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 $6 (check, cash or credit card). 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, credit card, check or cash).
TrailsThe Black Powder Trail is 0.8 miles and climbs steeply to an expansive view of the Poudre Canyon. The Overlook Trail is 0.3 miles and it climbs steeply to a beautiful ridgetop. Visitors may also access City of Greeley's Seaman Reservoir through Gateway Natural Area. The reservoir is 1 mile from Gateway via a flat dirt road with a short climb at the end. Trail map >>>
Gateway Natural Area is open from dawn to dusk. Entering or returning through Gateway is not permitted after 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
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Tracks & Trails booklet guide, available in May.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
- Free educational programs at Gateway Natural Area are available for groups by request, call the Master Naturalist Program at 970-224-6118 or email .
- Gateway is available for adoption! By picking up litter, adopters enhance habitat for wildlife and native plants while increasing fellow visitors' enjoyment. Volunteers to help maintain the natural playground are also being sought.
- Gateway Natural Area Brochure (PDF 2MB)
- Important Rules (PDF 411KB)
- Group & Event Guidelines (PDF 420KB)
- Shelter Guidelines (PDF 418KB)
- Annual parking pass application (PDF 415KB)
- Fees at Gateway Natural Area