nature trips

wild flowers




Less than a half hour drive from downtown Fort Collins the Cache La Poudre River breaks free from the sloped canyon walls that cradle it's bounty of crystal clear, snow fed waters. Heading east on Highway 14, just a mile from Ted's Place at highway 287, the Poudre Canyon Highway begins it's 40 mile paralleled journey with the Poudre River. This marks the gateway to one of Colorado's most treasured natural areas. Activities abound: fishing, river rafting, kayaking, inner-tubing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more. The eastern entrance to the canyon starts out at 5000 feet and gently climbs to over 10,000 feet at Cameron Pass on your way to the tiny community of Gould, CO. Along the way there is a world of trails and campgrounds.

off road driving
5 days ago

mountain biking
12 days ago

LOVE THIS TRAIL!! Went up on a Thursday and we only came across a handful of people the entire time. Hiked to East Dowdy Lake and hung out for a bit. Really beautiful spot, super easy trail, and totally worth the trip. There were a lot of ticks there though!

off road driving
20 days ago

Fun for beginners, Sunday drive for my truck. There are places here for more experienced drivers to get some air underneath their tires. Just respect the residents, always and stay on the trail.

Great trail. We didn't see anyone beside a group camping at one of the road crossings. It does get a little tricky to keep the trail towards the top, right after you pass the "lookout mountain summit 1/2 mile" sign. There are lots of trees down blocking the trail. It's there though, and the view is worth it! Pack lots of water, especially for your dog, because once you leave the stream at 1.5 miles in there is no additional water for refills.

1 month ago

Suimmary of tips that we found helpful:
- take a picture of trailhead map
- hike Dowdy lake .. it is pretty.
- easy to miss designated campsites, look for metal fire rings
- enjoy the beautiful walk, stop at the pretty spots because the end is anti climatic or take the trail to the scenic point instead of end of Margaret's

Our own tips:
- find a campsite before the gates (about two miles in). We are going to try to wonder around after the creek but before the gates in search of suitable sites. The cow patties have taken over all designated sites
- We found the cows quite aggressive and not scared of our scary German Shepard. We could only surmise they had been fed by humans before because they would not leave our campsite even with our dog making it clear they were not welcome. They even followed us for a while when we left the site. Spooky! (Never thought I would say that about a cow)
- take plenty of water.. too much cattle run off to trust water sources.. even with filter IMHO
- enjoy the solitude.. for a Saturday night in prime back packing season we didn't see too many hikers and only one family at one of the designated sites
- if you can spare the weight.. a hammock would be great, as the ants and ground crawlers were plentiful . We didn't experience a lot of flying nuisances
- there is a bathroom but no trash at trailhead, so get rid of trash in town if needed
- plenty of wood and rocks and open space for a small fire, but be ready with plenty of dirt because there is a lot of dry stud just ready to be lit up... keep the fire small or not at all
- place something colorful on a tree and observe the humming birds.

Overall great place for kids and dogs. Very easy hiking.

off road driving
1 month ago

This was an interesting trail.
The "summit" of the Mountain was ~150 feet LOWER than the trailhead. Also There was a lot of horse droppings all over the trail.

We also took an little detour and stopped and took a walk around Dowdy Lake. Which was REALLY pretty!!

The end of the trail lead us to a rock hill which we climbed and were able look down into a valley. This part was fun.

TLDR: Not bad, pretty flat, anticlimactic.

Parts are tough. Not because of distance or elevation gain but you have to maneuver around so many down trees. Beginning and end are pretty clear but in the middle it's tough. Hike to the top is worth it though.

off road driving
1 month ago

The guy below this review didn't go far enough to even make it to the opening of flowers road you have to Drive on private land for 3.1 miles before you hit the actual road. It's fully open nothing is closed and is a fun trail to ride on tons of people out so watch for other coming and going. Will be back soon

1 month ago

1 month ago

We started from Dowdy campground and took Frog Pond to this trail. We saw a deer and fawn along the way.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail. There are several different loops you can take. Saw tons of wildflowers.

1 month ago

We began from Dowdy Lake Campground. Quiet easy hike. Beautiful wild flowers. At the "end of trail" sign we climbed on up boulders to get a pretty view of valleys. We saw no one and it was peaceful and serene without so much foot traffic!