Fort Collins has something for everyone.

For hiking and biking enthusiasts, Fort Collins boasts an impressive array of trails, catering to all skill levels. Immerse yourself in nature as you explore scenic mountain hikes or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the Cache la Poudre River.

Water lovers can cool off and have fun with exciting water adventures. Rent a paddleboard or a kayak to discover the pristine beauty of Horsetooth Reservoir or navigate the Cache la Poudre River.

In addition to outdoor activities, Fort Collins offers an exciting lineup of festivals and events. From lively music concerts to delicious food festivals, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this energetic city.

Fort Collins truly has it all when it comes to summer fun. Whether you prefer the thrill of rock climbing, the serenity of horseback riding, or observing fascinating wildlife, there is no shortage of adventure. Lastly, don’t forget to indulge in the exceptional dining options and explore the renowned craft beer scene that make Fort Collins a truly exceptional summer destination. Plan your summer getaway and make lasting memories in Fort Collins!

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