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Fishing: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Taylor River Ranger District

Quick Facts

East River

Elevation: 10,400 Feet (3241.9 Meters) headwaters, approximate elevation
Length: 35 Miles (58.33 Kilometers) From headwaters to Almont
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 131, 132, 133
Recommended Season: Summer
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The headwaters of the East River begin near Emerald Lake north of Gothic. The river provides 35 miles of fishing from its headwaters to Almont, where it joins the Taylor River to form the Gunnison River.

The East River averages 20 feet in width with ample pools and riffles, with the majority of river banks lined with willow, so wading is a necessity. Open to flies only from the confluence with the Taylor River upstream for five miles as posted. North of Crested Butte (the mountain), the river meanders dramatically. Rainbow, browns and brook trout inhabit this river. It is good fly fishing water, with fishing rated overall as excellent.

Directions from Crested Butte: Traveling south on Highway 135 you can reach the East River from Brush Creek Road, Forest Service Road 738. The river begins to parallel Highway 135 when it approaches Cement Creek Road, Forest Service Road 740,

Directions from Gothic: Traveling north of Mt. Crested Butte on Gothic Road you can see the East River in the valley below. Gothic Road #317 leads to Gothic and crosses the East River as it enters town.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Family Camping Gothic Campground
ICON Cold Water Fishing East River
ICON Bird Identification East River
ICON Plant Identification East River
ICON Wildflower Identification East River
ICON Animal Identification East River
ICON Rivers & Streams East River
ICON Viewing Scenery East River

Related Activities
Avery Peak Picnic Ground - Avery Picnic Area is located on Gothic Road north of the town site of Gothic. It contains four family picnic areas with tables and grills.

Brush Creek - Brush Creek begins in the Elk Mountains and flows into the East River on the eastern flanks of Mt. Crested Butte.

Brush Creek Road #738 - This road is a popular route for off-road vehicles, including mountain bikes, between Aspen and Crested Butte. The road is extremely technical when it nears Pearl Pass.

Emerald Lake - Emerald Lake is an alpine lake of twelve surface acres, that supports small rainbow trout. It is situated in a scenic valley with a picnic area on its northern shore.

Gothic Campground - Gothic Campground is surrounded by 13,000 foot mountains that create beautiful, but challenging terrain for biking, hiking, horseback riding and four-wheel driving.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Ouray County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 145 , Ouray, CO, 81427, Phone: 800-228-1876


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