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 for $50 a shelter.
The daily parking fee at Gateway Natural Area is $5 (check or cash only). Parking is free in December, January, and February. 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, check or cash only).
The Black Powder Trail is 3/4 mile, and climbs steeply to great views. The Overlook Trail is 1/4 mile and it climbs to the top of another good viewpoint. From Gateway, visitors may also hike to Seaman Reservoir, 1 mile to base of dam, the trail begins at Gateway Natural Area and then enters Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado Division of Wildlife and City of Greeley property.
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 .