More Poudre river questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-19-2012   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
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More Poudre river questions

So, I have been in Fort Collins now for about a month. So far it is good. I have explored some of the Poudre river but so far all on foot. My raft and gear is still in storage.

Questions, so far I have only seen rafters in the area just above one of the water diversion dams. This stretch is a little below Mishawaka. I really do not know the names of any put ins or take outs but I have noticed a good amount in this stretch and watched plenty of rafting companies going through.

My question is does anyone raft any of the lower sections? The section for a few miles just as you enter the canyon looks like some lazy day type water. I come from the North West and although I have rowed through some solid white water we have always rafted just to take a calm fun float down the river. We have a raft with oars and frame. We like to just float along, kick back and enjoy. I know the powder is not the ideal river for this but heck, there must be a stretch that is a few miles of a bit more flat water.

Can someone give me some info on all the stretches people float? and maybe what water level is needed or ideal for that section? Do people float any stretches closer to town outside of the actual canyon?

Better yet, anyone know where I can find more info about this? Anyone out there know the river well that might want to help a new guy out?

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Old 08-19-2012   #2
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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The Fort is a badass town. And the poudre is a gem. The "filterplant" run is the easiest section. The takeout for FP is the Picnic Rock day area that you pass on the left,as you come into the canyon. You can put in at the gateway natural area,but ezpect to pay. Most people use the gravel pull-out,with the steps down to the river. Its maybe a half mile before Gateway. Everything above this is class 3/4....and IMO one of the best day runs in the state for oar rigs. Get the original Bible (Colorado rivers and creek) for the best breakdown on the diff sections. "Stevens down" is the standard day run for most serious boaters,class 3/4. Dont forget about the Rustics farther up. Seasons done for most rowers btw. The Bridges section is the step up from Filter plant. The put in is the pullout below Pinevu falls. Also,nobody uses the gauges. Learn to follow the "rock report." Sorry for the halfass explanation....im typing thiss on my phone. The Poudre loc's will give you all the info you need though. Get the guidebooks....
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Old 08-19-2012   #3
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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And everything closer to town is super flat and there are a few low head dams that need portaged. Not really worth it. My personal low level cutoff was 1.7ft,but i have a cat too so i could straddle rocks. 4ft is considered high water(fun). 2-2.5 is when youll start seeing more oar rigs. ...
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Old 08-19-2012   #4
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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As Barry says - The filter plant is probably your best run for an enjoyable float in your raft. A lot of people will float that section in tubes and/or take their children rafting/kayaking in that section. It's a great 3 mile section if that's what you are looking for. Go to Poudre Rock Report for water levels. Anything below 1.7 on the rock and you'll be scrapping rock. 2.5/3 is ideal for this section. I have seen people tube/raft through town, but nothing beats the views of the Poudre Canyon. As Barry mentioned, the section above filter plant, known as bridges is your next step up if you are looking for a little more whitewater (class 3) and then the further you go up the canyon (generally speaking), the more whitewater and difficult it gets. You'll likely have to wait until the next resevior release near the top (doubtful) or until next season to actually get your first run in. In the meantime, enjoy all that Fort Collins has to offer. One of the best cities I have ever lived in.
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Old 08-19-2012   #5
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Forgot to add, this second link describes all the sections in the Poudre, the put-ins, take-outs and ideal levels to be run at. Although, arguable, the levels they suggest are on the conservative side, most kayakers I know will run at much lower levels.

Cache La Poudre River Colorado - River Trips for Kayaking & Canoeing Cache La Poudre River on allaboutrivers.com
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Old 08-19-2012   #6
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Thanks everyone! Thanks a ton for the link to the info about all the sections. I have my raft set up with oars and a frame. It is a 13ft SB AIRE. The filter plant run sounds like the perfect quick easy fun with the wife run so that sounds awesome! When the water is at a good level, a level that is around 2.5ft how long of a float is it? 2.5 miles sounds like a very quick run. I guess I could always run it twice! ha ha.

What other runs are common for oar rigs?

Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2012   #7
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1112 View Post
What other runs are common for oar rigs?

Thanks.
On the Poudre or state? Get the guidebooks. "Stevens down" actually consists of 4 "runs." Upper Mish,Lower Mish,Poudre Park,Bridges in that order. Stevens Gulch is the put-in. There's a buttload of ways to break it up though. Some stuff you cannot see from the river,like Cardiac Corner above Pinevu falls. solid class 3/4 skills are needed for pretty much all. Filter plant gets overrun by tubers in the summer. Takes 15-45mins depending on the level. Stevens down is where it's at. The Rustic(s) sections are a blast when it's got enough water in. Class 3/4 too. They are farther up the canyon. Above the Narrows. Upper Rustic contains the "white mile" and lower Rustic has grandpas gorge. You probably won't be hitting them up anytime soon though,sounds like. I usually don't hit the rustics until it's 4ft on the rock cause the riverbed is wider up there,you just need more water. It'll beat the shit out of your oars. That section(s) see more wood too and blind channels. Helps to know the lines. White Mile at 4-5.5 is sooo fun though.

FYI the Rock gauge is spray painted in orange,river left,just above Pinevu falls(Poudre park section) and is somewhat obvious. Learn to take shallow strokes on the Poudre,cause its a shallow,rocky river. And always keep your downstream(when your sideways in the current) oar outve the river or you may get the hardest punch of your life
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Old 08-20-2012   #8
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
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Keep in mind there are two diversions dams below "The Rock" and above the put-in for Filter Plant (one for Greeley, one for Fort Collins). This makes for a shorter season on Filter Plant most years, and you can't rely on the Rock Report in late season for running Filter Plant. As of this morning there is 297 cfs at the canyon mouth - too low for a raft on Filter, but enough for kayaks and tubes.

I've run my 10 foot raft with frame from Tunnel (approx 1/2 way Upper Mish section) down through Bridges take-out at low as 1.0 feet on the rock. Very shallow, oars get beat up, a ton of work, numerous hang ups - but great for an early or late season run. 2.0 feet on the rock is a much more friendly level for oars.
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Old 08-20-2012   #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Damn,

I remember when no one would consider running the poudre in a kayak at less than 2.5 feet, unless perhaps they were in the narrows. Apparently, now it is a good water level for rafts?

I cringe every time I see an outfitter taking passengers down at 1.5. Just does not seem right.

I sure hope we get some snow this year.
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Old 08-20-2012   #10
 
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Rafting down to a foot and kayaking at even lower levels is definitely worth it when you can start in April (this year) and go through September (last year) - especially with kids along.

As for paying top dollar for a chance to scrape down with a commercial - I wouldn't personally but good thing some people want to - keeps the outfitters going.

The Poudre is gorgeous this time of year. If you're an experienced oaring/rowing a raft and want to follow someone down at these low flows just let me know. It's good practice for low water Middle Fork runs....
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