Lower Slate River
Start at the recreation path bridge on the east side of Crested Butte. Take Teocalli Ave. or Butte Ave. east past 9th St to access the Slate River Recreational Path Bridge – put in. Please park along road and leave the access to the river open.
Take out is the HWY 135 Bridge just past Crested Butte Country Club. There is a nice grassy area on left side with a gravel path heading up to the parking lot. The take out is just after the foot/bike path bridge and before the HWY 135 Bridge. Please Do NOT float under the HWY 135 Bridge. This creates a traffic hazard returning to your vehicle.
This section is without any whitewater. The Slate River twists and turns many times through open ranch land right on the edge of town. The peak of Mt Crested Butte towers above offering spectacular views and amazing scenery for a summer float. Most of this section flows thru private land therefore paddlers must not stop except for the barbwire fence portage. Call store for details. (970) 209-9747
Times vary with the snow melt off and river flows. Generally speaking expect the highest flows in June, moderate flows in July. August and September is not recommended due to low flows, cattle entering the area and a barbwire fence across the river. Keep in mind recent rain will change the normal flow for a day or so. Be prepared.
June – Highest water flow – 1.5 hours
July – Moderate water flow – 1.75 to 2 hours
August & September – Low water flow, cattle in area, barbwire fence across river! – NOT Recommended
Upper Slate River – More Challenging- **Town Closure until July 15, 2020**
Crested Butte Town CLOSURE. See Slate River Working Group for more details.
Start at the Gunsight Pass Bridge located on Slate River Road. Take 6th St/ Gothic Road north out of Crested Butte. Slate River Road  is the first left turn. Follow this past Nicholson Lake for a total of about 2 miles. On the left you will see  and a sign for Gunsight Pass Bridge. High clearance vehicles may travel down to the river as there are many car swallowing pot holes on this section of road.
Two take out choices.
The Recreation Path Bridge, east of Teocalli Ave. will be the first take out.
The second option is the HWY 135 Bridge as described above, for a full day of floating fun!
This section is slightly more challenging. There might be a log jam or two to navigate around, as well as a fence to portage (walk around). This section may not be suitable for children to navigate by themselves.
You will be rewarded with the path less traveled. Generally great wildlife viewing as you will pass through a wildlife sanctuary, known for Great Blue Heron, Red Tail Hawk and Bald Eagles.
Times vary with the snow melt off and river flows. Generally speaking expect the highest flows in June, moderate flows in July. August and September is not recommended due to low flows and cattle entering the area. Ranchers have installed two float thru fences, please do not portage or walk around. Keep in mind recent rain will change the normal flow for a day or so. Be prepared.
June – Highest water flow – 1.75 hours
July – Moderate water flow – 2 to 2.5 hours
August & September – Low water flow, cattle in area, two float thru fences – NOT Recommended
Great for Full Day, ½ day and Evening adventures.