Powder River: Arvada to Montana


GRADIENT - 5 ft/mile

LENGTH - 40 miles

FLOAT TIME - 13 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Sheridan, Recluse

PUT IN - county bridge near Arvada

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - bridge below the state line

Powder River

USGS Gage Station CFS at Arvada.

Powder River


This last stretch of the Powder River in Wyoming is a pretty float. Scouting and access is reached by taking county road #269 (just west of the US-14 Bridge) and following along the river toward Broadus, Montana. You can also reach the upper landing by taking the Bitter Creek Road northwest from Recluse, Wyoming.

About four miles from the put-in at Arvada is the US-14 Bridge. One hour below the bridge, the river swings near some bluffs and the county road where there is a fence across the river. Below here you begin traveling between the Powder River Breaks on the east and the L Quarter Circle Hills on the west.

Three hours from the put-in is Lynn Draw and about three hours further is Spotted Horse Creek, both coming in on river right. In the next hour down to the county bridge and the confluence with Clear Creek, the river makes a few small, intermittent bench drops. Below Clear Creek, the shallow valley becomes more restricted and you begin traveling past stands of cedar and pine. The hillsides here are covered with red scoria containing occasional seams of coal.

About one hour from Clear Creek is a small footbridge in an area where the river breaks up into several small channels. One hour downstream is the first take-out where the river nears the road at the base of a bluff (24 road miles from US-14). If you don't take out here, the next landing is about fours hours further downstream at the first bridge in Montana. Float time from Arvada to the Montana landing is about 13 hours.