Powder River: Middle section from I-90 to Arvada


GRADIENT - 6 ft/mile

LENGTH - 50 miles

FLOAT TIME - 2 days

BLM QUAD MAPS - Buffalo, Sheridan

PUT IN - rest stop on I-90

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - county bridge east of Arvada

Powder River

USGS Gage Station CFS at Arvada.

Powder River


Starting at the rest stop on I-90 between Gillette and Buffalo, the Powder River continues to meander and wind its way north. About two miles downstream, Dead Horse Creek comes in from the east and about five miles further is where Somerville Draw comes in from the east. You then pass by Williams Draw (on the right) and the river swings near the road for a bit. Along this stretch you begin following The Kinney Divide off to the east and a sandstone wall. Through this section you pass by Coal Gulch and Deer Gulch on the left and then Turner Draw on the right. Just below Turner Draw, the river swings by Kinney Hill and goes under a footbridge. Between the footbridge and Fortification Creek (on the right, eight miles downstream) there are a few fences across the river to watch for. Just below Fortification Creek is the confluence with Crazy Woman Creek. This area can contain several logjams and may be a bit tricky if the river is high.

Below the confluence, the loops in the river become larger and the floodplain on the bends get much wider. There are beautiful stands of cottonwoods on the inside loops. Two hours below the confluence is Shepards Point (a large pyramid shaped hill on the east). In this area you begin seeing more cedar trees and red scoria outcroppings on the hillsides. As you continue downstream, you begin to see Tincom Butte ahead to the far north. About two hours past Shepards Point, you go by a small heron rookery and the river swings very close to the road at Cottonwood Draw (coming in from the left). The river then loops around again as you pass by Tincom Butte. Ten miles from Cottonwood Draw is the county bridge at Arvada, three miles south of the US-14 Bridge.