We are looking at a rare combination, Fort Collins. The heat of the Colorado summer is here in full force. That means temps in the 90’s, possibly rising to 100, and the increase in moisture that we’ve seen this year has taken away that old phrase we’re so used to, “…but it’s a dry heat”.

However, since the mountains saw so much snow over the winter, we are enjoying a much longer snowmelt here in Fort Collins and all over Colorado’s Front Range. So without further ado, here are my top 5 ways to enjoy the Cache la Poudre River this summer.

5. Lazing on the shoreline

It may not be a sandy beach, but it is a beach!! There are numerous spots in town and up in the canyon that can offer you your own spot to hang out, have a picnic, read a book and hop in when it is finally too hot!

Suggested Beaches – Park at Legacy Park and walk up the north side of the Poudre. There is a great little spot just a ways up, and for those who can do some exploring, there is another that is a good ways up that actually has sand.

Just down from the Gateway Park and the Filter Plant put in there is a large parking spot that yields to a great spot. The swimming hole isn’t that great, but it’s a nice spot to spend an afternoon


4. Fishing

The challenges and rewards of fly fishing are almost a Zen pursuit. There are a few knots to learn. It also helps to know what kind of insects actually live here and when they hatch. The whole deal is somewhat involved, but when you get into it and put all the information together with practiced casting ability and see a fish rise to your dry fly, it’s an incredible feeling.


3. Tubing

I am a vocal opponent of tubing in Poudre Canyon. Tubing is for lazy rivers. That said, the river gets pretty lazy between Shields and College this time of year. Bumps and bruises are still probable, because the rocks on the bottom of the Poudre in no way resembles a swimming pool. It is still a wild and scenic river, and for that, we thank it.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Flip flops are useless in the river. They will come right off. I also think that they are a bad fashion statement, but that is another blog.


2. Swimming/Snorkeling

This is a snowmelt fed river, so prolonged exposure except on the hottest and sunniest days can put you at risk of hypothermia!! But, with a wetsuit, or just getting in for short periods of time, it can be ok (proceed at your own risk). If you take goggles or a mask, especially on a sunny day where the light is hitting the pool, you will see Nature at her finest. I’ve seen schools of trout in the depths of the pool at Picnic Rock. Seeing the pyrite glitter in the sunlight will have visions of custom mountain homes dancing in your head, and the full meaning of the nickname Fool’s Gold will truly hit home. There is a whole world of beauty down there, and when you see some trash amongst it, you’ll resolve anew to never litter again.


1. Rafting

…and still undisputed champion of fun in Northern Colorado!!!! I scoff at roller coasters! Mother Nature is my roller coaster. In the winter, we make turns on the beautiful snow. In the summer, it melts and our adrenaline again abounds as the alluring action of an ascent’s opposite is enjoyed. There is a raft trip for everyone, from seniors and 7 and above to adrenaline junkies. As the water level goes down, the waters become tamer and tamer.

Bob Klein relates that this is the BEST YEAR EVER!!

This is the best year we've ever had, actually!!

This interview was recorded in late July, so go to Poudre Rock Report for today's water levels.

For more resources on the Poudre River and more about Fort Collins visit: