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Some nonkayaking buddies are coming out from Kansas and Indiana, and they want to go on a 3-4 night rafting trip on fairly easy whitewater. I figured The North Platte would be a good close run.

The current plan is to put in at the northgate section, but we're a little unsure where to takeout. We're considering going as far as Saratoga WY. But I realize only the first 20 miles or so are in the national forest. Is there anywhere to camp beyond there? Recommendations for campsites in the upper part would also be appreciated.

One last question. Can I get a good river map at the ranger station? Or elswhere?

Thanks in advance,

alan
 

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Not sure where you can camp, but I do know folks up there take their prrivate land seriously. I know folks who were ticketed for stoping on private land (to fish) even thougfh it was not well posted.
 

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I'd call the folks at the FS who manage the NP: (307) 326-2525 they should dial you in. Their river administer, at least for commercial permits is Penny Walters.
 

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Multiday NG trip camping

Most people camp at Sixmile Gap which is at the end of the class-III run of Northgate Canyon. There is also public access downriver at Pickeroon, which I think is only accessible by car from the east side (ie through the Medicine Bow Forest from town of Keystone). You can also camp and take out & put in at Bennett Peak Campground about another 10 miles downriver. This is accessible from either direction: down French Creek from the east, or from the west off HWY 230.
The run from the Northgate put in near the CO border to Bennett Pk CG is about 30 miles of moderate whitewater, pretty remote, and with good fishing. Then the river turns west and enters the low, dry ranch country until it gets to Saratoga. I've never run this stretch but I'd guess you could do it in a day.
 

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Thanks!

Sounds like were all set. I was able to get a map at the wyo game and fish also. :D
 

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One place to camp is at the confluence with Big Creek. Which is about 26 miles below the put in for Norhtgate. There is a nice campsite on river right just downstream about 50 yds. Other than that, your next campsite would be Corral Creek and Bennet Peak (anothe six to eigh) miles or so down river, and then Treasure Island (approx 12 miles past Bennet). A buddy and me just ran from six mile to Saratoga at approx 1200 cfs. this was a fifty mile trip and it took us two days. Watch the flows on Northgate, this morning it is at 2750. That gets to be pretty serious water at these flows. As far as maps go, check out St. Peters Fly Shop in Fort Collins. They have a North Platte Boater's Map that is well worth the $$. North Park Anglers in Walden also has it.
 

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Well, I would not hesitate to kayak it (except there would still be to much "flat" water), but we may end up putting in at six mile. If we want a little more excitement, we could always do the gorge as a day trip after running the rest.
I am not much of a rafter, but a short class IV gorge in a 16 foot raft doesn't seem that intimidating to me? Having paddled it at lower levels, it seemed at least some of it would wash out. :shock:

Thanks for the input.
 

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We ran this a couple of years ago at about 1800 cfs, from Northgate to Bennet Peak. Here's a bit of what I recall:
Northgate to 6-mile gap is fast and continuous. It culminates in a half-mile stretch with big waves and holes. It flips unwary rafts - regularly.
That said, it's a truly beautiful stretch of canyon.

The stretch below 6-mile gap mellows out a lot. It's still fast and continuous, but only Class 2. There are several lovely campsites along this stretch (for about the next 10 miles or so).
After that, you're in and out of small canyons alternating with ranch land. Get a map that shows public/private land, or camp at the developed campsites.

The shuttle back to Bennet Peak is looonnnggggg, though the roads weren't bad. It's better to continue downstream to Saratoga or I recall there's a campground upstrean of there on the west side, close to the highway, on an island(?). We didn't go that far, but next time I would .

try this:
http://www.fs.fed.ys/outernet/mrnf/rd-parks/access.shtml

Get good maps from the forest service, that show public/private land.

It's a great trip.
alan
 
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