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Key Info

4200 W. County Road 38 E.

Price & Hours

$9 per vehicle
24/7 daily


Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Originally developed in the 1930s to provide area farmers with a steady supply of water for their crops, Horsetooth Reservoir is now a one-stop shop for outdoor activities. Here, visitors can hike, bike and horseback ride around the 6 ½-mile reservoir, which sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet. Alternatively, they can make a splash in the water itself by kayaking, swimming or stand-up paddleboarding. Travelers also have the option to camp on-site in tents or cabins.

Past visitors enjoyed their time at the reservoir, saying the trails and water activities are great fun. They also praised the scenery and the views of the reservoir's namesake, Horsetooth Rock.

Horesetooth Reservoir welcomes visitors year-round. Though you can stop by the reservoir any time, the information center – on the South Bay – is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from March to October and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday November through February. Daily passes cost $9 per vehicle. Campsites incur an additional daily fee and the price varies depending on the type of site you select. Kayak, paddleboard and boat rentals are available at the reservoir at the Inlet Bay Marina as well as in the South Bay area. Fees vary by rental, but you can expect to pay around $20 per hour for a nonmotorized rental. Visit the reservoir's website for more information regarding hiking trails, water temperatures and campsite reservations.

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#2 Cache la Poudre River

The Cache la Poudre River – simply called the "Poudre" by locals – is Colorado's sole Wild and Scenic River, as designated by the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The 76-mile waterway winds down from the Rocky Mountain National Park through Fort Collins. Along the recreational sections of the river, visitors can go whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking and fishing. They may also have opportunities to hike, particularly along the Poudre River Trail, or bike along the river.

In town, you can access the river at the Poudre River Whitewater Park for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and swimming. The 9-acre park has two different river access points (an accessible ramp is located on the north bank) as well as two drop structures to create waves. However, because the river has an inconsistent flow, you'll need to check the water's depth on the City of Fort Collins website before you go. Additionally, you'll need to rent your water sports equipment from a local shop and bring it to the park; no rentals are available on-site.

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