Cache la Poudre
The Cache la Poudre River Canyon is truly a hidden treasure, with majestic cliffs and intriguing rock formations enveloped in ponderosa and lodgepole pines, sage brush, mountain mahogany and aspen. The Cache la Poudre River–the place where French-Canadian trappers hid their gunpowder during a raging blizzard in the early 1800s, hence the name– begins high in the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park, along the Continental Divide. Flowing north and east through Roosevelt National Forest, it tumbles down the slopes of the Front Range and meanders through the city of Fort Collins. From its headwaters to the confluence with the South Platte River east of Greeley, the Cache la Poudre drops 7,000 feet.
The Poudre (pronounced poo-der) is Colorado’s only nationally designated “Wild & Scenic” River. Colorado Highway 14, which follows much of the river, is a designated Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway between Fort Collins and the town of Walden. The Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway is recognized as one of the state’s premier scenic highways. This route features stunning scenery in Poudre Canyon and along the Poudre River, as well as vast forests and high peaks. Stop at the Home Moraine Geological site, an area carved by glaciers, and keep an eye out for Bighorn Sheep. About 50 miles up the canyon, the road drops over 10,000 foot Cameron Pass in the vast North Park Valley. Visitors will want to stop a moment and take in the view of Nokhu Crags.
The Cache la Poudre River Canyon hosts a myriad of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. From whitewater rafting (class III-IV rapids), hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and fishing, to winter sports like snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling, the Canyon is the perfect place to get away from it all, all year round.