North Platte River: Bennett Peak to Saratoga

CLASS - II

GRADIENT - 12 ft/mile

LENGTH - 25 miles

FLOAT TIME - 7 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Saratoga

PUT IN - Bennett Peak southeast of Saratoga

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - Saratoga Town Park

North Platte River

USGS Gage Station CFS near the state line.

North Platte River

 

The Bennett Peak Landing is reached by turning off W-220 three miles east of Riverside at mile #104. Here the French Creek Road heads northeast past the Brush Creek Road and then crosses the Platte River at the Sanger Bridge. Three miles further you come to a small junction. Here you take a side road northwest to Corral Creek and Bennett Peak Campgrounds.

Beginning at the Bennett Peak Landing, the river flows through a small canyon of granite outcroppings lined with pine and cedar trees. This section has a few small boulders, but the current is fairly slow and rates an easy Class II. About one hour downstream is the Brush Creek Road Bridge.

Downstream the river often breaks into smaller channels which may contain snags or downed trees. After about two hours, you float around the edge of a small diversion dam and swing around the base of Baggot Rocks to the confluence with the Encampment River. The river then travels through some beautiful cottonwood bottom lands and you come to the Treasure Island Landing (left channel). This landing is reached by turning off W-220 at mile #30.

Just downstream from Treasure Island is the W-130 Bridge and you begin following along a white bluff. This section has a few small diversion dams, but all may be floated around or over. This stretch has occasional views of the Snowy Range to the east and the Sierra Madre's to the west. Three hours from the W-130 Bridge is the Don Johnson Landing in Saratoga. This landing is across from the town park and is reached by turning off on Walnut Street.