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Natural Areas

 Contact Information

Dept Director
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Gateway Natural Area

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Trail Status

Gateway Natural Area is now closed due to wet and hazardous conditions.


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.

Due to safety concerns, walk-in access is not permitted along the paved entrance road.

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.


The 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 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.

Swimming and cliff jumping are not permitted at Seaman ReservoirView the trail map.


Gateway Natural Area is open daily, dawn to dusk.

The daily parking fee at Gateway Natural Area is $7 credit card only, (cash is no longer accepted), year-round. The fee is charged to everyone entering Gateway. Purchase pass at the electronic kiosk as you enter Gateway.

  • The daily parking fee of $7 is now being charged to everyone who enters Gateway Natural Area, including boaters and tubers putting in to the river. The fee is due to increased congestion in the launch area, maintenance and staffing costs, and to align with other agency’s practices.

An annual pass ($40) is available and can be purchased at Gateway Natural Area with credit card or cash using the electronic kiosk (machine cannot make change). Annual pass sales at Nix are currently available by phone only (M-F, 8-5) 970-416-2815.

Due to safety concerns, walk-in access to Gateway Natural Area is not permitted along the paved entrance road.

Plan Your Visit

Popular times.


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.

Parking Lot Camera

Entrance Camera

Groups at Gateway

  • 1-15 people- parking fee/annual pass for each vehicle, shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 16-50 people NOT using a shelter-parking fee/annual pass for each vehicle, special use permit.
  • 16-50 people USING a shelter-parking fee/annual pass for each vehicle, and a shelter reservation (Shelter Reservation Form available by calling 970-416-2815 or email bmF0dXJhbGFyZWFzQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==, no special use permit required, requests must be made 7 days in advance). 
  • 51+ people- not permitted.

Things to Know When Reserving a Shelter

Events and Activities

Related Information

Important Rules at Gateway