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watahwatah 04-17-2007 04:54 PM

North Fork Poudre
Does anyone have any beta on this stretch?

I am interested in the lower section, the one that crosses through the Seimen Reservoir on the way to the Pooodre.

I heard that the lower is an easier float and only runs for a month tops.

Does anyone know how to find out if the flows are runnable?

Or if there are any rapids in particular to be concerned with?

I am thinking about trying to run this in early May, if interested, please let me know, I prefer boating unknown rivers in "numbers".

Any other knowledge would be great.


"The tallest mountains. The oldest books. The widest deserts. There you will find the stone."

COUNT 04-17-2007 05:06 PM

Haven't done it but I'd be interested.


cemartin 04-17-2007 05:21 PM

When I first began kayaking about 5 years ago, I ran the North Fork Poudre by myself at low flows. It wasn't very difficult, but the scenery was nice. I think there were a couple rapids which involved boofing/sliding off 2 foot drops. Being a little smarter with age, I think I would boat with someone else along because there could easily be an unexpected tree in the river. I remember seeing a lot of fences in the river, which I descreatly portaged. A little more than half way down the run, you'll get to Seaman Reservoir. I hope they name it for some other reason than my dirty mind has cumb up with. Sorry... I couldn't resist the pun. :D Anyway... you want to paddle the length of the reservoir and take out before the large stairstepped 50 foot spillway on the right side of the reservoir. Hike down to the bottom of the canyon and put in. Here's where the real action begins... it's basically continuous class II+ until you reach the confluence. However, a tree in the river there could ruin your day down there because it's narrow without many eddies. I'd rate the run class III because even at low levels because of the fences and isolation. It's an ok run, but not too exciting.

hkydef 04-17-2007 05:28 PM

The Lower North Fork of the Poudre has 1 or 2 spots I'd call Class III. I only remember 1 of them clearly as I've only run it once a couple of years ago. The drop has a blind entrance, turns left abruptly, and falls/slides a few feet. Scouting can be done from river left. We ran it somewhere around 300+ cfs., I think. The bottom of the drop was kind of bony. The rest of the river was pretty easy read and run. The major hazards of this run are several fences across the river. As I recall, only one or two of them were barbed wire. Be prepared to jump out and wade/crawl through. At higher water, it could be not much fun at the fences. The fences I remember were pretty new and sturdy.

Other than the fences and the paddle across Seaman Res. (mile and a half +/-), it was a great run. Won't tell you too much about the scenery. Gotta see it for yourself. Nice part of the trip was that we didn't see anyone else until the portage over the dam.

Catch it if you can. It didn't run at all last year. I think we ran it in late May/early June when the Main Fork was peaking around 4.5. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere. The shuttle takes some time. Combine this with a Filter Plant run and you've got a full day.

Hope this helps. If you've got more questions, fire away. I check the site all the time.

BrianK 04-17-2007 05:33 PM

any beta on the upper stretch, i was thnking about getting on it this summer whens the best time to go? Is it worth it?

thumper 04-18-2007 08:03 AM

The above posts seem mostly dead-on about the lower. I've only boated that once also, at around 300 cfs. It is a long, fairly isolated stretch with alot of flat and class II. The biggest hazards were definately the fences. I recall 5 or 6 fences, but they were generally easily recognized and portaged. We did have some bulls run along the stream bank just downstream of us, then ford the river as we were approaching. Nothing like several 700 lb. slabs of beef blocking your passage!
We did see some landowners in the upper streches, but they were family types and the kids waved, etc. The reservoir is at the end of the run, but takes its fair share of time and effort to paddle across.
I'd say its worth the time once or twice for the change of scenery, if you can take the run for that and not for the excitement.
gage: North Fork Poudre at Livermore
I would also be interested to hit the upper section some time, but have no beta....

COUNT 04-18-2007 11:10 AM

Yeah, I was planning on also doing the upper when I go. Sounds like it's mostly read'n'run while watching for wood. I think the toughest part is probably getting there when there's water.


cemartin 04-18-2007 11:43 AM

I definitely want to try out the upper section as well. It sounds like a good run, and I'd be willing to bet that it will run this year. Does anybody out there have any beta on this run? I know there has to be a few Fort Collins boaters that have run this section.

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