Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is a relatively new activity that was created in Hawaii as an offshoot of surfing. The simplicity of standing on a board with a single paddle makes this a great choice for the whole family. With a number of picturesque lakes and rivers in the Crested Butte area, it’s easy to see why SUP is growing in popularity.
Need a board or guide? Wheelies & Waves (formerly CB SUP) has locations in both Crested Butte and Gunnison with a huge selection and expert guides to help.
Please be aware of surrounding land near rivers and lakes. Sometimes the land is private property or can be a sensitive habitat that should not be disturbed. Minimize your impact by sticking to established put-ins and take-outs, and be sure to get info from local rental shops on rules and regulations for SUPing in certain areas.
Please be mindful of containing your trash while you float. If there is wind or your board tips, any waste that isn't strapped down will fall into the water and will pollute nearby environments. Please help keep these pristine river environments clean from trash.
- Remember to never take glass bottles or containers into outdoor areas
Click photos to view gallery
Looking to head out? Below are a number of locations where you can SUP from Gunnison all the way up to Crested Butte.
|Emerald Lake||Gothic Valley, near Schofield Pass||Stunning lake that sits at 10,400 feet|
|Lake Irwin||Kebler Pass||Beautiful views of Ruby Peak and Mt. Owen|
|Lost Lake||Kebler Pass||High alpine lake with camping|
|Taylor Reservoir||Taylor Park||Views of the west facing sides of the Collegiate Peaks|
|Long Lake||Washington Gulch||Popular swimming spot|
|Blue Mesa Reservoir||Gunnison||Largest body of water in Colorado; endless coves to explore|
|Slate River||Crested Butte||The winding river that flows through CB. Popular put-ins are at Gunsight bridge and the Town Rec. Path, take out is at Skyland (Brush Creek Road Rec. Path).|
|Spring Creek Reservoir||Taylor Canyon, then left on Spring Creek Road||High alpine reservoir offering views of mountains and camping|
Click for interactive Google Map
Floating the Slate
There is a voluntary no-float period on the upper Slate River thru 7/15 to protect a critical nesting period for the Great Blue Heron.
Do not exit your vessel onto land at any point during the float except for at put-in and take-out locations. The land is private property and leaving your vessel is considered trespassing.
The lower Slate River put-in is by the Town Recreation Path bridge down Butte Ave. The put-in for the Upper Slate (not beginner friendly) is at Gunsight Bridge. The take out for both of these floats is at the Skyland Pedestrian Bridge off of Brush Creek Road and Hwy 135.
The depth of the Slate River declines as the season progresses. Floating the Slate River is not advised after the end of July, although it’s best to check with local rental shops to find out what the depth is before departing.
Ready to paddle the mountains? Whether you are a first time paddler or already love to SUP, Wheelies & Waves (formerly CB SUP) has something for everyone. Guided adventures, rental boards and gear, and expert advice can be found at both their Crested Butte and Gunnison locations. They even sell the awesome paddle boards they rent.