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Enjoy activities, beautiful lodging and more at one Colorado's most scenic outdoor paradises located only minutes outside Fort Collins.
In 1933, the Poudre Valley was enduring years of drought and dust storms and the farmers began realizing the need for more water to satisfy the thrist of the crop-bearing farms around Fort Collins. Knowing the water from the Poudre River was inconsistent, somtimes providing too much and at other times not enough, Horsetooth Reservoir was developed to solve the problem.
The reservoir acquired its name from the unique rock formation that sits above the large body of water. There is an old Native American legend regarding theis famous stone. The Valley of Contentment (today's Horsetooth Reservoir) was once guarded by a giant so that no buffalo, deer or antelope were hunted in the valley. Cheif Maunamoku led Indians to slay the giant. In killing the giant, the Chief slashed at his heart first in the center then on the right and then on the left with a tomahawk from the heavens. The next day the giant turned to stone and is now known as Horsetooth Rock.
Today, the 6.5-mile reservoir is a favorite recreation spot for activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, waterskiing, sailing and picknicking. There are many miles of trails here for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Additionally, on the east side of the reservoir is one of the best spots in Colorado for bouldering.
Horsetooth Reservoir is open year-round and included RV spots, campsites, and cabins, all managed by Larimer County Natural Areas. If camping isn't your style, relax in one of the condos or bed & breakfasts in the area and rent a boat at the local marina.