Fort Collins is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 65 miles (105 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2016 estimated population of 161,000, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University.
Fort Collins was founded as a military outpost of the United States Army in 1864.
Settlers began arriving in the vicinity of the fort nearly immediately. The fort was decommissioned in 1867. The original fort site is now adjacent to the present historic "Old Town" portion of the city.
Fort Collins is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills of the northern Front Range approximately 60 miles north of Denver, Colorado and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Elevation is 4,982 ft above sea level. Geographic landmarks include Horsetooth Reservoir and Horsetooth Mountain—so named because of a tooth-shaped granite rock that dominates the city's western skyline. Longs Peak can also clearly be seen on a clear day to the southwest of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 47.1 square miles (122 km2), of which 46.5 square miles (120 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), or 1.27%, is water. The Cache La Poudre River and Spring Creek run through Fort Collins.
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