Slate River Floating Information


Please Be Respectful

Planning a trip to float the Slate River? please keep in mind that the Slate River meanders through public, private and conserved land, as well as critical wildlife habitat. To ensure that the Slate River remains special, please adhere to the following river manners:

Only use designated river access points to put-in and take-out on the river. View the map indicating access points, bathrooms and parking. Remember, you cannot leave the river mid-float, you must use an access point to start and finish. Please note that much of what you float through is private property. The only exception is that tubers are recommended to take-out at the Lower Loop bench to hike back to the put-in as it’s a long float downstream to the next designated access point.

Be a Good Neighbor • No amplified music or sound systems. From Gunsight Bridge to the Rec Path is a quiet float zone due to critical wildlife habitat. • Float in groups of six people or fewer. Please space out from other groups when you launch and let faster groups float through while on the river.  

Respect private property and do not trespass. In Colorado, private property includes the shore, bank and even the bottom of the river. Please stay on your watercraft and do not trespass.

Please leave your dogs at home. Due to high probability of trespass, it is recommended to not float with your furry friend. Dogs are legally not permitted to put-in or take-out on river at Rec Path Bridge. • No litter, pack out trash. No glass containers. • Do not use river bank as a toilet, go to the restroom before you float!

Go With the Flow Make sure you are comfortable with conditions, and float at your own risk. The Slate River is snow-melt driven; peak flows can lead to dangerous conditions, and by mid-late summer, the water level becomes too low to float and trespassing is inevitable. It is your responsibility to avoid trespassing by checking conditions before heading out. It’s suggested to talk to local shop and outfitter personnel about the current conditions.

Be Prepared Be prepared for long stretches through private property where you cannot exit your craft, as well as long stretches without a public restroom. Dress for cold water swim and changing weather. Wear a life vest and secure foot gear. You may encounter logs, beaver dams, rocks and strong currents.

River Fences and Cows We share this area with local ranchers and their cattle. Fences are needed to keep cattle from wandering. When you encounter a river fence (made of white plastic), please hold tight and float underneath the fence; it is designed for this purpose! If you encounter any cows near the river, show them the same respect you would any other user.

Wildlife The Slate River wetlands provides a fragile refuge for resident and migratory wildlife, including, elk, Great Blue Heron and waterfowl. Please note that the stretch of river from Gunsight Bridge to the Rec Path bridge has a voluntary no-float period from March 15- June 21st due to the critical nesting period of the Great Blue Heron rookery. After June 21st, to help maintain this habitat, please float respectfully and quietly. Wait at the Lower Loop bench to regroup and begin extra quiet travel through the rookery. Watch for the signs that indicate you’re traveling through their home.