White-water Rafting and Kayaking White-water Rafting and Kayaking

Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Cache la Poudre River Rafting & Kayaking


Rafting & Kayaking the Cache La Poudre River

The name Cache la Poudre means "Hiding Place of Powder". In the 1820's, French fur trappers were caught in a blizzard. Here, they buried their gunpowder in a hiding place along the banks of the river to lighten their load.

Bus loaded up with rafts ready to go rafting, Photo courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77 - Boulder, CO
Photo Courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77-Boulder, CO
A Bus Caries Rafters and the Rafts Up the River to Begin their Whitewater Adventure
Group of rafters whitewater rafting in the Cache la Poudre River Colorado
Photo Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Adventure
The Cache La Poudre River has the Closest Rafting and Kayaking to Estes Park and Fort Collins

Today, the Cache la Poudre River is the only designated National Wild and Scenic River in Colorado, offering a protected and unspoiled environment for water activities. The river starts in Rocky Mountain National Park along the Continental Divide and runs through Roosevelt National Forest, just northwest from Fort Collins and an hour drive from Denver. Many come between May and August to enjoy the rafting and kayaking adventures that this river offers. The intensity of the rapids vary from intermediate to advanced intermediate, offering class II, III, and IV rapids.

Whitewater kayaking down the Cache La Poudre River in Colorado.
Photo Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Adventure
Whitewater Kayaking is Exhilarating
Rafters going down the Cache La Poudre River with trees and mountains in Colorado. Photo courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77 - Boulder, CO
Photo Courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77-Boulder, CO
Sit Back and Enjoy the Scenery

Kayakers are familiar with the challenging runs of the upper stretches of the Cache La Poudre River. On the lower part of the river, there is almost continuous whitewater with technical rapids, steep drops and beautiful scenery. Class IV+ rapids along Mishawaka and Pineview Falls provide a rush of adrenaline for experienced whitewater rafters. Family oriented trips also start below the falls, offering a more relaxed whitewater experience.

The International Rapid Rating Scale:

  • Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles, small waves.
  • Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids, wide, clear channels.
  • Class III: Intermediate. Rapids, moderate, irregular waves.
  • Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids, precise boat handling.
  • Class V: Expert. Long, obstructed, violent rapids.

Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do

Rocky Mountain Adventures: Rafting Trips, Kayak Instruction, Gear Rentals and Retail Shop Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Rocky Mountain Adventures start in Fort Collins: whitewater rafting, SUPing, kayaking, river tubing on the Cache la Poudre River, designated Wild and Scenic. Winter rentals sledding gear, XC skis, snowshoes.

More Activities & Information

Estes Park, Colorado includes: Drake

Fort Collins, Colorado includes: LaPorte, Wellington, Windsor

Poudre River Canyon, Colorado includes: Bellvue, Glendevey, La Porte, Rustic

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado includes: Livermore, Virginia Dale, Tie Siding WY

Rafting & Kayaking in Colorado

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