South Platte River

Cheesman Canyon to Strontia Springs Reservoir; Buffalo Creek to confluence

Owned and managed by: U.S. Forest Service, Denver Water, Jeffco Open Space and private land owners
Recreation managers: Denver Water, U.S. Forest Service and Jeffco Open Space
Reservations: No, check with South Platte Ranger District for fees, 303-275-5610
Elevation: 6,400 feet at Deckers
Denver Water Customer Care: 303-893-2444
Pike National Forest Regional Office: 719-545-7837
Map: South Platte River access (PDF 2.71 MB)
Streamflow: Updated information

Directions to Deckers

From Denver:

Take U.S. Highway 285 to Pine Junction. Drive south on Jefferson County Road 126 for approximately 25 miles to Douglas County 67 at Deckers.

From Sedalia:

Take U.S. 67 from Sedalia to Sprucewood. Stay on 67 south until you reach pavement at the South Platte River. Go 6 miles south on Douglas County 67 to Deckers

Business Information for Deckers

Flies & Lies — 303-647-2237
Deckers Country Store/Cabin Rentals — 303-647-2332

Seasonal Information

River and designated parking: Open year-round.
Camping: Check with South Platte Ranger District.

Operating Hours

Day use area, between Pine Creek Road and Buffalo Creek — sunrise to sunset.
No overnight activities allowed.

Special Events

Permit necessary.

Recreation Opportunities

  • Stream fishing: The fishery is managed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
    Cheesman Canyon: 3 miles below Cheesman Dam are Gold Medal Waters, catch and release only.
    Deckers to confluence: The river winds through private and public lands, but 14 miles of the river are accessible to the public. See map (PDF 2.71 MB) for public accessible parking areas.
  • Mountain biking: Check Jeffco Open Space for directions and maps to bike trails in this area.
  • Hiking: Several hiking trails are available along the North Fork and South Platte River. Check Jeffco Open Space for directions and maps to hiking trail system.
  • Kayaking, Canoeing and Tubing: Portable crafts allowed include kayaks, canoes and inflatable crafts. Kayaks, canoes and inflatable crafts are allowed along the South Platte River. Kayaking is available on the North Fork but canoeing and inflatable crafts are not advised. Note: water craft may pass through private property but are not allowed to stop on private property.
  • Camping and picnicking: Camp and picnic sites are provided along the South Platte River by the Pike National Forest. Picnic sites are available for day use.