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Northgate Canyon on Friday

2594 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  wheretheriverflows
Myself and one other are potentially thinking of driving to the put-in of Northgate Canyon Thursday night and boating it Friday. We would be driving from Fort Collins. Looking for others to assist with shuttle and boating. Also if anyone has any beta on this run, that would be great. We have never ran it before.

Thanks, Lenny.
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Northgate Canyon

I just ran it last weekend at a bit over 1,000. Lots of flat water, but there is decent potential for some play. Narrow Falls can be a bit tricky. At these lower flows, the line is left, but be careful of the magnetic wall and box corner at the end. Good eddy river right immediately following the wave train. Last thing, after Stovepipe Rapid, you will come to an island, you want to stay left of the island to get to the take out. With kayaks, if you do go around the island to the right, the walk back isnt that bad, just a couple of hundred yards along a pretty good trail.

Thanks for the post, I appreciate it. So may I ask you few questions?

Where did you put-in?
Where did you take-Out?
Is there good car camping at both the take-out and the put-in? I'd prefer to camp at the put-in, if possible.
How long to drive from put-in to take-out?
How long to run the river?
Were you in a raft or a kayak? We will be kayaking.

Thanks, Lenny.
Where did you take out? I am wondering if I can get a Subaru into( and back out) Bennett Peak campground. Thanks

Where did you take out? I am wondering if I can get a Subaru into( and back out) Bennett Peak campground. Thanks
Bennett would take you 2 days from the put in at Northgate at these flows. Minimum. You can get a Subi in at the Routt access and at 6 mile, the take out. If you miss 6 mile, your next access is Prospect where you dont have a chance at getting to without high clearance 4WD. There is plenty of camping at the access points. This is a wild, remote place, no mistakes

We will not be able to run Northgate this Friday, May 21st, I've had some other things come up. I am looking for some rafters or other kayakers that would be interested in running it maybe next Friday, (May 28th), depending on weather/flows. We would potentially be leaving from Fort Collins Thursday evening and camping at either the take-out or the put-it Thursday night, whichever made the most sense for shuttle. We could potentially make a 2 day trip out of it, taking out either Friday or Saturday. Let me know if anyone is interested in putting something together.

Thanks, Lenny.
You should be able to leave the Fort, set your shuttle, gear up and be on the water in 2-2.5 hours. Even though it seems so far away it is really easy to get to. Go up through Laramie and over. The put it and the take out are fairly close together on the road so the shuttle is really easy. I ran it last year at about 1000 cfs and I think it took about 3 hours on the water. Narrow falls and the last rapid (I think it might be called stove pipe) are the most exciting. Make sure that you are on the left side of the island at the take out. It is really beautiful-enjoy.
No camping at the Routt put-in. Look at the map on the signboard for rapid names and spacing. There is a developed (fee) campground at the Six Mile Gap take-out.

Here's the website:

USDA Forest Service, Medicine Bow & Routt National Forests, Thunder Basin National Grassland - Recreation Activities

The last part (Cowpie/ Narrow Falls/ Tootsie Roll/Stovepipe) is a series of stair-step rapids that, except for the lefthand trap-wall on Narrow Falls, are exciting but not really dangerous. If you take a dog, you need a passenger to hold on to it, as a lost dog (or child) in the last bit can wash down the main (right) channel past the take-out.

Lightning Beta: Cowpie- ease right and cut close on the right to the big mushroom rock at the crux, with a hard left ferry and some reversing waves at high flows. Narrow Falls- (hard to scout at higher flows) enter slightly right and take the V-drop with a hard right ferry below to the eddy. Tootsie Roll- thread the boulders, mostly down the middle, and watch for pourover holes on the right. Stovepipe- keep off the right wall and watch for boulders. When you see a freestanding rock tower on the left, stay left and take the leftmost channel to the takeout.

You have to carry your stuff up a 1/4 mile of steep but maintained trail to the parking lot.
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Camping is allowed at Routt for "overnight" (I am assuming an evening/night arrival prior to a Northgate run). The overnight parking area is exposed with no trees, so if the weather is bad, be sure to stake down for the wind...if not, the skies in this part of the state are beautiful.
From the USDA Forest Service site mentioned previously:

ROUTT ACCESS (Northgate Canyon Put in)
Take Highway 127, four miles NW from Three-Way junction on Colorado Highways 125 and 127 (13 miles north of Walden, on the road toward Encampment/Riverside and Saratoga). Routt Access is the primary access point for whitewater in Northgate Canyon. There are no developed camping facilities, but overnight is allowed in the designated overnight parking area.

SIX MILE GAP (Northgate Canyon take out)
Developed campground on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.
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