Discover Bobcat Ridge Natural Area! Youll find a grassy valley, foothills, ponderosa pines, stunning red rock cliffs and more. Bobcat Ridge is home to elk, wild turkey, mountain lions and other wildlife. Several historic homestead sites dot the landscape.
Note: This is one of the few Fort Collins natural areas on which dogs are not allowed. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is an on-trail-only natural area.
The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is purchasing 675-acres adjacent to Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The acquisition took place in two parts; 414 acres were bought in April 2022, and 261 acres in early 2023.
While the Buckhorn Addition will not be open to the public for some time, there are several potential opportunities for future visitor use including event space rentals and a trail network to connect to adjoining conserved lands. The addition includes a ranch homestead, a shop building, and structures associated with an event center.
"This acquisition is a real conservation and visitor success story. We are conserving wildlife habitat and the iconic viewshed of Bobcat Ridge, while planning for the future of visitor use in our community." said Katie Donahue, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Director.
Future public access will be planned and opportunities for public engagement will be available in the years after the real estate deals are finalized.
Thanks to a partnership with Larimer County Natural Resources, a portion of the purchase price was funded in exchange for a conservation easement on the entirety of Bobcat Ridge, which after both additional land acquisitions will total 3,280-acres.
The acquisition is in a high-priority area for both the City of Fort Collins and Larimer County. It eliminates 11, 35-acre homesites and a 28-lot subdivision, which were ready for development and would have negatively impacted the scenic values and wildlife corridors at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The Larimer County conservation easement is a pilot case in a new effort to encumber City-owned natural areas with conservation easements to perpetually protect conservation values.
The Buckhorn Addition to Bobcat Ridge provides excellent wildlife habitat and includes ponderosa pine forests, mountain mahogany shrublands, riparian areas along Buckhorn Creek, and rock outcroppings. The network of conserved lands around Bobcat Ridge are important for wildlife including elk, black bear, turkey, the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, and more.
Community members can leave feedback about the management of natural areas at fcgov.com/naturalareas/feedback.
Updates about the Buckhorn Addition to Bobcat Ridge will be posted on this website and in enews (subscribe by clicking "newsletter" at the top of this page).
- The Valley Loop Trail: Moderate, 4-mile loop
- Eden Valley Spur: moderate, an out and back route, 1.3 miles along the valley bottom.
- Ginny Trail: Very difficult, 5.4 miles, climbs 1,500 feet, open for hiking and mountain biking, closed to horses.
- D.R. Trail: Difficult, 3.4 miles long, climbs 1,100 feet, open to equestrians and hikers, closed to cyclists.
- Powerline Road: Very difficult, 1.5 miles long, climbs steeply with loose rocks so not recommended for horses, uphill only for cyclists.
E-bikes are not permitted on soft/natural surface trails. ADA mobility devices are allowed. Trail accessibility is found here.
Bobcat Ridge is open dawn to dusk, daily. The parking lot often fills to capacity on weekends and holidays. If the lot is full, please come back another time (no parking on the road). Horse trailer parking is limited to 8 spots. Check the camera below before you go!
Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Parking Lot Webcam#
Bobcat Ridge's address is 10184 West County Road 32C, Loveland.
From Fort Collins, take Harmony Road west, it turns into CR 38 E. Follow CR 38 E to Masonville. Go left (south) at the Masonville Mercantile onto CR 27. Follow CR 27 about 1 mile to CR 32 C, head west about 1 mile to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot.
From Loveland, go west on Highway 34 about 4.5 miles west of Wilson Avenue. Turn north on CR 27 by Big Thompson Elementary and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left on CR 32C and go 1 mile west to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot.
Valley Loop hikers
Child using mounted binoculars at Bobcat Ridge
Family hikes at Bobcat Ridge
Bear tracks at Bobcat Ridge
Horseback Riders by Crystal Strouse
CSU Pulliam Scholar teaches at Bobcat Ridge
Bobcat Ridge Cameron Peak Fire Information
About 80% of Bobcat Ridge was burned in the Cameron Peak Fire in October 2020.
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- Bobcat Ridge site brochure includes a trail map.
- Video overview of Bobcat Ridge posted on YouTube.
- Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Ranger Office 970-461-2700
- Special people have volunteered to take an active role in the stewardship of natural areas by doing monthly litter pick-ups. You can join the fun and adopt a natural area, too!
- Working the Land: Creating a Life a booklet about Bobcat Ridge's history.
- Pieces of the Past: The Story of Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is a historical record by Carol Tunner.
Wildlife and Plants
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Bobcat Ridge wildlife photos- wildlife "selfies" from the motion-activated cameras.
- Article about Communities, Cameras and Conservation by a Rocky Mountain High School student
- Plant List for Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!