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Natural Areas

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area#

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Trail Status

Open without issues.

Description#

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. 

Trails#

Trails include the Valley Loop (4 mile loop), Ginny Trail (5.4 miles, climbs 1,500 feet, open for hiking and mountain biking, closed to horses), D.R. Trail (3.4 miles long, climbs 1,100 feet, open to equestrians and hikers, closed to cyclists), Powerline Road (1.5 miles long, climbs steeply with loose rocks so not recommended for horses, uphill only for cyclists), Eden Valley Spur (an out and back route, 1.3 miles along the valley bottom), trail map. E-bikes are not permitted on soft/natural surface trails. ADA mobility devices are allowed. Trail conditions and closures are posted here.

Hours#

Bobcat Ridge is open dawn to dusk, daily. 

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Parking Lot Webcam#

Directions#

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. 

Note: 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 Fire Restoration#

In October 2020, nearly 80% of Bobcat Ridge was burned in the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest fire in Colorado history. Explore below to learn more about the fire and restoration efforts happening.

Cameron Peak Fire at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area in 2020

Cameron Peak Fire- cliffs west of the parking lot

Cameron Peak Fire- cliffs west of the parking lot

Cameron Peak Fire- Mahoney Park boardwalk

Cameron Peak Fire- Mahoney Park boardwalk

Cameron Peak Fire- Bobcat Ridge valley

Cameron Peak Fire- Bobcat Ridge valley

Cameron Peak Fire- Bobcat Ridge valley

Cameron Peak Fire- Bobcat Ridge valley looking north

Hikers

Pre-Cameron Peak Fire: Valley Loop hikers

Child

Pre-Cameron Peak Fire: Child using mounted binoculars at Bobcat Ridge

Family

Pre-Cameron Peak Fire: Family hikes at Bobcat Ridge

Tracks

Bear tracks at Bobcat Ridge

Horses

Pre-Cameron Peak Fire: Horseback Riders by Crystal Strouse

Teaching

Pre-Cameron Peak Fire: CSU Pulliam Scholar teaches at Bobcat Ridge

Cameron Peak Fire burns nearly 80% of Bobcat Ridge

The wildfire burned grassland, shrub, and forest habitat while damaging infrastructure such as bridges, trails, and small portions of historic buildings such as the wishing well. Homes adjacent to the area and the Bobcat Ridge residence were saved. 

Bobcat Ridge closes for public safety and recovery of the natural area
Resprouting of shrubs observed throughout the area

Learn more about restoration plans in the spring update by watching this video.

Trail and infrastructure repair begins

Bridges, trails, and other infrastructure begin to be rebuilt. Burned trees adjacent to trails are removed.

Flash flooding causes further damage to trails
Smooth brome and cheatgrass is treated
Overgrown vegetation is removed from trails
Bobcat reopens to public
Seeding of 200 acres with native seed begins
Monitor recovery of trees and shrubs
Restore the remaining 400 acres of the valley
Letter from the Interim Director: Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Updatehighlight_off
November 19, 2020 Updateshighlight_off
Summer 2021 Updateshighlight_off

Related Information#

  • 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!

Management Plans

History

Wildlife and Plants

Bobcat Ridge brochure