Larimer County, CO Area Guide

Welcome to Larimer County, Colorado—where the majestic mountain surround us, Western history comes alive and the pioneer spirit infuses our character! The communities of Larimer County are rich in natural beauty, cultural diversity and possess a balance of cosmopolitan ideology with a community-oriented lifestyle. Larimer County residents enjoy an unmatched quality of life. In Larimer County, residents find all the conveniences and amenities of a big city, but without sacrificing the qualities that make our region unique. The beauty of our nature, wildlife and ecology are always just outside our doors in Larimer County, along with a boundless sense of adventure. For professionals, academics and the urban minded, our communities provide universities, high-tech companies, new housing developments, vibrant downtown lifestyles and an endless amount of cultural arts, events and nightlife hotspots. For residents who crave a more laid-back approach to life, small-town values or the privacy that nature provides, Larimer County’s quiet mountain villages, nature preserves and municipal initiatives to encourage conservation make our region the ideal place to relax and “get away from it all”. Larimer County is a “4-season” region, with year-round outdoor activities that range from hiking, skiing, biking and horseback riding to sailing, swimming and exploring our wealth of open space parks. From history, nature, wildlife and sports to culture and the arts, there’s a spectacular assortment of things to see, do and learn in Larimer County’s unique communities. To learn more about the communities, attractions, events and nature of Larimer County living, please visit:

Larimer County Visitor’s Index

Estes Park Visitor’s & Convention Bureau

Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fort Collins Conventions & Visitors Bureau

Boulder-Front Range Guide

Denver Area Attractions

Colorado Tourism Bureau


The area that is now known as Larimer County was originally populated by the Native American Utes, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, with French fur trappers coming to the area in the early part of the 19th century, after the land had come under United States control with the Louisiana Purchase. At that time, the region was organized under the provisions of the Missouri Territory. Unlike much of Colorado, Larimer County’s history is unique in that it was not centered on the mining industry; in fact, the mining boom of growth and expansion bypassed much of Larimer County, whose early economy was based almost completely in agriculture. The 1858 Treaty of Fort Laramie officially opened the land to non-Native settlement, and in 1861 Larimer County was created as one of the original 17 counties of the Colorado Territory. Irrigation was introduced to the region, expanding its agricultural stronghold. 1862 brought the Camp Collins United States Army outpost to the fledgling county, the genesis of what would eventually become the City of Fort Collins, which was incorporated in 1873 after the Army’s withdrawal. By 1877, the Colorado Central Railroad arrived in Larimer, extending its line north from Golden to Cheyenne with a stopover in nearby Longmont. In 1902, the Great Western Sugar Co. was established in Loveland, and sugar beet agriculture brought a second wave of agricultural expansion to Larimer County. During the 20th and into the 21st century, Larimer County has diversified its economy, bringing progress, expansion and growth to its communities, as well as a forward-thinking attitude towards nature, conservation, industry and social policy. To learn more about the history, cultural traditions, museums and national register of historic sights in Larimer County, please visit:

Larimer County History

St Vrain Historical Society

National Register of Historic Places, Larimer County

Fort Collins Museum

Colorado Railroad Museum

Loveland State Amory

Enos Mills Homestead Cabin

Fort Vasquez State History Museum

Moraine Park Museum and Amphitheater

Old Mill Park

Colorado Historical Society

Old Town Fort Collins

The Callahan House

Hover Home

Agricultural Heritage Center

Old St. Stephen's Church

Doughtery Museum

Parks and Recreation

Colorado is a nature enthusiast’s dream, and Larimer County’s open-air beauty is known as the “Gateway to the Rockies”. Envision 32,000 acres of pristine open space, conservation easements, recreational facilities and nature preserves to relax, play in, explore and enjoy, and you will have imagined Larimer County! Our crown jewels are without a doubt the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park, which make the residents of Larimer communities buffeted by beauty on all sides. Adjacent to Larimer County is the Boulder Valley, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains at the foot of Flagstaff Mountain, just east of the continental divide. We are also flanked by the Eldorado Canyon and the iconic stone slabs of the Flatirons. The Boulder Creek tributary of the South Platte River flows through the nearby City of Boulder. All of these natural gems converge to create a county that is truly “four-seasons”—our outdoor activities rotate with the seasons, creating an endless amount of sports and recreation available year-round. Skiing, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, equestrian sports, swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing are just a few of the more popular regional activities. For those who crave the breathtaking, the daring and the unique, try wilderness excursions, geocaching, hot air balloon flights, glider tours or ziplining. Boulder Creek Path, Arapahoe Ridge Park, Boulder Reservoir, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center, White Rocks Nature Preserve and Cottonwood Hot Springs are among some of the most popular outdoor destinations. To learn more about Larimer County’s great outdoors and what it has to offer you, please visit:

Larimer County Natural Resources

Colorado State Parks

Colorado Waterfalls

Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6IeDdGCqCPOBqwDLG-AAjgb6fh75uan6BdnZaY6OiooA1tkqlQ!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjBNMDAwMDAwMDA!/?ss=110210&navtype=forestBean&navid=091000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=null&ttype=main&pname=Arapaho/

Rocky Mountain National Park

Horsetooth Reservoir

Cottonwood Hot Springs

White Rocks Nature Preserve

St. Vrain Greenway Trail System

Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center

Boulder Reservoir/ Marfell Lake

Wonderland Lake, Trailhead & Foothills Nature Center

Discovery Trail and Poudre River National Recreation Trail

Boulder Creek Path

Pawnee National Grassland!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6IeDdGCqCPOBqwDLG-AAjgb6fh75uan6BdnZaY6OiooA1tkqlQ!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjJNMDAwMDAwMDA!/?navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=fsm91_058278&navid=170000000000000&pnavid=null&ss=110210&position=Not%2520Yet%2520Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=Arapaho

South Platte Trail

Arapahoe Ridge Park

Saint Vrain State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway

Big Thompson Canyon

Boyd Lake State Park Bike Trails

Longs Peak Campground

Twin Sisters Peak Trail

Calypso Cascades

Sports and Activities

Larimer County Area Golf Ranges

Fort Collins Outdoor Activity Guide

Eldora Mountain Resort Skiing

East Valley Horse Trail

Alps Boulder Canyon Inn Skiing

Boyd Lake State Park Cross Country Ski Trails

Zipline Tours

Mile High Gliding Tours

Colorado Geocache

Sunflower Farm

Mile-Hi Skydiving

Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights

Attractions and Activities

A broad-based world-view makes the artistic and cultural side of Larimer County a dynamic place to enjoy the more urbane side of living. The downtown areas of our communities are hubs of activity, commerce, nightlife and culture. Family events, live music, cultural exhibits, art showings and scheduled performances add to Larimer County’s metropolitan atmosphere, while public art and outdoor courtyards contribute to the rural charm that makes our region one of a kind. For music, performance and art the Fort Collins Symphony, OpenStage Theatre and Company, Opera Fort Collins, Foothills Pops Band, Canyon Concert Ballet, Larimer Chorale, Youth Orchestra of the Rockies, and the Fort Collins Children's Theatre are local favorites. But make no mistake; shopping and dining are serious business in Larimer County, too! Many of our local restaurants are supplied by farmer’s markets, neighborhood agriculture, and local microbreweries which keep our plates full of inimitable food, organic produce and hand-crafted comfort meals. Larimer County shoppers have a bounty of choice, from the boutiques and businesses of our community downtowns—like Anthology Book Co., Lyric Cinema & Café and Old Firehouse Books—to Larimer Square retailers, the historic Pearl Street Mall and open-air Twenty Ninth Street shopping and restaurant communities of nearby Boulder, the Promenade Shops at Centerra and the Outlets at Loveland.

Theatre, Culture and the Arts

Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra

Opera Fort Collins

Canyon Concert Ballet

Larimer Chorale

Youth Orchestra of the Rockies

OpenStage Theatre and Company

Foothills Pops Band

Fort Collins Children's Theatre

Fort Collis Museum of Art

Aggie Theatre

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)

Images of Rocky Mountain National Park Gallery

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Longmont Chorale

Boulder Symphony Orchestra

Lincoln Center

Boulder Theater

Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Boulder Ballet

Dairy Center for the Arts

Shopping, Dining, Leisure and Attractions

Downtown Boulder Shopping Guide

Colorado Shopping

Ft. Collins Shopping Guide
Ft. Collins Area Restaurant Guide

Shopping and Dining in Loveland

Colorado Dining Guide

Anheuser Busch Brewery

Larimer Square

Lyric Cinema & Cafe

Anthology Book Co.

The Outlets at Loveland

Old Firehouse Books

Pearl Street Mall

Twenty Ninth Street

Downtown Longmont

Promenade Shops at Centerra


Festivals and special events in Larimer County offer the opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors and come together as friends. In addition to the many fine lectures, performances and workshops scheduled year-round, there are a number of festivals and events available to our residents, including the Scottish Highlands Festival, Larimer County Fair & Rodeo, Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Silent Film Series, Colorado Marathon, and the Applewood Arts Festival. To learn more about the events, activities and festivals of Larimer County, please visit:

Larimer County Fair & Rodeo

Scottish Highlands Festival

Boulder International Film Festival

The Ranch Events Complex

Boulder International Fringe Festival

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

The International Film Series

Boulder Creek Festival

Colorado Chautauqua

Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show

Chautauqua Silent Film Series

Applewood Arts Festival

Colorado Marathon

Diane Stow
Diane Stow