North Fork Poudre (lower) - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-22-2008   #1
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 325
North Fork Poudre (lower)

Is it running?
Anyone run it?
Anyone have a visual on the level?


sarahkonamojo is offline   Reply With Quote
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Old 05-23-2008   #2
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 213
If you're talking about the section below Halligan Res, I'd suggest that you be prepared for some non-boating challenges. The streambed is likely to be very choked with willows, you need to tresspass around the dam (and this may be an active construction site now - not sure but there was a project to expand the res), and there are _very_ protective and unfriendly land owners who know there is no legal access to the stream that their property adjoins. This section also passes through Phantom Canyon, a TNC preserve with controllled access. All in all, a pretty run, but for most people not worth the hassles and high likelihood of very confrontational interactions with landowners.

The upper section (middle Cherokee Park to Halligan) is, IMO, highly recommended. This is a very pretty, wildernss run. Mostly class 3 (a couple more difficult rapids), and a very easy small waterfall that you'll be lucky to scout (and it's not likely to matter anyway). It's legal to put in _right next_ to the bridge. There have been ungly confrontations with the land owner at the putin so if he's around don't push it. Call the sheriff if it gets nasty. The kicker for this run is that the road to Halligan usually doesn't open until Memorial day. I think this is DOW lands, and they've changed their access policy and now require some sort of stamp or permit to use DOW lands. This might come with a fishing license, but it's probably worthwhile to check because I've heard they're ticketing people.

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Old 05-23-2008   #3
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 154
Not sure exactly which section it was, but I ran the section that ends in a reservoir right above the Main Poudre that you have to paddle through and then walk around the dam and then put in at the base of the dam and run out to the Poudre.

Overall, it was kinda dumb. Two very small class III rapids. Okay scenery through valley bottoms. A long paddle across the lake. The biggest thing I remember is that there were several barbed wire fences strung across the river that were hard to see and you had to get out and walk around them. Over all, I remember it as a "Won't do it again."
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Old 05-23-2008   #4
Matt J's Avatar
Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
Be careful on the upper section.

Mostly because there are several fences across the river. It's not a class V section of whitewater but it does necessitate creeking skills as far as group management and safely portaging the fences.

My first and only run down it was with an experienced crew, but we still ran into a pretty close call above the waterfall which is clean and fun.

I know this is not the section you were asking about, but don't be lured into the higher section without the proper skills. It's pretty remote and definately class IV.
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Old 05-23-2008   #5
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Oops. My bad. My post above referred to the upper and middle sections - I spaced on the lower (probably trying to forget ...).

The 'real' lower section is much easier and very different from the two runs above it. The lower run has a number of fences but no real rapids. it's a pretty run through the foothills ranch lands, and at moderate water levels there are no rapids harder than maybe a 2+ (but watch the fences). The run goes into Seaman res, which you carry around, and into the Poudre at Gateway park. A nice day float and, I though, some interesting views of somewhat remote (but not wilderness) foothills scenery, but not a whitewater trip. If the water were really high, there could be swift currents into the fences that might give a beginner trouble. I think that's the only potential hazard.
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