Good Afternoon Folks!
As we gear up for a busy summer season on the South Platte, Deckers, I wanted to give everyone the “Heads Up” on the tubing/floating conditions! IT’S NO GOOD FOR FLOATING! What else can I say folks? The current flow through Deckers is at 81.5. Please see the gallery, as I took these pictures just a few hours ago. This is low for this time of year, as they are in the process of trying to fill Cheesman Reservoir. The word on the river is that it will probably increase in a few days. However, don’t look for much of an increase in the flow. More than likely, we’ll see the flow get to about 120/130cf. That’s a little better for floating, but please keep a few things in mind. First, don’t bring a “Pool Toy” to float. More times than not, these crafts are not capable of handling the impact of a rock or stick, typically resulting in a deflated tube. Or, in many cases, a Unicorn or floating Star Fish! For more information about floating the South Platte, complete with a live river flow chart, visit Each year the river gets littered with busted tubes and other trash left behind, as some decided that’s it’s ok to leave the deflated plastic tubes along the river. This is extremely damaging to the environment. Aquatic trash affects water quality, endangers plants and animals, and pollutes the outdoor spaces that we depend on for tourism and recreation. My second point I would like to make is about the parking situation around the Deckers area and along the river. Rocky Mountain Recreation is a private concessionaire company that manages the campgrounds and day-use areas along the South Platte and is closely monitored by the US Forest Service. In the area that is considered Deckers, this would include the Lone Rock Campground, Bridge Crossing Day-Use area, Platte River Campground, Ouzel Campground, Scraggy View Day-Use area, Willow Bend Day-Use area, and Osprey Campground. For more information about these campgrounds and to make a reservation for Lone Rock Campground, as it’s the only one that takes reservations down here on the river, please visit  On the weekends, the campground host at Lone Rock, Platte River, and Osprey campgrounds, reserves the right to prohibit day-use in these areas. Depending on how much parking has been taken up by campers at these campgrounds, admittance to these areas my be declined. However, when you purchase a Day-use pass, by using the self-pay fee station, you then have access to all of the open Day-use areas along the river. This would include Bridge Crossing, Scraggy View, and Willow Bend. You have access to these areas until 9pm. THERE IS NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING AT DAY-USE AREAS. Understand that when you enter one of these “Fee Areas” you are expected to fill out a fee envelope with your license plate information, date of visit, and number of visitors in your party. Place the cash or check in the envelope provided and drop in the fee tube. The perforated side of the fee ticket is your receipt and is also the document that the park staff looks for as they are visiting or staffing these areas throughout the day. These areas only accept CASH OR CHECK. Unfortunately, there is no Venmo or other third-party payment service available, as there is no internet connectivity in these locations. If you find yourself without the cash, the Deckers Corner Cafe does have an ATM. PLEASE BRING CASH WITH YOU TO THE MOUNTAINS. If you’re lucky, you may come across a Rocky Mountain Recreation staff member who may be able to make change. However, it is still your responsibility to pay this fee. if you are a regular user of this area or other Rocky Mountain Recreation managed properties, they offer an annual pass for $75. This gives you day-use access to any area that RMRC manages in Colorado, for that day only. The passes can be purchased at any Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, BLM or Forest Service office. Also, the pass may be purchased at the kiosk located at Manitou Lake Day-use area. Manitou Lake is about 4 miles South of Woodland Park, along Hwy 67. The only other pass accepted at the Fee areas is the America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior, Veteran, or Disabled pass. The pass entitles the card holder only, to 1/2 price off the admission to the Day-use area or campground. The annual America the Beautiful pass is not accepted at RMRC day-use areas or campgrounds as payment. Please keep in mind as this is sometimes confusing to people. The areas previously mentioned are not part of a State Park or National Park. These recreational areas are within a National Forest and are managed by a private concessionaire.  As we get further into the summer season, it’s my goal to keep you informed of what’s happening in the Deckers area and along the river. As a resident of the Deckers area and an employee of RMRC, my goal is to provide you accurate, reliable information that will help you stay safe, enjoy your time in our beautiful river valley, and want to keep coming back for years to come. In the last ten years and especially since Covid,  large numbers of people are finding themselves in the great outdoors for the first time. Combined with the growth of the front range communities, this has had a tremendous impact on the Deckers area and recreational areas around our country.  If we don’t try to inform and educate as many people as we can about good outdoor practices and behaviors, both prior to getting here and while they’re here,  we run the risk of destroying this wonderful natural resource, polluting the river, destroying the wildlife, and ruining this incredible recreational area for future generations. If you like this article, please share this with anyone everyone you know who visits this area.  Or, better yet, share it with everyone  you can think of that cares about what is happening in our National Forests. This land belongs to all of us! As humans and caretakers of this planet, it’s our responsibility to make sure it’s enjoyable for years to come.



Christopher White