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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning a 3-day float on the North Platte with the family, 6 Mile to Bennet Peak and was told it’s completely burn out. Has anyone floated this since the fire?

Also, new FS camping restrictions on this section as of May 19, which only leaves Prospect Access on BLM for camping. Was also told this was burned?

Anyone know?
 

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This has been talked about here - not looking too good for river camping:

 

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I floated 6 mile to Bennett about 3 weeks ago. I think it was about 600 cfs then. There were a few trees in the river, but nothing too concerning. We camped at Picaroon and that was not burnt out.
 

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The camping ban is perplexing. Picaroon is now considered to be a dispersed camping site by the USFS. It is no longer maintained and does not appear on the Medicine Bow-Routt list of developed campgrounds. As Wyofloaterss notes above, it is not burned out.

That said, there would be campsites at Picaroon that are 1,000 feet or greater from the River up the road as it parallels Douglas Creek. Before decommissioning, there were a several dedicated campsites on this section of road.

It would be interesting to know whether 1) the picnic tables have been removed and/or 2) the vault toilet at Picaroon has been removed.

Considering:
  • there are very few campsites between 6 mile and the AbarA besides Picaroon and those were marginal at best
  • the BLM land at Prospect launch is not included in the ban but is not any more or less dangerous than other stretches of the river, and
  • the traditional use of Picaroon as a campsite for multiday trips down the river
it is reasonable to conclude that this camping ban was imposed to frustrate multi-day trips down the North Platte. The safety argument simply doesn't hold water.
 

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I failed to read the part regarding the camping restriction. As mentioned, it would be no problem to get 1000 feet from the river and camp near Picaroon. The pit toilet and picnic tables are still there, although their best days are behind them.

River left of picaroon was burned. There are lots of standing dead trees there. I'm sure you could find a spot to camp on that BLM, but I imagine it would be a pain.
 

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I like the restrictions... hopefully it helps some southerners forget about the run so I don't have as much competition for campsites in the coming years. 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I spoke with the FS ranger from this area just after the restrictions and supposedly the safety issue is unstable ground in case of flash flooding. Not sure how they're going to ranger this restriction. Are FS rangers floating this section?
This seems to be protecting the idiots and inexperienced boaters/campers. I feel fairly confident I and any experienced outdoors person could properly assess the safety of a campsite in regards to where or where not to put a camp in regards to flash flood concern. But, if it saves one inexperienced boater's life than it's worth it, in my opinion.
And, it will certainly slow boat traffic on the river.

I'm planning to still run 6 mile to Bennet Peak next week, with a slimmed down crew (no kids) and will likely walk 1000ft to upper Pickaroon or float all the way to Big Creek. I'll follow up with a report.
 

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I spoke with the FS ranger from this area just after the restrictions and supposedly the safety issue is unstable ground in case of flash flooding. Not sure how they're going to ranger this restriction. Are FS rangers floating this section?
This seems to be protecting the idiots and inexperienced boaters/campers. I feel fairly confident I and any experienced outdoors person could properly assess the safety of a campsite in regards to where or where not to put a camp in regards to flash flood concern. But, if it saves one inexperienced boater's life than it's worth it, in my opinion.
And, it will certainly slow boat traffic on the river.

I'm planning to still run 6 mile to Bennet Peak next week, with a slimmed down crew (no kids) and will likely walk 1000ft to upper Pickaroon or float all the way to Big Creek. I'll follow up with a report.

Any updates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here’s a quick trip report from our trip 5/30-6/2. We put in at 6 mile gap and took out
at Treasure Island. We took a 14 foot and 10 foot raft, and as expected the downhill carry/drag at 6 mile gap was one of the most difficult parts of the trip.
We happened to go during the 3-day cold front that moved through the area which made for overcast skies, a little snow, a little rain and frosty nights. However it seem to scare everyone else off as we were the only boats on the river. We had some sun the last day which was a welcome change.
Flows for the three days were fairly good, at 1280, 1500, 1200 CSF respectively. The water was very off color, and fishing was poor. There were several downed trees in the river but nothing that presented any hazard and were fairly easy to avoid. Most of the rapids were underwater and required some maneuvering around rocks but were mostly fun wave trains.
With the current camping restrictions, we stayed at the prospect access on BLM land on night 1, good enough for several tents. We explored 1000 feet up from Pickaroon but didn’t find a suitable spot. Night 2 we stayed at Bennet Peak campground.
We hired Hack’s tackle for the shuttle and had no problems.
Overall a great float and would certainly do this again. I would expect the water should be dropping and clearing up the next several weeks and could make for a good trip.

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