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Originating near the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Cache la Poudre River flows 126 miles until it reaches the confluence with the South Platte. For 76 miles as the water flows through the Roosevelt National Forest, the Poudre is protected as the states only wild and scenic river. As the river leaves the National Forest, it enters the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. The Cache la Poudre River supports a multimillion-dollar whitewater industry and attracts visitors from far and wide. Within the paddling season, the Poudre River offers something for everyone. 

From the expert kayaker looking to explore exhilarating class IV & V to the local searching for a leisurely river float, the Cache la Poudre provides excellent options.

Filter Plant to Picnic Rock

Just starting out? Filter Plant is the perfect beginner run on the Poudre. Within the National Heritage Area, this class II-III stretch begins just below Gateway Natural Area flowing 3.2 miles through calmer water than what is found upstream. At high water, Filter Plant can provide a challenging paddling experience, and in the late season becomes a popular tubing destination. To learn more and recreate safely, read a detailed description from:

Fort Collins Whitewater Park

Just North of Oldtown, the Poudre River Whitewater Park provides a playground for kayakers, paddle boarders, and tubers. Opening in 2019 this new whitewater park provides two manmade waves, and an overlook plaza for spectators. Free and open to the public, the Fort Collins Whitewater Park is a great way to play on the Poudre. For more detailed information visit the:

Eastman Park River Experience

The Town of Windsor has dedicated a one-mile stretch of the Cache la Poudre River to local paddling and tubing. this mellow stretch of the river provides a lazy river experience allowing anyone in the region to float the Poudre without the worry of the tricky rapids upstream. You can even rent an inner tube for your float during the spring and summer months!

Paddling Resources

With 126 miles of river, there is so much more to explore! Take a look at these resources and find other options that might be right for you!

Paddling is inherently dangerous. Know before you go, and bring the appropriate gear. The National Heritage Area partnered with the Poudre Fire Authority to create the Play it Safe on the Poudre program. Please take appropriate precautions when paddling the Poudre.

Want to experience the Poudre, but don’t know where to start? Maybe a guided whitewater rafting trip is for you. There are 4 river outfitters operating out of Fort Collins.

We recommend Rocky Mountain Adventures

Rocky Mountain Adventures | Paddling