East River - 02. CB South to Almont

East River, Colorado, US


02. CB South to Almont (Lower East)

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 12 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09112200 800 - 3000 cfs I-III 31d01h17m 83.5 cfs (too low)

River Description

We are looking for more information on this run. If you have paddled this stretch before and have photos or beta on flows, please comment below or send an email to kestrel@americanwhitewater.org. Thank you! 

Getting There

The Lower East River runs from Crested Butte South to the small town of Almont, where it converges with the Taylor River to create the mighty Gunnison. This entire reach is roughly 12 miles long, with an optional takeout after 7.5 miles at the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery (River Left). To get to the take out drive north on Highway 135 from Gunnison and look out for signs indicating the Almont River Access Area, which is located just downstream of Almont and the Taylor - East River confluence. Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery is just a few more miles up the highway on the left. Access for the put in can be found at the Crested Butte South Wastewater Treatment Plant, just off of Highway 135. Access at the Treatment Plant has been very sensitive in the past, so please respect any signage and clean up after yourselves. 

River Character

The Lower East River has a very different character than the classic creeking run upstream. The river ranges from class I to III and at higher water (~2,000) it can provide fun wave trains and good surf waves with a bedrock nature. This whole stretch is roadside (Hwy 135), but is quite scenic, nonetheless. As the river gets closer to Almont beware of increasing amounts of wood, especially as the river starts to split into numerous braids. Wood can be frequent and unsuspecting, so be aware before you go.

Access Issues

There have been alerts of multiple barbed wire fences to avoid along this stretch. Location, height, and severity of barbed wire will depend on season and flows. As of May 2018 there were no reports of barbed wire on this stretch, but be aware because this could have changed. The Lower East is surrounded by private property for the entirety of the run, including the private resort, The Reserve. There have been many boater-landowner conflicts in this stretch of river and it is important to be as respectful as possible so as not to further aggravate the issue. There have been incidents of urinating and defficating on private land, which have inherently led to issues with private landowners. Please be respectful, do not exit your boat to urinate or otherwise expose yourselves on private land along this stretch.  


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-12-09 21:43:56


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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Associated Projects

  • Forest Planning (CO)
    AW is involved in a number of different Forest Planning efforts in Colorado, working directly with the public and the United States Forest Service to secure better protections for rivers.