Your Watershed / Crystal River

Crystal River

The Crystal River begins in the Elk Mountains of Gunnison County in Colorado.  It flows for 40 miles before it reaches the confluence with the Roaring Fork River in Carbondale.  This scenic valley is home to bald eagles, bighorn sheep, abundant elk populations, Lewis’s woodpeckers, geothermal hot springs, rare orchids such as the stream orchid, and one of the few places in the state to view fireflies. 

Historically, there was abundant mining in this area, such as coal, lead-zinc, iron, and silver. The Crystal River Mill provides an iconic view of the area’s silver mining industry. Marble continues to be quarried and has provided the foundations for some of the most well-known monuments in the United States, such as Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Washington Monument.

Today, the Crystal River is a favored kayaking and fishing river. Not only does it provide drinking water to 7,000 people, but the valley continues to remain rich in ranching and agriculture.


Coal Basin Project  |  Crystal River Management Plan  |  Wild & Scenic 

Photo credit: Amy Marsh

Crystal Voice

An aerial perspective of one of the last free flowing rivers in Colorado; the Crystal River.

Written, shot, and directed by Pete McBride.

Lower Crystal River Diversion Map




Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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