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Running Deer Natural Area

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  • Running Deer Natural Area 5

Photos by SQ

Prospect Rd Parking to Fire Lookout

Area Fort Collins
Park/Forest Running Deer Natural Area
Trailhead Prospect Rd Parking Area
Distance Roundtrip 1.4 Miles
Elevation Start 4889 ft
Elevation Gain ≈ 7 ft
Features Wetlands
Dogs Allowed? No


Running Deer Natural Area is a nice spot in the city of Fort Collins. There are views of the mountains, wetlands and an old fire lookout to see. There are about 2 miles of trails here. There is a loop you can do, that crosses over slightly into the adjacent Cottonwood Hollow Natural Area where there is a pleasant pond, then loops back around to the parking area. Note that the trail through the middle of the loop which is shown on some maps, does not go through anymore, as there is some wetland restoration efforts being done. Another hike option is to head southeast from the parking area to an old fire lookout, which has been restored and now serves as a wildlife viewing area.

Directions info

Get Directions in Google Maps →
Off Prospect Rd a little over a mile east of Timberline Rd. It can also be accessed from the Colorado Welcome Center near Prospect Rd and I 25.


Fort Collins Running Deer Natural Area Page
Trail Map PDF


The link to 'Directions in Google Maps' will open in a new window and give you directions from your current location to the trailhead. You can also change the starting location in the top field of the directions area. Note that for some rural trailheads the directions could route you to the nearest address it has, which could be a half mile down the road.

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