The North Platte River begins as a trickle in the mountains surrounding Walden, Colorado and flows north through the Northgate Wilderness Area. The North Platte is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets and one of Colorado’s only remaining free-flowing white water rivers. This white water gem combines untracked wilderness with an abundance of Colorado’s finest rapids to deliver an outstanding early season adventure.
This map gives an overview of the location of the Northgate Canyon of the North Platte River. All rafting trips meet and depart from “Route Access” 4.4 miles from the junction of Hwy 125 and Hwy 127. Click on an outlined section to see details including rapid names. Printer friendly souvenir-quality low-resolution or high-resolution versions of this map are great to bring along when visiting us.
The canyon begins near the border of Colorado and Wyoming where the river spills from its source in North Park. Completely inaccessible, the “gate” of Northgate Canyon stymied French trappers in their upstream efforts to reach North Park. The French Trappers named the North Platte ‘Riviere de Plat’, meaning “Flat River”. That name characterizes much of the rivers 618 mile course before joining the South Platte River in Nebraska. Early travelers on the Oregon Trail followed it to near the present day town of Casper, Wyoming. They considered it too shallow to float, too deep to ford, and too wide to bridge.
This river would have surprised those pioneers had they followed it into the mountains. It is here, deep in the Medicine Bow Mountains, that we will float the river as it is turned on edge.
The North Platte is located west of Fort Collins and east of Steamboat Springs near Walden, Colorado. It is also within easy driving distance of Laramie, Wyoming.