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Natural Areas Newsletter Natural Areas Newsletter
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 Reservoir. View the trail map.
Gateway Natural Area is open daily, dawn to dusk.
The daily parking fee at Gateway Natural Area is $7 (check, cash or credit card), year-round. The fee is charged to everyone entering 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 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 or check).
Due to safety concerns, walk-in access to Gateway Natural Area is not permitted along the paved entrance road.
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.
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.
Events and Activities
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Natural Areas Explorer booklet guide.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up on this page.
- Customized free educational programs at Gateway Natural Area are available for groups, call the Master Naturalist Program at 970-224-6118 or email YWNobGVibmlrQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== .
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- Gateway Natural Area Ranger Office, 970-407-1106
- 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!
- Gateway Natural Area Brochure
- History of Gateway Natural Area
- Important Rules
- Fees at Gateway Natural Area
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Plant List for Gateway Natural Area. Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!