Slate River Colorado Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

Crested Butte Colorado
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Slate River

This tributary of the East River features some excellent whitewater boating, as well as trout fishing.

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  • The Slate River is just north of Crested Butte along CO-734. 
  • Stretches of the Slate River provide excellent Class V boating. 
  • Good-sized rainbow trout, as well as some mellower floating, can also be found along the Slate River. 
  • Slate River Road (CO-734) can be combined with a number of other roads for beautiful scenic drives.


The Slate River is just north of Crested Butte and is home of some of great whitewater boating, with stretch of water that boast excellent Class V rapids. In addition to boating, the Slate River also has good trout fishing, scenic drives and more.


Slate River is a popular spot for experienced kayakers and boaters to play and practice their skills. With stretches of Class V whitewater, this is not an area for beginner boaters. One of the most popular sections of Slate River flows past the Oh Be Joyful Campground.


While the Slate River is better known for its whitewater then fishing, there are still lots of mid-sized rainbow trout just waiting for your fly.

Scenic Drives

Slate River Road, Road 734, leads drivers along the Slate River, past Nicholson Lake and Forest Service trailheads. Loops can be made past Emerald Lake (on CO-317), on Washington Gulch Road (CO-611) and, for those looking for longer drives, up to Marble, Colorado.


The Slate River is located just north of Crested Butte, along CO-734 (Slate River Road), off of Gothic Road.


While the Slate River Valley is open year-round, road conditions during especially wet times and during winter months may make travel difficult or impossible. Check with local shops for up-to-date information on access conditions. Summer is the preferred season to travel through and visit Slate River.