Easy & Awesome Day Trips from Fort Collins

Newcomers to Fort Collins often ask about what there is to do in the area.

Probably the most popular day trip is to drive through Loveland and up Highway 34 to Rocky Mountain National Park (or as it is known locally..RMNP).  Keep an eye out for the mountain sheep that are often near the road in the first 5-10 miles up the canyon.  In summertime you should include a hike in the park...unless you have never driven over Trail Ridge Road.  In the winter Trail Ridge is closed, so rent snowshoes at the rental shop just as you enter the Estes Park Valley for about $5 a pair and use them in the Bear Lake area of RMNP.  The views are spectacular and you are usually rewarded with seeing a moose close to the road, if you drive on down to Grand Lake when Trail Ridge Road is open.  If you make it to Grand Lake, park your vehicle and walk along the docks in town.  My wife, Anita, also likes to stop at the particularly great quilt and knitting shop in town.  We prefer to go back to Estes to eat along the river at Poppys which has great pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

Another great day trip is to drive up Poudre Canyon.  Go over Cameron Pass and drop down into North Park.  In the Gould area you can often stop to see moose not far from the road. The Canyon is beautiful and so is North Park.  As you drive across it towards Steamboat Springs you are surrounded by mountains.  Enjoy the views in this very beautiful area.  Then go over to Steamboat and enjoy the beautiful Yampa Valley.  There is usually something going on in Steamboat....rodeos, hot water spas, boating, skiing, and snowshoeing.  A great place to eat is at the Rio Grande Restaurant in the old town (not in the ski area).

Posted on July 16, 2013 .