The Slate River begins near Yule Pass on Paradise Divide approximately 17 miles west of Crested Butte. The river flows east from Yule Pass between the Ruby Range and Anthracite Mesa with the waters of Poverty Gulch and Oh-be-joyful Creek joining it. East of Crested Butte the Slate is joined by Washington Gulch and Baxter Gulch. At the confluence of Baxter Gulch and Slate River, the river begins to parallel Highway 135. The Slate River enters the East River six miles below Crested Butte.
This is a narrow river, only eight to ten feet wide, that supports brook, brown and rainbow trout. The fishing is rated as poor by the Forest Service, but it can't be beat for scenic beauty and solitude. The terrain that surrounds the river, especially in the Slate River Valley west of Crested Butte, supports a vast variety of recreation opportunities.
Directions from Crested Butte: There is a good dirt road north of Crested Butte that parallels Slate River for nine miles to Pittsburg and two miles beyond. The river below Crested Butte, is primarily private and posted.