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About Fort Collins

About Fort Collins

Fort Collins is a great place to live! With many major employers, hundreds of miles of trails, an award-winning public school system, and higher education options, you’ll want to be part of the community! Click on one of the many links under Resources to learn more about local organizations and resident contacts.

History of Fort Collins

Legend has it that in the early 1800s, French-Canadian fur traders were caught by a tremendous snowstorm. To lighten their load, they buried large amounts of gunpowder ("poudre" in French) in a hiding place ("cache") along the banks of a river - the Cache la Poudre River, which runs through modern-day Fort Collins.

In 1862, Camp Collins was built by the 9th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry to protect travelers and settlers along the Colorado branch of the Overland Trail. A flood in June 1864 sent the soldiers to higher ground near present-day Old Town. Less than three years later, the fort was abandoned.

By 1872, the former fort site had a small hotel, general store and post office, a mill, school and brick yard. The Colorado Central Railroad arrived in 1877, and Fort Collins became a thriving agricultural center. Colorado Agricultural & Mining College constructed its first classroom building, later called Old Main, in 1879, further establishing Fort Collins as the economic and cultural center of the region. The school was renamed Colorado State University in 1957.

Thanks to the efforts of local citizens and the city's historic preservation program, modern-day visitors to Fort Collins can stroll back through time to the town's earliest days in and around Old Town. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; the majority of the buildings within Old Town are part of both national and locally designated historic districts, and Fort Collins was named a Preserve America city by the White House in 2005.  Check out our walking tour here for a taste of the charm of Fort Collins!


County: Larimer
Population: 137,177 and growing (taken in 2005)
Altitude: 4,984 ft.
Location: 60.3 miles North of Denver, CO and 46 miles South of Cheyenne, WY
City Nicknames: The Choice City, Fort Fun
Growth Rate: Approximately 3% per year
University: Colorado State University
Average Median Family Income: $44,459/year

Major Employers: Colorado State University, Poudre School District, Hewlett Packard, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Eastman Kodak,      Larimer County, Agilent Technologies, City of Fort Collins.


  • 40 Parks within the City
  • 23.14 miles of trails, that includes paved and unpaved walking and          bike trails.
  • 3 city golf courses
  • Two marathons are held here each year

      Fort Collins is located just minutes from the Cache la Poudre Canyon which provides great hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing      and whitewater rafting opportunities


Climate                Averages Month High Low Rain Snow January 40 13 n/a 7.2" February 45 18 n/a 6.3" March 50 23 n/a 12.2" April 60 32 n/a 6.5" May 69 42 2.79" 1.5" June 80 51 1.75" n/a July 85 56 1.56" n/a August 83 54 1.52" n/a September 75 45 1.05" n/a October 64 34 n/a 2.9" November 50 23 n/a 6.9" December 43 17 n/a 6.7" These are the average temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit. On Average Fort Collins experiences 300 days of sunshine per year.

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High Altitude Health Tips

      Colorado is a popular vacation spot for families from all over the world. In order to have an enjoyable and memorable experience in the mountains,      there are some things you should know about high altitude. Because there is less oxygen at higher altitudes, visitors may experience discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Visitors who are not in good physical condition or have pre-existing cardiac conditions should use good judgment and trynot to engage in strenuous activity too quickly.     

  • Plan a day of rest before attempting strenuous exercise like downhill or cross-country skiing.
  • It may take several days to become fully acclimated to high altitude of 7,500 feet or higher.
  • Acute mountain sickness is an illness characterized by excruciating headache, loss of appetite, diarrhea and fatigues. It usually takes about 24 hours to run its course.
  • To decrease the risk of altitude illness: Eat high carbohydrate foods, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, limit salt intake, limit alcohol intake.
  • People with cardiac conditions may experience more episodes of chest discomfort, shortness of breath and fatigue. If symptoms become severe, medical attention should be sought.
  • If minor discomfort is experienced, visitors should pace themselves, takes rests, and stop activity when tired.

      These tips are courtesy of William E. Miller, M.D. and Seniors Marketplace News.

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Whom do I contact to receive relocation information?

  • The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce has relocation information -- real estate, economy, job market, etc. You can contact them at (970)          482-3746 or email  Their website is

What hotels are closest to Colorado State University?
      There are two hotels directly across the street from CSU.     

  • The Best Western University Inn, 914 S. College Avenue, can be contacted at (970) 484-1984.
  • The Hilton Fort Collins, 425 W. Prospect Road, can be contacted at (970) 482-2626.

What is the name of the local Fort Collins newspaper?

  • The Fort Collins Coloradoan is the local paper. They are located at 1212 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524. To contact their offices: Subscription (970) 224-7777, General Information (970) 493-6397, to Advertise (970) 224-4000 or visit their website at

How do I receive a telephone book of Fort Collins?

What campgrounds are near Fort Collins?

  • Heron Lake RV Park, (877) 254-4063
  • Fort Collins KOA, (970) 493-9758
  • Horsetooth Mountain Park (backcountry camping only), (970) 679-4570
  • Horsetooth Reservoir, (970) 679-4570
  • Lory State Park (backcountry camping by permit only), (970) 493-1623

What are the closest ski areas to Fort Collins?
      Please contact any of the following resorts for details/directions:     

  • Eldora Mountain Resort - (303) 440-8700, It is about 1 hour 30 minutes from Fort Collins.
  • Loveland Ski Area - (800) 736-3754, It is about two hours from Fort Collins.
  • Keystone Resort - (800) 258-9553, It is about 2 hours 15 minutes from Fort Collins.
  • Arapahoe Basin - (888) 272-7246. It is about 2 hours 15 minutes from Fort Collins.
  • Berthoud Pass - (800) 754-2378, It is about 2 hours 15 minutes from Fort Collins.

Are there bus tours of Fort Collins?
      For information on Fort Collins tours and to make reservations, please contact any of the following:     

What transportation is there from Denver International Airport to Fort Collins?