Routt Access Parking Lot

Area Status: Open

Located just south of the Wyoming/Colorado state border, on the Routt National Forest, Parks Ranger District in the Snowy Range.

Accesses Northgate Canyon, which falls within the Platte River Wilderness area and provides the public with a unique opportunity for both exciting whitewater and solitude. Please respect wilderness values and preserve them for the future. One of the regulations to help preserve solitude is a maximum group size of 25 persons per trip. Please call the ranger districts for a complete list of Platte River Wilderness regulations: Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District at 307/ 326-5258, or Parks Ranger District at 970/ 723-8204. Regulations are also posted on access bulletin boards. Permits are not required for private trips. No one may receive a salary or gratuity, increase their net worth or amortize equipment costs without a Special Use Permit. Special Use Permits are required for all commercial outfitters. The normal floating season runs from late May through June, although runoff is very unpredictable. A flow of at least 1200 c.f.s. is recommended for floating. Daily flow information is available during the float season at the Brush Creek/Hayden and Parks Ranger Districts or by checking http// Floating is hazardous in Northgate due to the river, weather and access. Navigation on the river is very technical because of numerous rocks and maneuverability problems. The weather at this elevation, 8,000 feet, is highly unpredictable in June where snow, freezing rain, and high winds are not uncommon. Access is limited to two main points, Routt Access and Six Mile Gap, with the most dangerous rapids in between, known as Northgate Canyon. Camping is allowed along the river. Fishing may be good for brown and rainbow trout in the calmer stretches. The canyon is in two states; both Colorado and Wyoming fishing licenses are required. Wildlife sighted includes mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, ducks, geese, raptors, and many songbirds. For more information, please contact the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District or the Parks Ranger District.

At a Glance

Rentals & Guides: Guide Services Available.
Area Amenities: Toilets
Permit Info: None
Open Season: May
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Wilderness Regulations Apply. Call 307-356-5258 for details.
Closest Towns: Walden, CO
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)

General Information

Directions: From Walden, CO drive north on Hwy 14 for 13 miles to Hwy 125. Turn left on Hwy 125 and drive 4.5 miles to the entrance to the Routt Access launch site.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


River and Stream Fishing

The North Platte River is classified as a blue-ribbon trout stream by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Fish species present include brook, brown and rainbow trout. Douglas Creek, in the Platte River Wilderness, also offers good fishing opportunities.

Special fishing and boating regulations apply to the North Platte River upstream of Saratoga, Wyoming. All watercraft (except for inflatables 10’ or less in length) must have a valid Wyoming Aquatic Invasive Species decal. For additional information regarding fishing and boating regulations, contact the WGFD in Laramie or Cheyenne.



Boating - Non-Motorized

All watercraft (except for inflatables 10’ or less in length) must have a valid Wyoming Aquatic Invasive Species decal. Decals are available from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) online, at regional offices and at automated license vendors. For additional information on boating and fishing regulations, contact the WGFD in Laramie or Cheyenne.


Toilets: Vault toilet

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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