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The Poudre Canyon is a narrow verdant canyon, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, on the upper Cache la Poudre River (called the "Poudre" for short, which locals pronounce as "Pooder") in Larimer County, Colorado in the United States. The canyon is a glacier-formed valley through the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins.
The canyon begins in northern Rocky Mountain National Park, at an elevation of approximately 9,000 ft (2,700 m), where the Poudre descends from near the continental divide. It winds gently to the northeast, then east, descending the slope of the Colorado Tertiary Pediment, emerging through the southern end of the Laramie Foothills north of Bellvue at an elevation of approximately 5,000 ft (1,500 m). Except for the small upper portion of the canyon north of Rocky Mountain National Park, State Highway 14 runs through the canyon. The route of the highway provides the principal vehicle access to the canyon and furnishes a road link between Fort Collins and North Park on the western side of Cameron Pass, which is accessible from the upper canyon. Most of the canyon is within the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest, which is headquartered in nearby Fort Collins.
The flanks of the canyon wall are gently sloping and forested along most of its length, with the exception of several "narrows", at which the river has carved through recent formations leaving behind large glacial debris. The canyon is inhabited along most of its length downstream from Kinikinik. All of the communities in the canyon are unincorporated. Most of the habitation is the form of small cabins, some of which are inhabited only during season. Resort cabin communities for fishing and hunting are found sporadically along the canyon downstream from Rustic, which at one time in the late 19th century was a bustling summer resort, and burned down in 2008. The relative isolation of the canyon compared to ones further south along the Colorado Front Range gives a tranquil atmosphere with only small-scale tourist enterprises. The canyon is distinctly less developed than the Big Thompson Canyon west of Loveland. The commercial establishments, notably in Poudre Park, cater mostly to local clientele except during the fishing and whitewater rafting season, when the canyon receives a modest number of regional and national visitors. Colorado State University operates a small campus in the mountains at Pingree Park, which is named for George Pingree, an early settler in the canyon in the 19th century. Near Pingree Park is Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp, a summer camp affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The national forest in the vicinity of the canyon is laced with numerous trails that follow side gulches into the surrounding mountains. The trails serve double seasonal duty, as hiking trails in the summer and as cross-country skiing trails in the winter. One such trailhead at Long Draw Reservoir leads over La Poudre Pass along the Never Summer Mountains to the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The most popular species for fishing in the river are various species of trout which are stocked in the river annually by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The United States Forest Service maintains a series of picnic areas and campgrounds along the river, including one campground facility named for local historian Ansel Watrous, whose 1911 history of the area is the standard early reference about the canyon itself.
The canyon was inhabited by Utes in the 19th century and was the site of trapping expeditions by early settlers. The relative lack of mineral resources in the surrounding area spared the canyon from intense population increases during the Colorado mining boom (see Colorado Gold Rush). In the early 1880s, the canyon was surveyed for a railroad by archrivals, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, with the intention of completing a transcontinental line through the Rockies. The canyon was never the site of a railroad, however, and it was not until the 1920s that a road was constructed through the narrows.
The South Platte River is one of the two principal tributaries of the Platte River. Flowing through the U.S. states of Colorado and Nebraska, it is itself a major river of the American Midwest and the American Southwest/Mountain West. Its drainage basin includes much of the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado; much of the populated region known as the Colorado Front Range and Eastern Plains; and a portion of southeastern Wyoming in the vicinity of the city of Cheyenne. It joins the North Platte River in western Nebraska to form the Platte, which then flows across Nebraska to the Missouri. The river serves as the principal source of water for eastern Colorado. In its valley along the foothills in Colorado, it has permitted agriculture in an area of the Colorado Piedmont and Great Plains that is otherwise arid.
Larimer County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 299,630. The county seat and most populous city is Fort Collins. The county was named for William Larimer, Jr., the founder of Denver.
The Town of Windsor is a Home Rule Municipality in Larimer and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 18,644. Windsor is located in the region known as Northern Colorado. Windsor is situated 59 miles (95 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an American national park located in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service. There are two primary entrances to the park: the south rim entrance is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Montrose, while the north rim entrance is 11 miles (18 km) south of Crawford and is closed in the winter. The park contains 12 miles (19 km) of the 48-mile (77 km) long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, according to Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In the book, author Duane Vandenbusche states, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon."
The Cache la Poudre River, also known as the Poudre River, is a river in the state of Colorado in the United States.
The Fraser River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 32.5 miles (52.3 km) long, in north central Colorado in the United States. It drains large portion of the Middle Park basin in Grand County in the Rocky Mountains west of Boulder and southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. It rises at the continental divide on the north side of Berthoud Pass in the Arapaho National Forest. It flows NNW past Winter Park, Fraser, and Tabernash, and joins the Colorado River from the south two miles west of Granby.
Cameron Pass is a mountain pass in north-central Colorado in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States. The pass is a gap between the south end of the Medicine Bow Mountains and the north end of the Never Summer Mountains. It sits on the border between Jackson County and Larimer County, approximately 3 mi north of the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. The pass provides the most convenient route between Fort Collins and Walden in North Park, using State Highway 14.
State Highway 14 in the U.S. state of Colorado is an east–west state highway approximately 237 miles (381 km) long. One of the longest state highways in Colorado, it traverses four counties along the northern edge of the state, spanning a geography from the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, and including North Park, the Poudre Canyon, and the Pawnee National Grassland. It provides the most direct route from Fort Collins westward via Cameron Pass to Walden and Steamboat Springs, and eastward across the plains to Sterling.
Bellvue is an unincorporated community and U.S. Post Office in Larimer County, Colorado. It is a small agricultural community located in Pleasant Valley, a narrow valley just northwest of Fort Collins near the mouth of the Poudre Canyon between the Dakota Hogback ridge and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The ZIP Code of the Bellvue Post Office is 80512.
The Greeley, Salt Lake and Pacific Railway was a railroad that operated in northern Colorado in the United States during the 1880s. Founded with heavy backing with the Union Pacific Railroad, it was controlled by the Union Pacific from its inception, but was incorporated into the new Colorado and Southern Railway in 1898, becoming part of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1908.
Kinikinik is a small unincorporated community in western Larimer County, Colorado in the United States. It is located along State Highway 14 in the upper Poudre Canyon west of Fort Collins on the east side of Cameron Pass. The community consists of a general store and neighboring summer mountain resorts and vacation homes. The activities include fishing in the Cache la Poudre River and hiking in the nearby mountains in the Roosevelt National Forest. The community was named for the kinnikinick plant by early settlers.
The North Fork Cache la Poudre River is a tributary of the Cache la Poudre River, approximately 59.2 miles (95.3 km) long, in north central Colorado in the United States. It drains a mountainous area of north central Larimer County northwest of Fort Collins on the western side of the Laramie Foothills.
The Roosevelt National Forest is a National Forest located in north central Colorado. It is contiguous with the Colorado State Forest as well as the Arapaho National Forest and the Routt National Forest. The forest is administered jointly with the Arapaho National Forest and the Pawnee National Grassland from offices in Fort Collins, and is denoted by the United States Forest Service as ARP.
The Canyon Lakes Ranger District is part of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest and Pawnee National Grassland, specifically on the Roosevelt National Forest. This land is a part of the United States Forest Service. It is located in north-central Colorado in Larimer County and encompasses 650,022 acres (2,631 km2). The Canyon Lakes District Office is located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Livermore is an unincorporated community and a U.S. Post Office in Larimer County, Colorado, United States. The Livermore Post Office has the ZIP Code 80536.
Spring Creek is a 12.7-mile-long (20.4 km) tributary of the Cache La Poudre River in the state of Colorado in the United States.
Colorado State University Mountain Campus, formerly Pingree Park, is Fort Collins, Colorado-based Colorado State University's mountain campus. CSU Mountain Campus is situated in Pingree Valley in the Mummy Range at 9,053 ft (2,759 m) approximately 24 miles (39 km) from the city of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Chambers Lake is a reservoir in Larimer County, Colorado. Located within the Roosevelt National Forest, the reservoir supplies water for irrigation and municipal water supply.