Lone Tree Creek Activities: Fishing, Hiking, and Wildlife


Lone Tree Creek in Colorado boasts over 3 miles of pristine waters, attracting anglers and outdoor enthusiasts from across the state. This hidden gem offers a serene escape into nature, with a variety of activities to engage in, from fishing to hiking and wildlife watching.


  • Lone Tree Creek is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for those seeking trout.
  • The area around Lone Tree Creek offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and photography.
  • Conservation efforts are in place to maintain the natural beauty and ecological balance of Lone Tree Creek, ensuring it remains a pristine destination for future generations.

Exploring the Outdoors at Lone Tree Creek

Lone Tree Creek is a significant 102-mile tributary that converges with the South Platte River in Weld County, Colorado, United States and is situated just east of Greeley. Originating west of Buford in Albany County, Wyoming, this creek meanders through predominantly rural terrain, playing a crucial role in sustaining the agricultural and natural ecosystems of the areas it passes through until it eventually merges with the South Platte River.

Hiking and Trail Exploration

Lone Tree Creek is surrounded by a network of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. The Bluffs Regional Park Trail is a popular 2.7-mile loop with minimal elevation gain, making it perfect for families. For a more challenging hike, head to the nearby Daniels Park, which offers stunning views of the Front Range and the chance to spot bison.

Wildlife Watching and Animal Photography

The diverse ecosystems around Lone Tree Creek provide excellent opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. Keep an eye out for animal species like deer, red fox, rabbits, and prairie dogs as you explore the trails. Birdwatchers will delight in the variety of species that call the area home, including hawks, owls, and songbirds. The area is a great place for photographers to capture those perfect photos!

Conservation and Environmental Education

The City of Lone Tree and local organizations are dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of Lone Tree Creek. Visitors can learn about conservation efforts and participate in environmental education programs at nearby Schweiger Ranch, which hosts guided nature hikes and other events throughout the year.

The Angler’s Guide to Lone Tree Creek

Understanding the Waters

Lone Tree Creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, fed by snowmelt from the nearby mountains. The creek’s cool, clear water provides an ideal habitat for trout, making it a popular destination for anglers.

Target Species and Fishing Techniques

Rainbow and brown trout are the primary target species in Lone Tree Creek. Anglers can find success using a variety of techniques, including fly fishing, spinning, and baitcasting. Effective baits include worms, spinners, and small flies that imitate the creek’s natural insect population.

Fishing Regulations and Ethics

A valid Colorado fishing license is required to fish in Lone Tree Creek. Anglers should familiarize themselves with the state’s fishing regulations, including daily catch limits and size restrictions. Practicing catch-and-release fishing and properly disposing of trash helps maintain the health and sustainability of the creek’s fish populations.

Enhancing Your Lone Tree Creek Experience

Gear and Preparation

Whether you’re planning a day of hiking or fishing, be sure to pack essential gear and supplies. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection, as well as appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Anglers should ensure they have the necessary tackle, bait, and a valid fishing license.

Seasonal Activities and Events

Lone Tree Creek and the surrounding areas offer a variety of seasonal activities and events. In the fall, visit Schweiger Ranch for their annual Fall Festival, featuring a pumpkin patch, hay wagon rides, and live music. During the summer months, enjoy outdoor concerts and community gatherings at local parks or restaurants.

Local Amenities and Accommodations

Visitors to Lone Tree Creek will find ample parking and restroom facilities at nearby parks and trailheads. For those planning an extended stay, the area offers a range of accommodations, from hotels and motels to vacation rentals and campgrounds.

Historic Places

Lone Tree Creek in Colorado traverses areas steeped in historical importance, especially concerning pioneer history, Native American heritage, and early settlements. As it nears its confluence with the South Platte River close to Greeley, there are several notable historic places and landmarks in its vicinity, showcasing a connection to the region’s past:

  • Greeley Union Pacific Railroad Depot (Greeley History Museum)
  • Fort Lupton
  • Deerfield
  • Centennial Village Museum
  • Fort Vasquez


What is the best time of year to visit Lone Tree Creek for fishing?

The best time to fish in Lone Tree Creek is typically from late spring through early fall when water temperatures are optimal for trout activity. However, the creek can be fished year-round, with winter offering the opportunity to catch larger, more lethargic fish.

Are there any restrictions on the types of bait or fishing methods allowed at Lone Tree Creek?

Anglers should adhere to Colorado’s fishing regulations, which outline restrictions on bait types and fishing methods. In general, artificial lures and flies are permitted, as well as natural baits like worms and minnows. It’s essential to check the current regulations before fishing.

Can beginners find suitable fishing spots at Lone Tree Creek, or is it more suited to experienced anglers?

Lone Tree Creek offers fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Beginners can find success in the creek’s slower-moving water pools and runs, while more experienced anglers can target the creek’s deeper holes and faster riffles.

What should visitors do if they encounter wildlife while at Lone Tree Creek?

If you encounter wildlife, it’s essential to keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing the animals. Use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to observe wildlife from afar, and never attempt to feed or approach wild animals.

Are there guided tours or educational programs available at Lone Tree Creek?

Guided tours and educational programs are available through local organizations and parks, such as Schweiger Ranch. These programs offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the natural history and ecology of Lone Tree Creek and the surrounding area.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.