The Crystal River offers some of the most challenging paddling in all of Colorado. The lower stretches are home to excellent Class III runs, and the upper stretches hold some of the most exciting Class V you can find in the state.
Crystal Gorge, Class V+
One of Colorado’s premier Class V creek runs, this is a must for experienced boaters. A rough 4×4 road takes you deep into the Elk Mountains and the heart of the Crystal River. The run is separated into an Upper and Lower section. The Upper features technical drops, and the Lower is highlighted by the 40 foot entrance exam of Zute Chute.
Meat Grinder, Class V+
This is an intimidating stretch of river, as it crashes down through a section of river filled with numerous huge, red boulders. The nearly 2-mile run will challenge even the most experienced paddlers.
The Narrows, Class IV
A mellow alternative, but still demanding respect, the Narrows is a 4-mile run along a narrow section of the river. If you have the time to look up, you’ll be rewarded with views of incredible soaring cliffs on either side of the river.
Avalanche to BRB, Class III
Looking for something casual? This is your stretch. Starting at the Avalanche Creek bridge, this run is nearly five miles long and can be run in a kayak, canoe, or raft. It offers fantastic scenery and just enough fun to stay interesting without being too exciting.