Cache la Poudre River (Poudre Park)
|Stretch:||Poudre Park to Below Pineview Falls|
|Difficulty:||Class III to IV|
|Flows:||300 to ?,000 cfs (well downstream). Check out American Whitewater's current flow gauge.|
|Gradient:||63 fpm average|
|Take-out:||Roadside access below Pineview Falls|
|Shuttle:||2.3 miles, less than 5 minutes each way|
|Season:||Spring and Summer from snowmelt|
Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip Day 2d:
After boating the Narrows we continued on through the Upper and Lower Mishawaka and into this section along along with the one below it. This section is the short section but packs the biggest rapid of the sections below the Narrows. The section is short, but certainly fun with some nice class IIIish rapids and then of course the big Poudre Falls. That rapid can be scouted on the drive up, and is a common scout for first timers as it is fluffy and fairly long. Additionally, the gauge is just above the rapid so you might as well check the rapid while checking the gauge. The scenery, despite the road being next to the river the whole way, is still surprisingly pleasant.
Honestly, this section, along with the two above and one below, seem like they should all just be one class III to IV section. But, I think because of the rafting industry in the area, which utilizes different put-ins and charges different rates for different lengths and difficulties the split out into four runs has stuck. Realistically, I don't know how many boaters do just one short section. I can see raft guides perhaps doing this as an after work kayak run, but for boaters looking for a full run it seems they will likely do multiple of these sections each time. Anyways, I am following American Whitewater's lead on this one and breaking them up accordingly.
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- Sievy Rapid (III). On a right turn is a rapid with big jagged rocks, different than the rest of the rocks on the river. We ran left moving back right in front of the left shore rock.
- Pineview Falls (IV). This is the biggest rapid below the Narrows and can easily be scouted from the road. Also note the gauge is just above it. We started left to avoid a hole at the top. This then led to 100 ft of boogie wave trains that we ran down the middle. This ends at the top of the main drop, which entered far right of center and moved back to the middle. There are some interesting folding currents here so I imagine there are a lot of flips for beginner kayakers.
Take-out: From Fort Collins take CO-287 North for 9.8 miles before turning left onto CO-14. Follow this up the river valley for 8.9 miles to a riverside turnout. This is just below the Pine View Falls rapid. The gauge is upstream. There is access above it too.
Put-in: Continue up CO-14 for 2.3 miles to the Poudre Park Day Use Area.
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