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Welcome to the Poudre River Wiki!

The Cache la Poudre River (pronounced "cash luh POO-der") is termed by the National Park Service as "The River that Set Historic Water Law in the West." [1]. Known locally as "the Poudre," it is a hard-working river in northern Colorado. It provides a large portion of water (along with the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and part of the Michigan River basin via the Michigan Ditch) to communities such as Fort Collins and Greeley, as well as to agricultural lands.

With its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, the Cache la Poudre River flows 125 miles east through the Poudre Canyon and onto the plains. These locations provide outstanding recreational opportunities; from fishing and biking to hiking and rafting, the Poudre River corridor is a large part of the local "outdoors" mentality. A portion of the river is designated as a National Heritage Site which, through a commission, is charged with interpretation, education, and preservation programs.

The Cache la Poudre River Watershed is part of the South Platte River Watershed, which is part of the Platte River Watershed, which is part of the Missouri River Watershed and ultimately the Mississippi River Watershed. The larger context reminds us that we are all connected.

This wiki has been created as a central source of information about the many aspects of the Cache la Poudre River, for the purpose of education. It is being developed and moderated by the Water Resources Archive at Colorado State University. To participate, click the "About" link at the bottom of the page.

USGS Map: Cache La Poudre as a Source of Drinking-Water

What Would You Like to Learn About the Cache la Poudre River?

Colorado State University Resources

Water Resources Archive, Colorado Water Institute and Warner College. The university is interested in the history of Colorado water as well as current conditions and water-related issues. A variety of research is being done by the Warner College and the CWI. The Water Resources Archive is open to researchers interested in water history.


Information about the agricultural uses to which the Poudre is put.

Forest Ecology

Research projects that look at the larger ecosystem that the Poudre River is a part of.

Municipalities and Industry

The various cities and towns, as well as companies in the Northern Colorado area, that use the Poudre River to provide drinking water, city irrigation needs, as well as other manufactured products.


The Poudre is used as a source of recreation - from fishing to rafting there are a variety of data and recreation-based companies that use and provide recreation on the river.


EPA, National Park Service, local organizations, and conservancy organizations are included here.


Colorado water history is a vitally important part of understanding current ideas and conditions of the river. Learn about the past to better prepare for the future.

Education and Research

Books and other resources for finding out more about the history of water in Colorado and the Poudre River

River Data

Current river conditions and data as well as drought-related issues and similar information


A variety of maps related to the Poudre River, its uses and its watershed

Local Media

Local media frequently report on river issues. A search of related keywords will provide the researcher with a variety of public-targeted articles and information

Poudre River Bibliography

Resources on the history of the Poudre River
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