Cache La Poudre River - Rustic (Lower)



Lower Rustic is the more popular of the two Rustic runs.  It starts at Dadd Gulch and continues down to Lower Narrows Campground.  At normal flows Rustic is generally easy class III paddling with 3 more difficult rapids.  After putting in, boaters will enjoy a couple miles of straightforward meandering class III.  The first rapid, Grandpa's Gorge, comes immediately after floating under hwy 14.  Grandpa's Gorge is a fairly straightforward but long rapid, keep it in the middle and you should be fine.  The second rapid, Death by Dismemberment, is generally the most difficult.  It is located directly under a small bridge and consists of a sloping drop of about 8 feet.  Hitting the bottom curler with right momentum will keep you off the left wall.  The final rapid, Hole 99, is located conveniently at mile marker 99.  It consists of a fairly busy lead in followed by a steep drop.  Left around the island through the lead-in, and right of center for the main drop is the standard line.  After Hole 99 a few miles of II/III will get you to the take out.  

Because much of the Rustic Run is above the confluence with the South Fork of the Poudre, the run generally requires more water to run than its downstream cousins.  Rustic is worth doing above 3.5' in my opinion, and it really starts to get good above 4'.  It can be done much lower, but at lower flows you are probably better served on one of the downstream sections.  

Note: The takeout is very obvious, but it should be mentioned that below the take out is the Narrows section of the Poudre.  If you are floating Rustic at normal flows the Narrows will be solid Class V, and something you will probably want to avoid.   


Class III to IV-
Current Flow Visual or Unknown
Recommended Flow Minimum: 2.5
Average: 3.5
Maximum: 5.0
Typical Season Begins: May
Ends: July
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: Yes
Canoeing: Yes
Packrafting: No
Fishing: Yes
Primary Gauge VISUAL
Length 9.0 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM