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Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Canyon Lakes Ranger District
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Canyon Lakes Ranger District

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General Information

Upper Poudre Canyon
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Upper Poudre Canyon
Description - The Canyon Lakes Ranger District includes the upper reaches of the Cache la Poudre, Laramie and Big Thompson River drainages. The landscape varies from spectacular river canyons to high mountain peaks. The vegetation ranges from foothills scrub to alpine tundra.

The district encompasses the Rawah, Comanche Peak, Neota and Cache la Poudre Wildernesses. The Cache la Poudre River, west of Poudre Park is designated a Wild and Scenic River because of the lack of a dam and its outstanding recreation and scenic features.

Recreation - In the summer months, the district provides opportunities for camping, backpacking, hiking, fishing, and sightseeing. Hunting is a popular activity in the autumn months. The winter brings plenty of snow to the highest elevations of the district and many opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Climate - Elevations range from about 5,000 feet on the east end of the forest, to almost 13,000 feet on the highest peaks. With this enormous elevation difference, the climate varies greatly. The weather is generally much warmer and drier at the lower elevations.

For summer, expect warm days and cool to freezing nights, especially in the high country. Much of the highest elevations remain inaccessible until early or mid-July. Be prepared for both warm and chilly weather. The rainy season lasts from mid-July through August, when afternoon thunderstorms should be expected.

Although the skies are often sunny, winter temperatures can be very cold. Abundant snowfall is received in the higher elevations which supports the many winter activities. The lowest elevations normally hold only intermittent snow through the winter.

Location - The Canyon Lakes Ranger District includes the northeast portion of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests of north-central Colorado. It encompasses much of the foothills and mountains from Fort Collins and Loveland west to the Medicine Bow Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Joe (parker, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Fair amount of info available. Front desk folks seemed to have limited amount of suggestions as to where to go. Leave your dog outside the building or incur the wrath of a VERY cranky USFS employee!

More Information

Contact Information:
Canyon Lakes Ranger District, 2150 Centre Ave., Building E , Fort Collins, CO, 80526, Phone: 970-295-6700

Forest to Grassland Information Center, 1311 S. College Ave. , Fort Collins, CO, 80524, Phone: 970-498-2770, TTY: 970-498-2707

Additional Information:
Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests - The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests are jointly managed. These forests encompass much of north-central Colorado, from Boulder and Fort Collins on the east, to Hot Sulfur Springs and North Park on the west.
Estes Park Area - Estes Park is located on the Big Thompson River, northwest of Denver, on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Fort Collins Area - Fort Collins is situated at the eastern base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, approximately 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Roosevelt National Forest - The Roosevelt National Forest encompasses much of the northern mountains and foothills of Colorado, on the eastern side of the Continental Divide. The Roosevelt is now combined with portions of the Arapaho, and administered as the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.

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