Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

· Cache la Poudre

Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

This beautiful, remote natural area on the Wyoming border conserves an enormous area of native grasslands and brushy draws. Soapstone is an important part of the Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains Project, a partnered conservation effort to create a corridor of protected lands connecting the mountains to the plains. Because of the extensive landscape, it is possible to hike the trails here for hours without seeing another person. Lark Buntings, Grasshopper Sparrows, and other prairie birds can be seen right along the entrance road in summer, as can pronghorn and jackrabbits. A herd of bison roams a 1000-acre enclosure here, and can sometimes be seen from the road. Mountain Plovers and Burrowing Owls breed on the property, but they are difficult to see because the trail into the best habitat is closed April 1 – July 15 to protect them from disturbance.

A hike up into the mountain mahogany scrub could produce Spotted Towhee, Brown Thrasher, and with luck, even Virginia’s Warbler. An exciting comeback story – the endangered black-footed ferret was reintroduced back to this property and once again hunts on the open prairie. The trails access remote backcountry, and hikers should be well prepared to deal alone with potential emergencies. This natural area is closed December – February and dogs are not allowed.

County: Larimer

Directions: From I-25: use exit 288, CR 82/Buckeye Road and go west. CR 82 ends at CR 15/Terry Lake Road. Head north on CR 15 and at CR 84, take a slight right to continue north on CR 15/Rawhide Flats Road and to the entrance station.

Dates of Access: March 1 - November 30, daylight hours; this natural area is closed December-February
Hours: Daylight hours
Ownership: Municipal
Admission: Free

Restrictions: No dogs allowed, not even in your car. Very remote area; emergency response can take more than an hour.

Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Hotels in Fort Collins

Handicapped: Yes
Handicapped Access: Lindenmeier Trail is handicapped accessible

Latitude: 40.943629
Longitude: -105.079695

» Visit the website for Soapstone Prairie Natural Area


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsYes
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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