North Platte - 01. State line to French Creek (Lower Northgate Canyon)

North Platte, Colorado, US/Wyoming, US


01. State line to French Creek (Lower Northgate Canyon)

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 12 Miles

Narrow Falls

Narrow Falls
Photo by Ken Cramer taken 05/15/11 @ 1800 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-06620000 400 - 3000 cfs I-III 01h06m 259 cfs (too low)

River Description

While this river has the Put-in access in Colorado the almost all of the whitewater is in Wyoming.

If there were less than 7 miles of scenic flat water between the put in and the whitewater section of this river I suspect this would be a more popular run.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-07-09 22:50:04


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.5Windy HoleIII
7.0Cowpie RapidIII
7.5Narrow FallsIII+Hazard
9.5Stove Pipe RapidIII

Rapid Descriptions

Windy Hole (Class III, Mile 0.5)
Windy Hole Rapid The North Platte starts out with a deceivingly fun and steep little Class III rapid named Windy Hole Rapid. Windy Hole Rapid comes up in the first 1/2 mile of the run as the river makes a sharp turn around a bend and look like it is entering a gorge. However do not be lured into a sense of excited anticipation of the upcoming rapids. After Windy Hole the river becomes Class I to II- for 6.5 miles. The scenery is great but there is no whitewater.

Cowpie Rapid (Class III, Mile 7.0)
After a very tiny creek flows in on the right the river changes character. The riverbed is scattered with large boulders, downstream visibility is greatly reduced, and the gradient pick up. This is the start of Cowpie Rapid. The rapid is not really difficult but it merits a Class III and could result in an extended swim and loss of gear if you flip at the top.

Narrow Falls (Class III+, Mile 7.5)
Shortly after Cowpie the canyon pinches in and the gradient picks up. Narrow Falls is the steepest and most difficult of the rapids on the river. The difficulty of this rapid range from a solid Class III to a Class IV at higher flows. The hole at the bottom of Narrow Falls is sticky and good boat control is essential at higher flows to avoid ending up in the hole.

Stove Pipe Rapid (Class III, Mile 9.5)
The river pinches down producing waves, swirling eddies, and some holes. Stove Pipe Rapid is a generic class III rapid. The wave trains are over 100 yards long for this rapid but the difficulty is not great. The takeout is just below on the left and it can be easy to overlook it so be careful.

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