Cache la Poudre Wilderness Area
Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.
Located in Roosevelt National Forest
Neighboring towns: Glendevy, Red Feather Lakes, Rustic, Poudre Park, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Bellevue, Laporte
At the time of its designation in 1980, the Cache la Poudre Wilderness Area was one of Colorado's least controversial. Colorado's conservation community joined with the Forest Service and the congressional delegation in identical recommendations for the area's boundaries. Any who could argue with the rugged beauty of the two river canyons that define this small, wild gem of montane forest country?
With an elevation below 9,000 feet, the Cache la Poudre supports forests of Douglas fir as well as ponderosa and lodgepole pine. Two deep canyons define the area. The northern boundary of the wilderness is delineated by the main fork of the Cache la Poudre River and Highway 14. The heart of the wilderness surrounds nine largely inaccessible miles of the Little South Fork of the Poudre, designated by Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1986 along with the entire Poudre mainstem above Poudre Park. The two rivers incise deep meanders into the granitic bedrock typical of the Front Range. The rivers of the Cache la Poudre Wilderness draw the greatest number of visitors, lured here by the Poudre's renowned trout fishing.
Celebrated for their trout, the rivers draw the most human visitors, but lack of trail access and rugged topography make this small wilderness one of the state's least explored areas.
State Highway 14 along the Main Fork of the Cache la Poudre River sees many campers and even more fly-casting anglers. Trout fishing here is as good as it gets in the state. Once inside the boundary, you'll find the ground marked by only one short maintained path, the Mount McConnel Trail, which runs about three miles in the northern section. Other than this, ill-defined paths created by anglers provide some guidance.
Size: 9,238 acres
Elevation: 6,200 to 8,600 feet
Miles of trails: 3
Year designated: 1980
Hunting areas: 19
For more information contact:
Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, 240 W. Prospect Rd., Ft. Collins, CO 80526-2098 (970)498-2770 Supervisor's Office
Boulder Ranger District,
2140 Yarmouth St., Boulder, CO 80303 (303)444-6600 Boulder District
Canyon Lakes Ranger District, 240 West Prospect, Ft. Collins, CO 80526 (970)498-2770 Canyon Lakes District
Clear Creek Ranger District, PO Box 3307, Idaho Springs, CO 80452 (303)567-2901 Clear Creek District
Sulphur Ranger District, PO Box 10, Granby, CO 80446 (970)887-4100 Sulphur District
NOTE: Eloquent descriptions of our wilderness areas provided by Mark Pearson, author of "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas", Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO. The book also contains many beautiful pictures by renowned photographer and Colorado resident John Fielder.
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