Larimer County is well known for its towering mountains, jagged canyons and quality of life.
The area that thousands know and love has changed dramatically over the years — the 4.6 billion years the earth has existed, to be exact.
“We’ve been a desert,” said Mike Smith, lead instructor in earth and space sciences at Front Range Community College. “We’ve been an ocean. We’ve been a jungle. We’ve been mountains more than once.”
The most recent mountainous terrain in Larimer County — the famed Rocky Mountains — was formed 60 million years ago by the collision of two tectonic plates and ultimately replaced a sea-level jungle. And as the Big Thompson River cut through those mountains, the Big Thompson Canyon was born. READ MORE 
Posted: 10/29/2011 11:24:27 PM MDT
Places of historic note
Consider your past at the Lindenmeier archaeological site northwest of Fort Collins.
Visit Fairgrounds Park in Loveland, and if you ever had the chance to go to the county fair when it was there, reminisce.
Stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and learn its history.
Go to an event at Stove Prairie School in Livermore.
Look for wagon ruts on the Cherokee Trail.
Take in a show at the historic Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland.
Start a climb of Longs Peak (but you’ll be in Boulder County before you reach the summit). However, the East Longs Peak Trail, Longs Peak Trail, Keyhole Route and Shelf Trail (in Larimer) are on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Agnes Vaille Shelter.
Visit an old mountain lodge: Crags Lodge, Black Canyon Inn or Baldpate Inn.
Visit the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. READ MORE