Kayakers Up the Poudre!

Don scouting while portaging Poudre Falls on the Spencer Heights Section

Don and I spent the weekend paddling the Poudre River, and I’ll bet you can guess that Poudre jokes abounded!

The river is actually named the Cache La Poudre, meaning “hiding place of the powder” in French. The name comes from the 1820s when French trappers were caught by a snowstorm and were forced to bury part of their gunpowder along the banks of the river. My sister, now a Fort Collins resident, still can’t help but snicker when her kayaker friends say, “let’s go do the Poudre this weekend.”

Don approaching the big hole in the Lower Narrows.

Saturday we arrived pretty late, but still had time to squeeze in a fun play run down Poudre Park and the Bridges Sections where we met lots of other kayakers who like to take it up the Poudre. (Fort Collins paddlers have even made up bumper stickers proclaiming this). The Poudre paddlers we met seemed pretty psyched about Ecuador–for good reason too, seeing as there isn’t much mid-winter kayaking in the Fort Collins area. Ecuador is an incredible place to paddle when all your backyard runs have dried up, so you should definitely come check it out with us this winter!

Don punching the big hole in the Lower Narrows

Sunday we rallied a bit more and ran the Narrows, Spencer Heights and Joe Wright Creek. When we were finished we had a full on battle with the insane swarms of mosquitoes that inhabit the Upper Poudre. We camped one more night up there hoping the Forest Service would open the gate up to Long Draw Reservoir so we could paddle the Big South on Monday, but it didn’t happen. The latest report we heard is that they are aiming to open the road Friday morning.

Don getting creative with his veggie washing technique in mosquito territory

Such a gentleman, Don let me hide in the van while he braved the mosquitoes long enough to clean our veggies for burrito night.

Don and Lacey enjoying the sunset Poudre-style

Don and Darcy on day 5 of the Middle Kings last summer–loving our Jetboil!

And, speaking of Jetboils…we are giving one away on Thursday, July 1st! If you haven’t entered our contest yet, make sure you do so! Go to

then scroll down our homepage, click win and enter your information. The Jetboil is, in my opinion, the best stove out there for multi-day, self-support kayaking trips. It’s small, compact, lightweight, and super fuel-efficient. Even if you don’t win one on Thursday, you might just have to go out and buy yourself one!

We are headed to the Arkansas river for the 4th of July weekend, and we hope to see lots of you out on the rivers. After that, we are thinking, Wyoming, Idaho, California or Washington…anyone have any ideas for us?

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply