In this issue: New Passport to Your Open Spaces!
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Red Mountain Open Space
NR News Issue 23 | June 2016
The Larimer County Passport to Your Open Spaces

Explore Your Open Spaces! Win Cool Prizes!

Explore Larimer County’s amazing, scenic open spaces using a new passport as your guide. Pick up a passport brochure at trailhead kiosks on Larimer County’s open spaces to start your adventure!

Two posts have been placed on 8 open spaces in easy (short hike) and hard (long hike) locations. Each post has a plaque affixed to it with a unique image. Place your passport over the plaque and make a rubbing of the image to “stamp” your passport. Collect enough rubbings to win cool prizes!

Learn more about The Larimer County Passport to Your Open Spaces »

Horsetooth Area Information Center

Larimer County is building a new information center at Horsetooth Reservoir to help residents and visitors plan their trips in the Horsetooth area. Photo by Mark Caughlan.

Construction Crews Busy Enhancing Parks, Open Spaces

From a new trail to a new info center to a new parking area, Larimer County is working to improve parks and open spaces. Thank you for your patience!

Devil's Backbone Open Space - The new 1.8-mile Hidden Valley Trail is open for biking, horseback riding and trail running. The Wild Loop Trail is now hiking and running only. Learn more »

Horsetooth Reservoir - The new maintenance building is nearly complete and should be occupied this month. The information center is taking shape and should be open to the public this summer. Access is not impacted. Learn more »

Soderberg Trailhead - The new horse trailer parking area at this trailhead, with access to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, is open. Crews are now working on adding more single-vehicle spaces to the current lot. Learn more »

Paramedic and Ranger

Braden Applegate with UCHealth's Poudre Valley Hospital EMS and Larimer County Senior Ranger Jim Hawkins prepare to staff a ranger boat at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Partnership Boosts Visitor Safety at Horsetooth Reservoir

Larimer County is working with UCHealth and Poudre Fire Authority to staff a ranger boat with a paramedic or EMT on weekends and holidays at Horsetooth Reservoir through Labor Day. This should save 20-27 minutes in drive time to provide advanced life support to injured visitors.

Read more about this partnership »


What a walleye! Josh Anthony holds a 25-inch, 6 lbs. walleye caught this spring at Horsetooth Reservoir. Fishing is picking up and getting better every week. Photo by Rex Kramer.

Water Levels Bode Well for Boating at Horsetooth, Carter

Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake remain near capacity for water levels this spring. Boating and other water-based activities should be excellent for the rest of the season. With temps passing 90°F, come on out and enjoy the water!

Get current water levels for Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake.

Horsetooth Mountain Traffic Jam

This is a familiar sight at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space on weekends after mid-morning. The open space's lower lot (Soderberg Trailhead) fills less quickly. Photo by Mark Yoder.

Check the Horsetooth Mountain Webcam Before You Go

Now that it's spring, Horsetooth Mountain Trailhead usually hits its maximum for vehicles by mid-morning on weekends and holidays. Consider coming early in the morning to get a space. To see if the lot is full, check the trailhead webcam.

Fire Scar Restoration

Service projects allow citizens to be a part of conservation in Larimer County. Photo of fire scar restoration project this spring at Hermit Park Open Space by Casey Cisneros.

Volunteers Needed for Fence Installation, Ranger Programs

Fri., June 24, 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space
Help install fence posts and straight-wire fencing.

Sign up or get info: Pam Mayhew, 970-619-4552,

Through Labor Day, Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake
Assist rangers on boats, ramps, swim beaches and other areas on weekends as a volunteer Park Ranger or Boat Ranger assistant.

Sign up or get info: Cameron Rhea, 970-619-4559 or

Plein Air Workshop

A workshop participant paints en plein air last fall near Soderberg Trailhead. Fort Collins painter Alison Dickson will host a plein air painting workshop July 21. Photo by Zach Schierl.

Upcoming Guided Hikes and Programs

Junior Ranger Hike at Horsetooth Mountain - June 15 (Wed.), 5 p.m., Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Wildflower Photography - June 18 (Sat.), 9 a.m., Eagle's Nest Open Space

20th Anniversary Program Series: Epic Mountain Bike Ride - June 25 (Sat.), 8:30 a.m., Red Mountain Open Space

Stargazing with Northern Colorado Astronomical Society - July 3 (Sun.), 9 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Tiny Trekkers - July 5 (Tues.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Native Plants of Devil's Backbone - July 5 (Tues.), 5:30 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Loveland Museum Summer Program: Big Thompson River - July 7 (Thurs.), 5:30 p.m., Loveland Museum

Geology Underfoot at the Devil's Backbone - July 8 (Fri.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

20th Anniversary Program Series: Plein Air Painting Workshop - July 21 (Thurs.), 9:30 a.m., Soderberg Trailhead at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, presented by painter Alison Dickson

Junior Ranger Hike at Devil's Backbone - July 25 (Mon.), 5 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Loveland Museum Summer Program: Mule Deer - July 26 (Tues.), 12 p.m., Loveland Museum

Wildflower Ecology Walk - July 30 (Sat.), 9 a.m., Hermit Park Open Space

Registration is required for all programs except those at the Loveland Museum. Registration opens soon for all July programs (some are open now!).

Information and registration:, or Dan Marotti at (970) 619-4565 or

2016 Summer Sailstice

Summer Sailstice on June 18 at Carter Lake

Our partners at the Carter Lake Sailing Club are hosting their annual Summer Sailstice on Sat., June 18. Members of the public are invited to visit the club and go sailing from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

No registration is required to visit the sailing club, except to get out on a boat. R.S.V.P. to take a boat ride.

Masthead photo: Red Mountain Open Space by Herb Saperstone
Copyright © 2016 Larimer County Natural Resources, All rights reserved.

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