Best Time to Visit Fort Collins


When Not to Visit

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July, August, and September are typically the most popular months to visit Fort Collins, but keep in mind that the city enjoys plenty of sunshine, so even in the off months you can find something to do outside. Fort Collins hums with outside activity on every level during high season, so campgrounds and rafting trips fill up quickly and reservations may be required. Check out New West Fest in early August for northern Colorado’s largest free community arts and music festival. The Colorado Brewers’ Fest celebrates craft beers throughout the state with music, tastings, and more in July.

September is a great month to view the fabulous golden crown of fall color in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. Or enjoy the foliage in the local parks and along the scenic Cache La Poudre River while hiking, biking, or kayaking. September brings about a bevy of festivals including New Belgium Brewing’s “Tour de Fat,” which spotlights the environmental benefits of biking rather than driving.

The muddy months of April, May, and June see the most rain and snowmelt run-off, which dampens the ground and fills up the Cache La Poudre River. Temperatures can range from the low 60s to the low 80s, and in a moment’s notice there can be rain or snow. For some old-fashioned fun during the spring, take in a double feature at the Holiday Twin Drive-In theater on the southwest side of town.

Traditionally, the coldest months (January, February and March) are considered low season. However, there’s plenty of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing nearby, especially within the winter wonderland of Rocky Mountain National Park. There are also several ski resorts within three hours of Fort Collins, but for those looking to get to the larger resorts, like Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone, it’s better to stay in Denver. The Winter Marketplace in Opera Plaza is the hot spot on Saturdays for music, crafts and local foods. Bring plenty of layers and opt for wool or performance outerwear rather than cotton, as temperatures can dip down near zero, and you can almost count on some snow.