Slate River - 01. Beaver Ponds to Oh Be Joyful CG

Slate River, Colorado, US


01. Beaver Ponds to Oh Be Joyful CG

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 85 fpm
Max Gradient 127 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-385106106571000 500 - 2500 cfs V 70d01h19m ~ 25.6 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Slate has a challenging 1-mile stretch of Class 5, but it's not as "quality" as nearby Daisy and OBJ creeks so it's not run nearly as often. The first rapid, located at the upper end of the campground, is one of the hardest. Look carefully for the shallow shelf in the landing zone on the right, it's going to hit you in the side and is hard to miss. Be heads up for wood, almost the entire length of the reach has avalanche paths coming right down to the river. 1/2 way throught the run you will come upon a river wide log jam. Ambitious boaters managed to get a "technical" channel open through it in 2001, but portage river right and launch off the backside of the log jam if it looks too "iffy". On the drive up make sure to scout the location of Wicked Wanda, it is the last major rapid. "Wicked" does this rapid justice, it funnels down into a narrow twisting entrapment that is almost always clogged with wood. Make sure you know where to eddy out above for the portage.

The Quadruple Crown: Because of the short length and proximity of the Crested Butte creeks all 4 of them can be run in the same day. The East River is the best to start out with; it has the largest flow and the least gradient of the four. Next in line is Daisy Creek. Just continue downstream after Daisy to the confluence with the Slate River; there will be about 1/2 mile of slack water until the first rapid. The takeout for the Slate River is the same as Oh Be Joyful Creek so just walk or drive up to the OBJ put-in from there.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-10-26 20:03:14


Rapid Descriptions

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Associated Projects

  • Gunnison Basin (Colorado) Stewardship Program
    Our new Gunnison River Basin program will define and protect recreational flow needs as part of regional and broader Upper Colorado River Basin stewardship strategies. By quantifying flow needs in the