- The River and its tributaries and lakes have Rainbow, Brook and Cutthroat Trout. Browns may be found close to the Roaring Fork especially during the fall spawn. The Crystal is a swift river and does not provide high quality aquatic habitat due to mining pollution. Therefore, the highest concentrations of fish can be found close to the Roaring Fork confluence and in the creeks which run into the river.
Numerous lakes and streams flowing into the Crystal River provide angling for Rainbow and Brook Trout. Some of the best fishing in the Crystal River drainage may be in the Thompson Creeks area. They flow into the river form the west 4.5 miles south of Carbondale. Angling for Rainbow and Cutthroat in these small streams may require a forest service map, observe posted signs and gates.
The Crystal River is an exciting and beautiful river for whitewater sport, but it is relatively unused. There are plenty of good class III and IV rapids, but you need to be there during the spring runoff when the flows are high.
Avalanche Ranch to BRB Campground -Class III, watch out for low head dam and strainers
Bogen Flats-Class IV, Beautiful Area, and not too difficult for a Class IV.
Meat Grinder-Class V, unrunnable as of now because of logs.
The North Fork of the Crystal River flows seven miles from its origins to join the South Fork at the ghost town of Crystal. It has many beaver ponds and open, but difficult, fishing in a canyon for cutthroat. A difficult, rocky four-wheel drive road above the river is often blocked by snow until midsummer.
The South Fork of the river above Crystal is accessed by a very difficult four-wheel drive road which is closed by snow until midsummer. It should only be tried by most experienced drivers with small, high-clearance four-wheel drives.
- CO 81623
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