Lower North Fork Poudre Beta - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-13-2009   #1
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8
Lower North Fork Poudre Beta

Looking for info from someone who's done it. Checked out put-in and hiked into the run a ways down yesterday and it looked like a good flow. Looking to find out more about the nature of the run before commiting to canyon. Any surprises? Is it 'more is better' or could high flow produce some problems? How did you handle the sketchy trespass put-in? Any info is great...trying to hit it tom. but may not be 'til next week. Anybody else interested?
Thanks ahead of time

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Old 05-13-2009   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 49
I ran it last year at about 134 cfs. There is about 5 fences, but only one was still up. There was a barb wire fence towards the end, but it was pretty easy to float under. There is one class 3- drop and it's about 1 mile in (estimate) and you can hear coming up and it's an easy scout on river right. It's basically a drop left or a bumpy ride on the right with a couple of rocks to dodge at the bottom. After that it's easy read and run class 2. Paddle across seaman res. kind of sucked, but paddle to the spillway and portage on the far right side of the lake. You can ride it out to the filter plant the rest of the way, but it's a little creeky between the dam and the filter plant, basically a little bumpy. We completed the trip to picnic rock in about 3.5 hrs and we stopped twice for about 5 mins. each. Totally recommend it - really pretty and once you leave the bridge at Livermore you won't see a soul until the lake. Watch out for the locals they were giving us the stink eye when we started out.
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Old 05-13-2009   #3
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 82
Here's my notes from this run.

Time: 5 hours Levels: 350 CFS

Rating: class II - III Length: 7 1/2 mi. to Seaman
1 1/2 mi. across Res
1 mi. to Poudre
Drop: 5750' - 5478'; 280' total drop @ 37'/mile.

Season: late May - Early June.


Put-in: At the bridge across the North Fork on the road to Red
Feather Lakes. About 1/4 mile from Highway 287.
Take-out: At the Put-in to the Filter Plant run on the main


This is a very scenic run. The first 2 miles are through cow
pastures. The river then turns to the South and heads through a
canyon with large walls to the East. The only drop occurs here.
It is a short rocky drop with routes on both sides of a small
island. Below are some nice small waves and holes as the canyon
narrows down. Keep your eyes peeled for barbed wire across the
river. There are three small bridges between the put-in and the
reservoir. Seaman Reservoir is owned by the city of Greeley and
paddlers are discouraged from boating on it. A very steep
portage is required down the spillway behind the Eastern dam. I
blew out the toes of my booties while negotiating the spillway
and sliding my boat in front of me on a rope. One mile of fast
class II boating leads to the Filter Plant on the Poudre River.


When there is enough water to run this stretch, the Poudre is
really pumping. The most difficult paddling is probably crossing
the Poudre to get to the take-out.


The put in is in the sediments of the (P PPif) of the Fountain
Formation. The canyon starts with the Sherman Granite for
several miles. The river then follows a North-South trending
fault with the (Xfh) metamorphic rocks to the East and the (Xb)
metamorphic rocks to the West ending in (Xb) metamorphic rocks at
Seaman Reservoir.
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Old 05-13-2009   #4
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8

That's a big spread in the flows. How did you figure flows?
Looks like it'll be a go tom...
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Old 05-13-2009   #5
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
My two cents; the run is worth considering when it is at flood. Same for the runout to filter. Nice class 3 when it is really cranking. At 500, I hated it. You will commit hari kari half way through the lake if you do it now, particularly if there is wind. Have not seen high flows for years..... lakes have to fill up I guess. All and all, I would spend my time elsewhere until it cranks up, probably not this year.
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Old 05-13-2009   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12
I've run this stretch about 10 times over the past 14 years. A few additions: PLEASE TAKE CARE NOT TO TRESPASS AT THE PUT-IN!!

You can put it on the EAST SIDE (river LEFT) of the bridge, either upstream or downstream of the bridge, but PLEASE do not cross/climb over ANY fences/barbed wire at the put-in, particularly just downstream (~100') of the bridge This has been a problem in the past and will continue to upset local Livermore residents who will call the sheriff if trespass issues arise. Let's respect the local landowner's private property rights and we may continue to use this put-in in harmony.

This stretch is runable EARLY season only, 1-3 week window, early-late May depending on the snowpack towards the NW of Livermore area. It is definitely not runable every year. The more water the better, but always be heads up the first mile as the water is running bank-full (hopefully) and often through trees/shrubs along the shorelines. It's a very beautiful run and class III boaters will be treated to a semi-wilderness run. The paddle across Seaman takes ~30 minutes and is also scenic.
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