What Are The Best Day Trips From Fort Collins?
Whether you’re looking for an abundance of outdoor activities, a good place to raise a family, or a place with an exciting social scene, Fort Collins, Colorado has it all and more! There’s a reason this city can be frequently found at the top of “best of” lists.
As experts on the area, Dream Finders Homes knows a thing or two about all of the fun day trips in Colorado. As home building experts, we also know a thing or two about homes featuring unsurpassed quality, uncompromising value, and an extraordinary level of personalization.
If you’re thinking of moving your family to the Fort Collins area (known to the locals as FoCo), you’ll find that there are so many interesting ways to explore and spend quality time together. Here, we’ll take a look at a few fun day trips from Fort Collins. Let’s go!
There’s Plenty of Things to Do Near Fort Collins!
Even though there’s plenty to do in Northern Colorado, we have our own list of recommendations. Here are some fun things to do near Fort Collins:
Rocky Mountain National Park
From camping to fishing, picnicking to horseback riding, Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park has all kinds of family fun! It has 355 miles of hiking trails, ranging from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain peak climbs. There are over 50 lakes for sport fishing, plus 60 species of mammals, 280 recorded bird species, and countless insects to identify. Just an hour or so from Fort Collins, Estes Park offers crisp mountain air and breathtaking scenery along with all kinds of entertainment, learning, and exploration.
Red Feather Lakes
Located about an hour from Fort Collins, the Red Feather Lakes area is a year-round outdoor playground. Surrounded by the 612,000-acre Roosevelt National Forest, this rustic mountain village has beautiful scenery, diverse wildlife, and hiking trails. The nearby Cache La Poudre River is ideal for whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing. The Cache La Poudre-North Park scenic and historic byway is a great way to explore the region.
Pawnee National Grasslands
Unlike the expected geography in Colorado, the Pawnee National Grasslands are an open short-grass prairie. Located in the northeast corner of the state, these 193,000 acres offer a completely different view of Colorado. The area is a haven for people of all ages who like hiking, nature, and wildlife. Primitive camping areas are abundant, surrounded by sand-swept gullies and arroyos. With minimal light pollution, the Grassland is a great place to stargaze. (Late fall is the best time.) Each year, thousands of migrating birds stop to visit. More than 300 species have been identified. The best time of year for bird-watching is May and June, during migration and nesting.
An hour or so south of Fort Collins, Denver has a vibrant, walkable downtown offering adventures for all ages. Within a one-mile radius, visitors can kayak on the Platte River, explore great museums, browse unique boutiques, and enjoy live music.
Family-Friendly Attractions. There’s fun for everyone at the Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park water park, mini-golf at Urban Putt, the Downtown Aquarium, or the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.
Museums. Denver has an incredible array of museums, from the Denver Art Museum’s Indigenous and Western art collections to the collection at the American Museum of Western Art. Learn more about the history of the West at History Colorado Center and the Center for Colorado Women’s History at Byers-Evans House Museum.
Performing Arts. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the largest performing arts complex under one roof in the country. It is home to four companies: the Colorado Ballet, Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
For adventure lovers, Colorado Springs has plenty of options. Set near the base of Pikes Peak, this sprawling city offers everything from hiking to zip lining, whitewater rafting to climbing. Iconic Pikes Peak’s 14,115-foot summit challenges and inspires visitors. Via Ferrata offers visitors the chance to traverse high above Williams Canyon on limestone cliffs, a unique way to experience Colorado’s rugged beauty. The Arkansas River, the most popular river for rafting in the United States, and the famous Royal Gorge offer both family-friendly and high-adventure experiences. At the Flying W Ranch, you can test your aim and strength with archery and ax throwing. All this fun is just 2 hours from Fort Collins!
Just an hour from Fort Collins is Boulder, the Happiest City in the U.S. according to National Geographic. With a reputation for a laid-back lifestyle, breathtaking views of the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains, and great food, it’s no wonder it is one of Colorado’s most beloved cities. Like many other towns, you’ll find great hiking trails. But there’s also plenty of shopping, interesting cultural events, acclaimed restaurants, and over two dozen craft breweries. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway!
Skiing, Of Course!
Fort Collins is an hour away from I-70 — the interstate most commonly used to get to most of Colorado’s ski resorts. Here are some of the best resorts for skiing near Fort Collins:
Arapahoe Basin | Silverthorne, CO. Colloquially known as A-bay, this is one of the closest resorts to Fort Collins. Arapahoe Basin is an intermediate mountain, accessible for any level of skier, with snowfall averaging 350 inches and a strong base even into early June. A-bay is one of the highest ski resorts in North America with a base elevation of 10,520 feet and a summit of 13,050 feet.
Eldora Mountain Resort | Nederland, CO. Located in the sleepy mountain town that is home to the Barker Meadow Reservoir, Eldora is a great choice for beginners. Eldora’s trail map shows mostly greens and blues with a few steep and fast black diamonds. From Boulder, it’s a quick trip up the hill to Nederland and then ten minutes to Eldora Mountain.
Copper Mountain | Leadville, CO. Copper is located right off I-70 before Vail Pass. It’s one of the more popular mountains in Colorado, attracting skiers and riders of all abilities. Copper Mountain has Ikon Pass status and a great location further down I-70, making it easy to avoid the crowds and ride great snow. It is an ideal destination for Fort Collins residents.
Winter Park Resort | Granby, CO. Another all-ability mountain with great on-mountain restaurants. Winter Park’s terrain is perfect for any skier/rider. The mountain is comprised of seven “territories” that have different types of terrain. Winter Park is off I-70, around 30 minutes past Idaho Springs. It is a bit farther than the other resorts, but the consistent snow, great terrain, and high-rated accommodations make up for the extra drive.
Steamboat Springs Resort | Steamboat Springs, CO. Steamboat is known for having some of the best snow in Colorado as it sits farther north. And due to its location (roughly three hours west of Fort Collins), it doesn’t draw large crowds, making the lift lines shorter and faster. It is the farthest from Fort Collins, however, there are a couple of ways to reach it. Steamboat’s lively downtown keeps people coming back, too.
Check Out Our Homes for Sale in Fort Collins, CO While They Last!
The Reserve at Timberline is a breathtaking community nestled in southeast Fort Collins. This exclusive neighborhood offers the perfect balance of natural serenity and modern convenience. The Reserve at Timberline’s carefully planned layout boasts an array of thoughtfully designed homes. From luxurious single-family residences to spacious paired homes, each showcases innovative architectural styles that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Meticulously landscaped yards and well-preserved green spaces create an inviting look throughout. Located just a short distance from the heart of Fort Collins, residents have easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
Northfield is our newest community in Fort Collins. Dream Finders Homes is thrilled to introduce a unique 3-story townhome plan. These new plans offer 2 car garages along with open floorplans and an array of designer options. Our LEED-certified homes are designed to provide clean indoor air and ample natural light to ensure comfort and good health. These new townhomes will feature solar panels, which will help reduce energy and water consumption, thereby lowering utility bills each month, among other financial benefits. Northfield amenities include a private clubhouse, fitness center, and a pool with a tanning deck. Northfield is in a great location, within walking distance to Downtown Fort Collins, local breweries, and a short drive to multiple trailheads.
Country Club Reserve is located approximately one mile north of the Fort Collins Country Club and offers community amenities, including walking trails and open space throughout more than half of the community. Dream Finders Homes is offering some of our best-rated floorplans, ranging from 1,894 square feet to 2,630 square feet, featuring open great rooms, spacious kitchens, and optional finished basements. Country Club Reserve offers something for everyone, from its prime location to its proximity to everyday conveniences and activities the whole family can enjoy. Local amenities include the neighboring Fort Collins Country Club (golf, tennis, swimming, fitness center). Country Club Reserve is less than 10 minutes from I-25.
Vibrant Waterfield offers an array of exciting features that cater to the modern lifestyle. Fenced-in yards provide a perfect space for outdoor activities, gardening, or simply relaxing. Pursue an active lifestyle with numerous trails and walking paths throughout the community. Experience the great outdoors with a planned park and dedicated wetlands area. A planned dog park offers a safe and fun space for your furry friends to socialize and play. Walk or bike to nearby shops, breweries, and local amenities, and indulge in the vibrant culture that Fort Collins has to offer. Dream Finders Homes invites you to be a part of this exciting new opportunity to own your dream home in this incredible Fort Collins location.
Contact Dream Finders Today!
If you’re considering making a move to the area, Dream Finders Homes is your go-to resource. We have unique communities in the Fort Collins area, including Country Club Reserve, Northfield, Waterfield, and Reserve at Timberline. They include amenities and features that perfectly match what makes these areas so great. Our homes also come in a range of floor plans with an extraordinary level of personalization. Or if you need something a bit sooner, we have quick move-in homes, too. Connect with us to learn more about our homes for sale in Fort Collins, CO.