This national forest is one of Colorado's gems. It is located about 35 miles east of Fort Collins and 25 miles north of Greeley, its closest town. The park contains over 193,000 acres and falls under the management of the Pawnee National Grassland who manages several wild lands in the area. there is also land included within in the park that is private land, land owned by the state, and land that is part of the Central Plains Experimental Range.
There is very little developed land in the area, but there is a plethora of recreation opportunities. There are great areas for hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and camping. The land is filled with wildlife including coyote, pronghorn, mule deer, fox, prairie dogs, and snakes. This is also one of the most popular destinations in Colorado for birdwatchers. There are numerous bird species on the land and the feathered residents change based on the migration season. The Lark Bunting, Colorado's state bird, is often seen in the area during summer and spring.
Walking through this area is a bit like walking through the history of the wild-west. It is frontier land, a survivor of the Dust Bowl, and a great place to witness the culture and lifestyle of the west. Visitors can spend the day exploring nature or the old homesteads of years ago. There are a number of well developed roads that will take you to most parts of the grassland.
Following the exploration of the national park, head into the town of Greeley for a visit. There are a number of lodging, dining, and shopping options, designed to suit the tastes of everyone you travel with. There are a number of national chain restaurants now in the area, but the old local favorites still grace the streets and are well-loved by those living in and visiting Greeley. You can enjoy home cooking and gourmet dining, all in one town.
Visitors can enjoy the prairie views in town, as well as the Rocky Mountains and all they have to offer. The contemporary west mixes with true cowboy culture, and you can have a great time experiencing both. The outdoors is well appreciated in Colorado and in Greeley this is no exception. Even still, culture abounds and you can enjoy an evening at the symphony, a university lecture, or a delicious dinner with friends. The town is full of cultural diversity, which you may not expect for a small western town. The city is economically stable and families and young adults enjoy making their home in the area. It is a blend of city excitement and adventure, as well as a feeling of being away from it all and close to nature. The town offers residents and visitors a chance to enjoy culture, history, and art, as well as the great outdoors. Year-round, Greeley is a great place to visit. While there, check out the Pawnee National Grasslands. Whether you want a hike, a photo opportunity, or just a place to get away, this is it.