Poudre River Canyon - North Central Colorado
Designated Colorado's first National Wild and Scenic River in 1986 and the state's only National Heritage Area in 1996, the Poudre River Canyon, also known as Cache la Poudre, is a remarkable spot in the midst of the Roosevelt National Forest. The Poudre River runs along Highway 14, Cache la Poudre/North Park Scenic Byway, in northwestern Colorado.
In 1840, French trappers camped at the mouth of the canyon, just west of Fort Collins. When a heavy snow fell and they had to reduce their load, the French men buried their gun powder along the river's banks - forever giving it the name "Cache la Poudre."
Eventually, the river would go on to play a pivotal role in the development of Colorado and its water laws, which have served as a model for many Western states. The river is also known for its innovations in water delivery systems, such as the Greeley #3 irrigation ditch and Bellevue's Hydrology Laboratory, which developed an important system for measuring and distributing Colorado's waters. To honor these contributions, the river was the first spot west of the Mississippi to be designated a National Heritage Area. Spanning 45 miles, the area runs from the edge of Roosevelt National Forest to just east of Greeley.
Today, the river is best known for its fishing. Brown and rainbow trout are plentiful, and the river's rapids are also home to countless whitewater rafters and kayakers. Some areas of the river are "Wild Trout" sections where bait fishing is not allowed.
Hiking is also popular in the Comanche Peak Wilderness, the Rawah Wilderness, the Neota Flat Tops Wilderness and in Roosevelt National Forest. There is access to hiking trails into the backside of Rocky Mountain National Park.
In winter, vacationers try one of the many cross-country ski trails in the breathtaking high peaks of the Cameron Pass area at 10,276'.
Featured Poudre River Canyon Businesses
Aspen grove WEDDINGS. Along the Cache La Poudre River Archer's Resort has cabins, RV, tent sites, a Canyon Grille, central hot tubs, camping store. 35 miles W of Fort Collins. Private Island with 1 tent site!
Modern cabins on landscaped grounds, 42 miles west of Fort Collins, along the Wild and Scenic Cache la Poudre River. Bighorn is peaceful, relaxing, cozy and comfortable. Smoke-free studios to 3-bedrooms.
Open all year. Vacation at our Family Resort on beautiful Poudre River, Colorado's 'trout route'. Cabins, mountain homes, shaded full hookup RV sites, tent sites, store, restaurant and pub. Welcome home.
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Poudre River Canyon Activities & Maps
Cache la Poudre - North Park Scenic Byway -UPDATED-
Rafting & Kayaking:
Cache la Poudre River Rafting & Kayaking