There’s limitless fun traveling through northern Colorado’s remote beauty, where you can enjoy
plentiful outdoor activities and numerous towns with eating and shopping opportunities.


  • Soapstone Prairie Natural Area
  • Poudre River Waterway Park
  • State Forest State Park
  • Arapaho National Wildlife Center
  • Yampa River Core Trail

AVAILABLE: Spring/Summer/Fall

THIS ITINERARY IS IDEAL FOR: Adults 18+ & Extended Families

Day 1

For that true Western experience, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area is your first stop. Hiking trails are mostly rated Very Difficult. However, the Lindenmeier Overlook is Easy with a quarter-mile paved trail with interpretive signs and seating. With your hike completed, head to Fort Collins and lunch at Choice City Butcher & Deli, an actual butcher shop offering great sandwiches and 37 craft beers.

Delve into the history of Fort Collins this afternoon with a guided tour from Traces of the Past History Tours. Your program presenter is dressed in historic period clothing.

Traces of the Past History Tours

Traces of the Past History Tours


Check into the Elizabeth Hotel, which is situated in the center of Old Town. Relax and refresh before dinner at The Regional, a restaurant specializing in hometown American food sourced from Colorado suppliers. Enjoy a unique shopping experience in Historic Old Town. There are treasurers to be had.

Day 2

Grab a coffee, juice and pastry, and we’re off to an early start at Poudre River Waterway Park for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-timer or paddle everyday; there are outfitters to set you up.

Depart Fort Collins by following Highway 14 and the Cache la Poudre River, the state’s only designated Wild and Scenic River. There are pull-outs along the Scenic Byway for photo-ops.

Arrive at State Forest State Park Moose Visitor Center. The terrain is similar to Rocky Mountain National Park but without the crowds. A population of over a thousand moose are the park’s calling card. Birding is a great activity on every trail, but the 1.5-mile Ranger Lakes Nature trail is a favorite. Lunch is at the River Rock Café on Main Street in Walden.

The Cache la Poudre River 

The Cache la Poudre River

Next stop is the Arapaho National Wildlife Center—one of more than 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System and the highest above sea level in the lower 48 states. Wildlife viewing is a key recreational activity. The trails and boardwalks go from a short easy walk to a challenging hike. Some trails feature displays on visual arts, local history and culture or environmental education.

We’re on the road again traveling through Rabbit Ears Pass for the 60-mile ride to Steamboat Springs. Check in at the centrally located Nordic Lodge. Unwind from a busy day before dinner at Mambo, a true taste of Italy.

Day 3

Check out from your lodging and eat breakfast at Freshies, a favorite Steamboat Springs stop. Everything is hand-prepared. It’s on to the Yampa River Core Trail. Running through the heart of Steamboat Springs along the Yampa River, the trail is 7.5 miles. There are numerous stops along the scenic Yampa River. Watch fly fishermen place the perfect offering in front of the river’s trout. The Yampa River Botanic Park has grown from a flat horse pasture in 1992 to a six-acre gem with more than 50 gardens. Blending seamlessly with the gardens are ponds, sculptures and benches, making it one of the jewels of northwest Colorado. There are also shopping and art galleries all along the Core Trail. Lunch today is at Yampa Sandwich Co. The menu offers more than 20 sandwiches, plus salads and soups.

You certainly do not want to depart Steamboat Springs without stopping at F.M. Light & Sons. Founded in 1905, this historic downtown Western outfitter carries all the brands you’d expect from a store that has been outfitting the West for 113 years.