Sleeping Elephant on the Poudre
Location: The put-in is 43 miles west of Ted's Place on Highway 14. We put in at the sign for Sleeping Elephant Mountain, so we don't actually go to Sleeping Mountain campground. We float to the Big Bend campground.
Sleeping Elephant sign at the put-in, mile mark 79
Sleeping Elephant mountain at the put-in
Rating: Class II/III. It depends a lot on the river flow. We use the Pineview Rock as the gauge and it should be between 3 and 4 feet.
Description: This is a beautiful float through nice scenery. The last time I floated this stretch, I was surprised by a river otter. People have also seen moose on this float. It is a day float, and we stop for lunch along the river.
When you leave cars at the Big Bend Campground, you should park in the Mountain Sheep viewing area. If you enter the campground, you may be charged a fee.
Host: Mark Riffe has been hosting this trip each year for many years. Mike O'Brien is hosting it in 2021.
1. Meet at Picnic Rock at 9:30 am on the day of the float. Carpool as possible.
2. Drive 40 miles to the Sleeping Elephant sign, mile marker 79.
3. You will drive past the take-out, which is the Big Bend Campground, near mile marker 83.
4. After unloading your gear, we drive all the cars back to Big Bend Campground and park in the Sheep Viewing Area.
5. One or two cars return with the drivers to Sleeping Elephant and then we float.
6. The picture on top is where we usually stop for lunch.
7. The take-out is not obvious, so hopefully someone who has done it before will be there. We take out just downstream of a pit toilet.
8. After a hot day on the river, there are places to stop for ice cream in the Canyon.