Gateway Natural Area
Gateway Natural Area is the kind of place you will want to bring your family for a day in the mountains and definitely a place you will be proud to say is part of Fort Collins. Gateway Natural Area (formerly Gateway Mountain Park) is the site of the city's old water filtration plant, where the North Fork of the Poudre River joins the main Poudre River. Visitors enjoy it because its tucked away from the noise of Highway 14 and Gateway is only 15 miles from Fort Collins! You'll find hiking trails, a designated launch area for kayaks and canoes, fishing, picnic tables with grills, informational kiosks and a natural playground.
Most of the materials for the natural playground were reused/ recycled or were found on site. Elements include stepping stumps, a rock streambed, a wooden boardwalk, a sandy area, a carved boat, a rustic log ladder, rock walls and a willow tunnel.
Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first serve basis or can be reserved (see below).
The daily parking fee at Gateway Natural Area is $5 (check or cash only). Parking is free in December, January, and February. There is a courtesy extension of free parking this year, until May 1st (or earlier if the Gateway bridge is repaired prior to May 1st). Fees will resume on May 1st even if the bridge is not completed. An annual pass is available and can be purchased at the Natural Areas Department, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road (8-5 M-F, check or credit card only) or at the Gateway Natural Area Office (hours vary, credit card, check or cash).
TrailsAccess to the Black Powder Trail and Seaman Reservoir is closed. The bridge over the Poudre River that provides access to these sites was damaged in the flooding in September 2013. Visitors may wade across the river at their own risk. The bridge is expected to be rebuilt by May 15. The Overlook Trail is open. Overlook Trail is 1/4 mile and it climbs to a viewpoint of the canyon. Trail map >>>
Gateway Natural Area is open from dawn to dusk.
Gateway Natural Area is located at 5216 Poudre Canyon Highway (Hwy 14). Take Highway 287 to Highway 14 West, then travel 5.2 miles on Hwy 14 West. Gateway Natural Area is on the right side of the road.
Events & Activities
- Would you like monthly activity updates, trail recommendations and more? Sign up for the Natural Areas electronic newsletter in the upper right corner of this page.
- Free educational programs at Gateway Natural Area are available for groups by request, call the Master Naturalist Program at 970-416-2480 or email .