SF is OK .. one for notching the belt, but not much more in my opinion. I remember 2 fun rapids (one was really fun), some log limbo & a TON of flatwater at the end. Also a weird put-in scenario, some barbwire fences to walk around, nice northern foothills scenery & cattle.
It will probably run this year, always hard to tell what that snow pack is and when it goes, also hard to know when it is running and it usually only runs for a short while.
From what I recall, there are some good rapids (mainly 2 like TG said) but it is a tight little run, sometimes few eddies. At high water it might be a challenging class 4+ - 5-. But none the less, a wilderness run, that will challenge new creek boaters and could be a fun one to do with a newer creek boating crew, ie scouting, eddie hoping, portaging, communication skills, etc.
(Usually Spencers is running high when SF is runing, more challenging)
ps. screw all my friends who don't have to work today going to Bailey.
Personally, I really want to get a run on the SF this year. I have paddled most of the runs in the area but never the SF or the North Fork for that matter. Any run that is somewhat elusive, has a wilderness feel, requires scouting and eddy hoping and is in the Class IV+ range sounds like a great day for me. Maybe it's a run that you only do once, but I have heard that about the Black Canyon and some other unforgetable runs. Hopefully I will get on it this year, please post if you KNOW it is running! Thanks!
I gotta put my two cents in on this because the south fork is hands down the worst river I've ever been down. I did it last year at a low flow - just over 1' on the SF gauge. There are at least 10 portages around downed trees. The whitewater is crap - I suppose it could get to IV+ at raging high water, but it would still only be 3 miles in the middle of a 15 mile run. We stopped at a three foot boof to go back and run it again because it was the only thing in there. The scenery is OK, but nothing spectacular, nothing you couldn't find on a river that is actually worth running. Anyways, this thing only runs when everything else is pumping, so I'd recommend you do something enjoyable instead.
For anyone thinking about runnin the lower N. Fork of the Poudre this year: I was up there yesterday hiking around with the dog, enjoyin the holiday.... There is a nasty new barbwire fence strung out by some brilliant rancher. It comes on a somewhat sharp bend in the river and will probably be hard to notice when the water goes up. It doesn't look like it's in a swift water area but it could definitely sneak up on ya.
I think this is now the first fence you will portage. The other 3 all come up within about a 1/4mile of each other. They're not difficult but this new first fence will need your attention.
Portage on the right. Cut it right down the middle......What, who said that?
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