As an elementary-school-age Nebraskan, Michelle Kwan’s 2002 Olympic run remained my exclusive exposure to ice skating. Hearing of a small pond close to my grandparents’ Colorado home induced wonder beyond previous possibilities in my young life. I waited impatiently for our Christmas trip to their home on Wisp Creek Drive. My dad, as tall as […]

In June, a small team of PBT interns set out for the highest point in the Platte Basin watershed. We had big intentions of catching 5-star media to fill in cracks for the Grays Peak scene in the upcoming PBT documentary featuring Mike and Pete’s 55-day, 1,300-mile journey across the watershed. Grays Peak is the highest point in the Platte Basin […]

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is one of several state and federal agencies that has been working for decades to recover the federally threatened greenback cutthroat trout. But a few years ago, new genetic research revealed that they’d been saving the wrong subspecies.

When the sun rises early, so do we. A couple Saturdays ago the PBT team spent the morning watching the sun creep over the snow-covered peak of Mount Lincoln, above Montgomery Reservoir. We were exploring the headwaters of the South Platte River, in some of the farthest-west territory of the Platte River Basin, a region […]

The Platte River Basin is expansive and diverse. One of my favorite parts of this geography is Phantom Canyon, a small preserve nestled into the land where the mountains meet the plains, in the Laramie Foothills of northern Colorado. Driving in, we nearly always spot pronghorn moving across the land, their soft brown eyes and […]

Earlier this summer I drove a 1,756 mile loop up, down and around the edges of a tilted tabletop in the heart of North America. Born high in the Colorado Rockies, the Platte River Basin loses 12,000 feet in elevation west to east, draining 90,000 square miles across the plains until it flows into the […]

Lake Agnes is the location for PBT’s highest elevation time-lapse camera, an alpine lake nestled in the Never Summer Range of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is also the beginning of the Platte River’s story. In late January the PBT team trekked up 11,000 feet to the camera on the edge of the lake […]

A series of bathtubs dot Wyoming’s North Platte River, filling and releasing water for summer irrigation, power generation, and recreation. During western expansion, it became necessary to control the river, building dams and reservoirs that helped to regulate flow between seasons and wet and dry years.

In September 2013, it began to rain in Colorado. And it didn’t stop. Northwest of Fort Collins, the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River soon carried record amounts of water. In just a few days, flows leapt from three cubic feet per second (cfs) to more than 1000 cfs when the upstream dam could not hold any more water and began to spill over.