East - 01. Gothic Bridge to above Stupid Falls

East, Colorado, US


01. Gothic Bridge to above Stupid Falls (Upper East)

Usual Difficulty IV (for normal flows)
Length 0.75 Miles
Avg. Gradient 182 fpm
Max Gradient 182 fpm

Upper East

Upper East
Photo of Matt B and Darren M by unknown taken 05/01/02 @ 400 CFS

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09112200 600 - 3000 cfs IV 64d06h49m 83.5 cfs (too low)

River Description

In the shadow of spectacular Gothic Mountain, the East is the easiest and shortest of the Crested Butte creeks, there are 6 slides that deserve a quick scout. If this run were 2 or 3 miles long with the same quality slides the entire length it would be one of the most popular runs in Colorado. Unfortunately the run is way to short. It's kinda like a one stoplight town, blink and you'll miss it. If your a Class V paddler take your play boat and surf every single wave the whole way down. Confident Class III boaters should be able to make it down this run as long as they have good babysitters.

To get there: Take Gothic Rd out of Crested Butte until you cross the river. This bridge is the put-in. To get to the takeout continue down the road another 50 yards past the bridge and take the first dirt road on the right. About a mile down that road keep an eye out for a large flat field to the right with the grass next to the road trampled down a bit from parking. Look for a small trail leading to the far corner of the field, this is where to scout Stupid Falls and the takeout.

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: 2018-06-12 17:46:04

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.2Midget WrestlerIV
0.3Slide #2IIIWaterfall
0.4Slides #3, 4, & 5III
0.6Slide #6IV
0.8Stupid Falls5.3Takeout Hazard Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Midget Wrestler (Class IV, Mile 0.2)
The small but potent hole at the bottom is the "midget", and he is grumpy. There are two lines, left and right. The left line is a bit easier, you start center and work left, just squeeking by the midget on the left. The right line you follow the wave train down the right side and over a stompin' ledge, then slide over the shallow ledge to the right of the midget. This is the only hard rapid that can be seen from Gothic Road.

Slide #2 (Class III, Mile 0.3)
This is almost a waterfall, it drops about 12' of nearly vertical with no hydraulic. Run it left of center, follow the green water.

Slides #3, 4, & 5 (Class III, Mile 0.4)
Three short 5' vertical slides that are back-to-back. There is a log on the left in the last slide.

Slide #6 (Class IV, Mile 0.6)
A bony diagonal ledge at top is followed with a large hole on bottom left. Enter center left and work right.

Stupid Falls (Class 5.3, Mile 0.8)
This is a 60' stair-stepping incentive to make sure you know where to take out. The falls are actually run quite frequently, by those with rubber spines and/or good chiropractors!

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