Winter recreation is right at your fingertips in Fort Collins. The outdoor activities are incredible in the winter, not to mention, you can take in the same spectacular views as you do during summer, except now they will be blanketed with the beauty of snow. Make sure to get your backcountry recreation rental before you head out to your winter recreation adventure. Check out our local outfitters, Jax Mercantile or Rocky Mountain Adventures, for all your rental needs, then find your desired winter outdoor activity on our list and get moving:


Snowshoeing Through Snowy Mountain Trails

Horsetooth Rock Covered In Snow


Fort Collins offers great snowshoeing in and around town. This is an amazing way to enjoy some of the best hiking areas during the winter around Horsetooth Reservoir and in the Poudre Canyon.

Lory State Park: Located just west of Fort Collins, Lory State Park offers tons of trails with beautiful views and ranging difficulty levels. Trails are open year-round and are open to Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Cross Country Skiing. The trails at Lory State Park are best visited after a fresh snowfall to be able to snowshoe and/or cross country ski.

Address: 708 Lodgepole Dr., Bellevue, CO ‎


Horsetooth Mountain Open Space: Located west of Fort Collins, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is one of Fort Collins greatest outdoor playgrounds and it is open year-round. Choose from multiple different trails ranging in difficulty level and enjoy the snowy vistas.

Cache la Poudre River Canyon: The Poudre Canyon offers excellent winter recreation even when there is no snow on the ground in Fort Collins. Enjoy beautiful views of the backcountry blanketed by snow. The following is a list of favorite snowshoeing trails in the canyon:

  • Little Beaver Creek Trail: This trail is great for early season snow and is moderate in skill level. It is 2 miles long, out-and-back, and gains 1,500 ft. in elevation.

Address: 7311 North County Road 63E, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA

  • Blue Lake: As one of the most popular snowshoeing spots in the upper reaches of Poudre Canyon, this trail offers an easier short, round-trip excursion or a more challenging, all-day adventure. This trail is 4.75 miles one-way and offers beautiful views of Blue Lake surrounded by towering mountains.

Address: 51561 Poudre Canyon Highway, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA


Cross Country Skiing

Woman Snow Shoeing in Lory State Park

Cross Country Skiing in Fort Collins is a popular activity thanks in part to multiple trail options ranging in difficulty. It is easy to plan a whole vacation around experiencing all of them.

Cache la Poudre River Canyon: The Poudre Canyon provides many trails with fantastic opportunities for cross country skiing. 

  • Trap Park: Located in the upper reaches of the Poudre Canyon this moderately difficult trail follows a small canyon for 11.5 miles and offers beautiful views of the Neota Wilderness and beautiful riparian area.

Address: 51561 Poudre Canyon Highway, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA

  • Meadows Trail to Zimmerman Lake: Offering two cross-country skiing trails to Zimmerman Lake, this excursion is considered difficult. Choose from a 1.5 mile steep trail or a 9 mile more demanding trail. The trail goes through the Neota Wilderness area and gains an elevation of 1,970 ft.

Address: 56663 Poudre Canyon Highway, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA

  • Zimmerman Lake Loop Trail: This 3.1 mile trail in the Upper Poudre Canyon is a more difficult cross-country skiing trail but one of the most popular because it tends to have great late-season snow and offers some good downhill areas. Choose from multiple different trailheads and run along the Never Summer Mountain Range.

Address: 56663 Poudre Canyon Highway, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA

Other Areas in and Around Fort Collins for Cross Country Skiing:

  • City Park Nine Golf Course: Located in the center of Fort Collins, City Park Nine Golf Course offers beginner cross-country skiing. 

Address: 411 S Bryan Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Wintertime Fat Biking

A Couple Fat Tire Biking In Fort Collins, CO

If you’re yearning for the incredible scenery of the backcountry, you need to look no further than nearby Cameron Pass or Lory State Park. Both offer amazing opportunities to experience riding a Fat Bike. Have a blast spending the day riding on snow-packed trails along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. This is one of the most unique ways to enjoy the famous Colorado snow. You get to experience the beauty of the Rockies while taking it all on two gigantic wheels.

  • Front Range Ride Guides offers guided fat biking adventures that make for an exceptional outdoor winter experience!

Remember: Mechanized vehicles, including bikes, are not allowed in any wilderness areas!


Outdoor Ice Skating

People  Ice Skating On Sheldon Lake

Fort Collins offers a few different places where you can enjoy gliding on ice skates. Here is a list of our favorites:

  • Sheldon Lake at City Park

If you grew up skating on an iced-over pond, you’re in luck because you can enjoy natural ice-skating at City Park. Sheldon Lake at City Park designates a safe skating area for those who are looking to enjoy a skate on the lake.

  • Old Town Square

 The ice-skating rink at Foothills Mall is the largest outdoor rink in Northern Colorado. This rink is adorned with festive lights s and surrounded by great dining and shopping options. Find the rink hours here.


Explore a Natural Area
View Of Reservoir Ridge Open Space

Fort Collins is home to a total of 40 natural areas open to the public. Natural Areas offer exceptional bird watching, and many enable regular raptor and wildlife viewing (Master Naturalists and staff offer free Eagle Watches in the winter). Bison watchers can catch another glimpse of the genetically pure plains bison herd at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area March through November each year. 

Snow Tube (and More!) at Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch

Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch, located near Red Feather Lakes, offers lodging as well as many activities. In the winter, enjoy the cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, ice skating, MoonBiking, and ice fishing but it’s the snow tube park that really gets folks excited. Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch is home to the oldest and longest-running snow tube park in Colorado. There are 12 snow tube runs that range from gentle to extreme, and on any given day you can expect to get about 5-10 runs per hour. Kids under 36-inches can enjoy the free kiddie hill (must bring your own sled), and everyone can enjoy the warming shed with a fireplace at the bottom of the lift in-between runs.


Ice Fishing


During cold Fort Collins days, it is a common sight to see ice-fishers atop the thick icecap over Sheldon Lake in City Park. Bundle up and reel ‘em in during the winter in Fort Collins.




Wintertime sledding can be so much fun! There are several amazing sledding hills around Fort Collins that can provide fun for all ages during the winter. Below are a few current spots to take yourself or the whole family to have some fun sledding through the hills:

  • City Park: With smaller slopes and conveniently located centrally in Fort Collins, City Park is a great sledding spot to visit and take small children to enjoy.
Address: 1500 W Mulberry St, Fort Collins, CO 80521


  • Edora Park: Edora Park is located off of Stuart Street and is adjacent to Edora Pool & Ice Center (EPIC). You can find the sled hill along the north side of the EPIC parking lot.
Address: 1420 E Stuart St, Fort Collins, CO 80525


  • Fossil Creek Park: On any given snow day, you can find plenty of folks sledding at Fossil Creek Park as it's a great location for a those looking for a speedier hill to sled in town! 
Address: 5821 S Lemay Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525


Spot Eagles and Other Feathered Friends

Western Blue Bird

Bird watching is a fast-growing hobby, and the area around Fort Collins is a hotbed for birders, boasting nearly 500-recorded species, including the rare American Woodcock spotted at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

  • Visit Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area to see bald eagles; they make the cottonwood trees their home during the winter months. During the winter, volunteer master naturalists are stationed at the pier to explain the eagles’ history and help visitors view them through spotting scopes and binoculars. The programs are free and no registration is required. Visit Or, find them on Facebook and Twitter by searching FCNaturalAreas.
  • The Fort Collins Audubon Society offers free birding field trips throughout the year. And, The Nature Conservancy’s 1,700-acre Phantom Canyon Preserve, located 30 miles northwest of Fort Collins, is open to the public only through The Nature Conservancy guided hikes and volunteer outings, which include birding hikes. Phantom Canyon is home to an estimated 100 or more species. For a checklist of local birds visit here