Red Feather Lakes

Located in the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins, this rustic mountain village is far from hectic city life. Surrounded by the 612,000-acre Roosevelt National Forest, the Red Feather Lakes area is a year-round outdoor playground that offers beautiful scenery, diverse wildlife, hiking trails and cozy mountain retreats. The nearby Cache La Poudre River, Colorado's first designated Wild and Scenic River, is the area's best spot for whitewater rafting, kayaking and fishing. Serene Red Feather Lakes is also the perfect place for idling under the sun with a good book.

The area was first settled by loggers and ranchers around 1900, and some deserted homesteads are still strewn throughout the mountain landscape. A guest ranch, trading post and nearby restaurants provide visitors with all of the comforts of a fine vacation, a romantic getaway or a full week for the entire family. Guests will find a number of additional lodging options, including B&Bs, rental cabins, RV parks and campgrounds. A gallery and antique store are also tucked in the shadows of this scenic mountain community.

One unique attraction near Red Feather Lakes is the Shambhala Mountain Center, a Buddhist retreat that hosts meditation sessions, educational programs and contemplative conferences. The center is also home to North America's largest stupa. Open to sightseers of any religion, the dramatic 108-foot temple-like structure represents the aspiration for peace, harmony and equanimity for all beings.

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