Arapaho Bend Natural Area
Date Hiked: Sept. 12, 2014
- Distance: 1.5 mi (RT)
- Elevation Gain: Negligible
- Elevation Min/Max: 4,822 to 4,861ft
- Managing Agency: City of Fort Collins
- Fee: None
Arapaho Bend NA Website (Fort Collins)
Arapaho Bend Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: The trailhead is located on Strauss Cabin Road. From I-25 take the Harmony Road Exit west and turn right (north) on Strauss Cabin Road. The trailhead is on your left.
Arapaho Bend is a nice natural open space area in south Fort Collins. The area consists of a series of ponds with trails winding around them. This is a terrific spot for bird watching. The only downside is the traffic noise from I-70 which is noticeable. Still, Arapaho Bend offers a pleasant walk with good views of the Front Range foothills west of Fort Collins, including Horsetooth Mountain.
For this hike, start at the Strauss Cabin Road trailhead and make a left, heading north. This trail will take you along Big Bass Pond and Little Bass Pond. Once you reach the North trailhead along Horsetooth Road, the trail turns south and winds along the opposite shorelines. Continue onward as the trail circles Cormorant and Snapper Ponds. When you reach an intersection near a power station, turn right and head back to the parking lot. There is an option to explore another .5 miles or so of trail, but you can't circumnavigate the largest of the Ponds, the trails simply explore the eastern shore.