Promoting Safe and Sustainable Recreation on the Cache La Poudre River

Cache La Poudre National Heritage Area
poudreheritage.org/play-it-safe

The Cache la Poudre River offers abundant opportunities for a broad spectrum of river users. The scenic river runs from wild to mild, attracting people from around the country. A day of recreation along the Poudre River is a quintessential Northern Colorado activity – especially during the hottest days of the summer.

However, most people do not understand the power of moving water. Although it may appear to be moving slowly, water moves deceptively fast and can exert great amounts of force. Melting snowpacks during the spring increase water flows. Exposure to cold water can quickly lead to hypothermia, an extremely dangerous condition involving the lowering of the body’s “core” temperature that can be lethal.

The multi-pronged Play It Safe on the Poudre program raises awareness about approaches to recreating on the river in safe and sustainable ways. The program also calls attention to the history of in-river structures that represent hazards to recreation.

Play It Safe Tips

Wear a life vest

  • Use proper flotation devices
  • Wear shoes
  • Wear a helmet
  • Don’t tie anything to yourself or to your tube/raft/kayak

Safe to Go?

  • Know the weather and water conditions
  • Poudre River water is melted snow – it is always cold!
  • Avoid logs, branches, rocks and debris

Know Where You Are

  • Take a map
  • Plan your take-out location before you get in the river

Float Sober, Float Safe

  • Alcohol and drugs impair judgment

Be Courteous

  • Pack it in; pack it out
  • Share the river

What if you flip?

  • Do not stand in the river – avoid foot entrapment
  • Float on your back with feet pointing down river and toes out of the water
  • Use your arms to paddle to shore