The Spring Canyon Site: Prehistoric Occupation Of A Hogback Water Gap In The Foothills Of Larimer County, Colorado

Spring Valley Site

Publication: Southwestern Lore, Vol. 82, No. 1

Author: Spencer R. Pelton & Jason M. LaBelle

Date of Publication: January 2016



The Spring Canyon site (5LR205) is a multicomponent prehistoric campsite located in a foothills valley within Fort Collins, Colorado. It is one of the largest, most diverse sites in the northern Colorado foothills, possessing over 1,700 artifacts spanning Folsom to Late Prehistoric times. This study is a synthesis of existing research at the site that combines several informal and formal investigations starting in the late 1930s. These investigations document the presence of a diverse array of chipped and ground stone tools, diagnostic projectile points, obsidian from the northern Plains and Southwest, ceramics, and buried artifacts and features. It is concluded that the Spring Canyon site served as an important residential base camp for much of prehistory, and that further excavation would likely reveal buried archaeological deposits. The case is made that the Spring Canyon site, though heavily impacted by historic practices, remains a valuable asset for its archaeological merit and its potential focus for public outreach.