Magazine article Sunset

Now's a Good Time to See the Two Forks Country

Magazine article Sunset

Now's a Good Time to See the Two Forks Country

Article excerpt

The most controversial dam proposal in recent Colorado history involves a Y shaped section of the South Platte River where the north and south forks meet. In what may prove a major victory for conservationists, the Environmental Protection Agency regional office has just issued a formal recommendation to prohibit the project's construction. If top EPA administrators uphold this decision, the dam project would be killed although it could be revived by litigation. The American Rivers group has declared the South Platte one of the nation's 10 most endangered rivers. You can easily get a look at the affected section of the river, just a I 1/2-hour drive from downtown Denver, and sample its tubing, camping, cycling, picnicking, and gold medal-caliber trout fishing. Now is a good time to get out to the river-with warm days hitting the 70s. Fishing is good now, too. Camping, picnicking, cycling In Pike National Forest, this strip of the South Platte is very popular and accessible (you won't find a wilderness experience here); you can drive the main river route, which follows the South Fork for part of its length. From Interstate 25, take US. Highway 285 west. At Pine Junction take State 126 south. After about 8 miles on this paved road, you reach Kelsey Campground, with 17 sites first-come, $7 per night). About 4 miles farther, park at Wigwam Picnic Ground. Hike about a mile down the steep Gill Trail to the scenic Cheesman Canyon section and some of the South Fork's best fishing (more on fishing at right). Note that a 1.3-mile section of river below this stretch is off limits; it belongs to two private fishing clubs. State 126 ends after Wigwam; you then follow a graded dirt road, easily passable by car. It drops down into the river gorge itself and soon you'll reach popular Lone Rock Campground, the only developed campground on the river. Its 19 sites cost $6 to $8 per night; to reserve, call Mistix (800/2283-2267). In about 1/2 mile, you reach State Highway 67 and the town of Deckers, with the canyon's only cafe, grocery store, motel, and gas station. Past Deckers the road runs close to the river and has several informal pullouts, where camping is legal. Four areas offer good picnicking as well as rest room facilities Bridge Crossing, Platte River, Scraggy View, and Willow Bend. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.