Big South Poudre Hiking - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
 
jonny water's Avatar
 
Geologist, Colorado
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Big South Poudre Hiking

I was thinking of doing a hiking trip along the Big South section of the Poudre. I would like to hike from near the put-in to the take out but noticed that the trail is on river left from the top down to Peterson Lake then it is on river right down to the take out. Does anyone know if it is possible to cross the river around Peterson Lake? As an alternative, we could just hike around the upper section above Peterson Lake. I was thinking of 2 nights but camping the first night on Friday after work so we would try to camp near Starter Fluid. Has anyone hiked the trails up there and know if they are well marked or easy to follow down to Peterson Lake? Also, has anyone crossed the bridge above Starter Fluid to head up stream and if so if it is worth venturing up that way? Thanks!

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
 
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Eagle, Colorado
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I haven't hiked it, but I have paddled BS from the source...

Upstream of the confluence is a really interesting mini-gorge that you have to portage when you run it in a boat due to wood. Would be easy to get around without a boat and is non-technical with a boat. Above that is a beautiful valley floor that is part of Rocky Mtn National Park. We camped the night before the descent at a nice confluence of streams about a 1/2 mile above the gorge. Great place at that point in time.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Same - have done this paddling from the source but not as a hiking trip. That said, I feel like I pretty much hiked much of section above the Hague creek confluence.

Last question first, that upper section above the weird creek confluence was terrible for kayaking but great for scenery. I think we saw around 10 moose and countless elk. That's in RMNP and a more scenic area than downstream in imo. I believe you'd need to arrange camping permits.

I don't know how good the trail is to follow from Starter Fluid down to Peterson Lake, but my guess would be not hard. It seems like it must follow the canyon closely all the way down. That said, I haven't really run into hikers too far below Start Fluid.

The river around Peterson is fairly flat. I imagine you'd have to just wade across and get a little wet, but I can't imagine you'd have to get below knee deep right now. Bring lots of bug spray.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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I think there was a bridge that washed out at some point, but in any case there are a lot of places where it would be easy to cross, even with a heavy pack, at this time of year. It's a gorgeous area.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
 
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Geologist, Colorado
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Thanks for the beta! Going upstream looks like a great option for hiking and scenery plus I check out the section above Big South proper since I've always wanted to put in from RMNP.



KSC mentioned bring lots of bug spray, are there lots of mosquitoes up in that area? That sounds like the only negative to this section. That and any permitting that I would need to camp. I didn't think I would need a permit for the Poudre section, do you mean camping up in RMNP? Yeah I imagine you would need a permit to camp in RMNP, definitely something to consider.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
SarahofTheWaves
 
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
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It has been awhile, but we just crossed the river at a wide spot somewhere near Peterson Lake. About calf deep.
Nice hike.
Would be very long without a shuttle.


Sarah
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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In my experience all that area is very marshy and while it depends on the weather, mosquitoes are a frequent visitor. I think almost all the area upstream of around the weird creek, corral creek confluence is in RMNP, but you should consult a map. Even for a little bit below there it's RMNP on river right. Below that no issues w/ camping permits.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
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Big south trekking

I live 2 miles down from the Colorado 14 trailhead. Hike in their at least once a week. Just was there yesterday. I fished below double trouble and crossing is safe. No mosquitos. Still some late season raspberries. My favorite hike is corral creek to Colorado 14 trailhead. Can be done in a day but is best with 2 nights. Have seen lots of moose and several bears. Perfect time to hike.
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Old 27 Minutes Ago   #9
 
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Geologist, Colorado
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Thanks!

Thank you everyone for beta on this section. We planned to hike in from the put-in but wow, the beetle-kill up there is rampant! We ended up opting to hike in from the take-out since it was lower elevation (warmer) and many more fall-colored aspens. We had a great trip and the whole family learned to fly fish amongst some of the most beautiful rapids on the planet!
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Old 22 Minutes Ago   #10
 
Horserump, Colorado
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I've found it a much easier hike without a boat on your shoulder.
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