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I've read several posts that the lower NF Poudre "sucks". But the trip descriptions seem a little different.

So . . . I realize it's only got a few class III, is the rest long flat paddles, or class II riffles? (Obviously the reservoir is a long flat paddle).

Would it be entertaining and scenic for some newbies? Or would they be better off running Filter Plant twice?

Thanks!
 

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Having just paddled it a couple weeks ago, I'd say you could easily forego the lower north fork. It also is a very bad idea for beginners, because there are 4 fences you must portage and climb over/under. If you were to swim they are almost all a definite strainer. When I went tons of wood was collecting in them and would easily collect a person and cut em up.

There is maybe 1 or 2 at most stretches that had waves for more than 25 yards or so at once and the rest was a bend in the river that you paddled through a swamped marsh with fast current to negotiate a boulder at the bottom of the turn. Also not a great place to swim. Nothing hard, but not really good places to be out of your boat.

The paddle across the res is not terrible, but after all the portages isn't fun. My 2 cents.
 

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If it's still running at the same levels as we did it at a couple weeks ago, the NF Poudre would be kinda fun. There are a couple of semi-beefy class III rapids that are fun and the flat sections move right along at these levels. HOWEVER, there are five or so barbed wire fences across the river that are mandatory portages. If some one accidentally swam or boated into one of these, it would have terrible consequences. They are all fairly easy to identify though as long as you're keeping an eye out for them. The paddle across the reservoir does suck. FP would probably be more fun, the NF would be more of an "adventure". If you think there's a good chance you'll have swimmers, I'd stick to FP.
 
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