Crested Butte SUP Guide

In More Sweat, Summer & Fall by Kryptonite Creative

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.


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

  • Use established restrooms whenever you can
  • Remember to be at least 200 feet away from bodies of water if you must relieve yourself and be sure to dig catholes for numero dos

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.

Location Area Notes  
Emerald Lake Gothic Valley, near Schofield PassStunning lake that sits at 10,400 feet
Lake IrwinKebler PassBeautiful views of Ruby Peak and Mt. Owen
Lost LakeKebler PassHigh alpine lake with camping
Taylor Reservoir Taylor ParkViews of the west facing sides of the Collegiate Peaks
Long Lake Washington GulchPopular swimming spot
Blue Mesa ReservoirGunnisonLargest body of water in Colorado; endless coves to explore
Slate RiverCrested ButteThe 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 RoadHigh alpine reservoir offering views of mountains and camping

Click for interactive Google Map

Interactive Google Map

Floating the Slate

The Slate River is now running too low to float for summer 2018. Please do not attempt to SUP, raft, or kayak down it.

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.


Enjoy SUPing on the rivers in Crested Butte? Help keep more water in our rivers by protecting instream flows.

Wheelies and Waves

607 6th St. Crested Butte
(970) 309-1491WebsiteMap

Float Shack

322 Belleview Ave, Suite 204,  Crested Butte
(970) 209-9747 WebsiteMap

Scenic River Tours

703 West Tomichi Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230
(970) 641-3131WebsiteMap

Three Rivers Resort

130 County Road 742, Almont, CO 81210
(970) 641-1303WebsiteMap