A recent boost from lottery dollars brings a once-proposed concert venue touted as Red Rocks North a step closer to becoming a happy trail for you.

Great Outdoors Colorado awarded Larimer County $1.5 million this month to help advance the Heaven’s Door Ranch conservation easement project that Northern Colorado governments cooperated on moving forward in 2022.

The 1,547-acre ranch sits 4 miles west of Loveland on U.S. 34.

map showing Heaven's Door Ranch west of Loveland, Colorado
Larimer County Colorado

At that time, Larimer County, Loveland, and Fort Collins governments joined finances to buy the land for $9 million, half of what the owners initially marketed it for. This $1.5 million state grant reimburses part of the purchase price.

“We fully intend this property to join the ranks as one of the crown jewels of the incredible open space system in Northern Colorado, protecting significant resource values and providing future public access," Daylan Figgs, director of Larimer County’s Department of Natural Resources, said in a Larimer County press release.

Pictures indeed prove that.

Heaven's Door Ranch Loveland, Colorado, road
Larimer County/Charlie Johnson

Here’s the marketing video of when the land was on the market.

The county has since removed the house and buildings, with materials being sold, repurposed and recycled.

In the early 2000s, the owners proposed turning part of the land into a concert venue that could accommodate up to 9,000 attendees.

Why did the Northern Colorado governments buy Heaven’s Door to preserve it?>/h3>

The 1,547-acre acquisition ultimately will connect with other open-space projects west of Loveland and silence future development in the area.

elk at Heaven's Door Ranch in Loveland, Colorado
Larimer County/Dawn Wilson

GOCO also shared the property’s wildlife value, saying, “The property boasts diverse wildlife habitats and movement corridors, and its grasslands provide winter range for elk and pronghorn and year-round habitat for mule deer. The foothills shrublands are essential breeding habitats for migratory and resident bird species and serve as important seasonal food sources and cover for mule deer, elk, black bears, mountain lions, and bobcats. Its ponderosa pine woodlands provide breeding habitat for birds and support small mammals, including Allen’s and Townsend’s big-eared bats. Its steep hogbacks and canyons provide critical perch sites for raptors and birds.”

Partnerships Protect Larimer County’s Heaven’s Door Ranch

The landowner family owns Alberto-Culver Co., makers of Alberto VO5 and operators of Sally Beauty supply and other companies. The Fortune 500 company is publicly traded. They reached out to the county to sell the property.

The state grant is part of GOCO’s Centennial Program, which invests in “high-value, once-in-a-generation visions and projects that will create lasting impacts on the Centennial State and future generations.” A portion of lottery dollars fund Great Outdoors Colorado.

Fort Collins and Loveland will co-hold the conservation easement.

Public access is scheduled to open in 2030.

Easy Hikes Around Loveland to Take While You Wait for Heaven's Door to Open

There are many great trails in and around Fort Collins, Colorado, that range from easy to hard in difficulty. Let's take an alphabetical look at the top 11 easiest and prettiest hikes to take in and near Fort Collins.

Gallery Credit: Dave Jensen


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