At least four rafts in two days have been damaged by an obstacle in the Poudre River, near the rock tunnel on Highway 14, creating a hazard for those recreating on the river, according to Reghan Cloudman of the National Forest Service.
The hazard is located near mile marker 107 in the river’s center at the Tunnel/Crystal Wall rapid and was reported by A1 Wildwater raft guides.
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Canyon Lakes Ranger District’s river ranger, along with Larimer County Emergency Services and Mountain Whitewater Descents raft guides, visited the site Aug. 5 to determine if it could be removed safely. It is located in the middle of a rapid and is not clearly visible. Until water levels drop significantly allowing access, there is no safe way to remove it.
The hazard is located in a traditional low water line, so rafters and kayakers must find a way around it. It is not visible from upstream and is typically where one would travel in the rapids. Extreme caution is urged to anyone boating in this area.
Permitted rafting companies have been informed of the hazard and signs are being placed at the put-in locations that access this portion of the river.