November 15, 2015
This is a year-round kind of place, easily accessible by car, and then on foot as well once you reach the reservoir. I’ve been here numerous, numerous times in the past nine months and have yet to be let down.
There is no fee for parking, but that only lasts while the sun is still up. I’ve definitely been there at night as well, and lucky for me, I’ve never been ticketed. Theres always people there, even at midnight, and you would be amazed all the things you can do while at the reservoir. It doesn’t look like much at first–but swimming, hiking, biking, and running only begin to cover it.
Horsetooth Reservoir is host to a very active population, no matter the time of year. It is home to deer and prairie dogs for the most part, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see coyotes and a couple snakes out there.
There are boaters in the spring, fishers throughout the winter, and kayakers in the summer.
Once at the reservoir, you can follow trails down to the water for a hike or head North and South on trails as well. There are plenty of biking trails, although the rocks make it more difficult for runner, if you want an easier hike. Other times, there are bushes and plants poking at you and you have to squeeze your way through makeshift trails to get where you want to go. None of the reservoir is extremely hard to get around, so you don’t need to be a superstar athlete. Plenty of people enjoy walking the paths near the parking lots, and all you need is some closed-toed shoes.
You can see the art of the Fort Collins population on some of the rocks, a few hideaways of past bonfires and other recreational activities, and at night, the sky is littered with a thousand stars. This is where the entire student population went to watch the Blood Moon and you could not find a place to park!
Horsetooth is a great place for sunsets, as they reflect over the reservoir, and give you some amazing photo opportunities. It also hosts the annual Horsetooth Half Marathon–which happens in the April of each year.
If you don’t want to spend the day there, don’t worry, a quick drive up (only 10 minutes from campus) will give you a solid view in all directions without you ever having to leave the car.