Crystal Mill Falls


This is a park and huck at the famous Crystal Mills Falls, the scene adorning many a Colorado postcard.  As we pulled over with all the other tourists and began unloading boats, I told my buddies, "Normally I never kayak just for the photos, but this one, it's just for the photo."  At low flows this drop is fairly easy, but beginner and intermediate boaters should still take heed as getting flipped in the upper slot and running this one upside down could result in a serious injury.  At higher flows, a strong hole forms on river left at the base of the falls, which frequently doles out beatdowns and swims.

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Crystal River are between a bare minimum of 400cfs and a high of 2,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 09081600, the Crystal River Ab Avalanche C Remember only watercraft are permitted at Crystal Mill Falls.

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Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Cochetopa Creek Below Rock Creek Nr Parlin
USGS 09118450
25 cfs 2.5 ft
Taylor River At Taylor Park
USGS 09107000
31 cfs 1.3 ft
North Fork Fryingpan River Near Norrie
USGS 09078500
21 cfs 2.7 ft
North Fork Gunnison River Near Somerset
USGS 09132500
40 cfs 1.7 ft
Piney River Near State Bridge
USGS 09059500
17 cfs 2.7 ft
Castle Creek At Aspen
USGS 09075400
43 cfs ft
Missouri Creek Near Gold Park
USGS 09063900
2 cfs 1.4 ft
Lake Creek Near Edwards
USGS 09067200
8 cfs 0.3 ft
Terror Creek At Mouth Near Bowie
USGS 09132995
2 cfs ft
Uncompahgre River Near Ridgway
USGS 09146200
43 cfs 1.8 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Park Cone
SNOTEL 680
32" 0"
North Lost Trail
SNOTEL 669
43" 1"
yampa 5.1 s, co
SNOTEL CO-RT-26
16.69" 0.24"
Crosho
SNOTEL 426
40" 1"
Tower
SNOTEL 825
88" 3"
Trapper Lake
SNOTEL 827
9" 3"
hayden coop
SNOTEL HAYC2
14.4" 1.46"
crested butte 6.2 n, co
SNOTEL CO-GN-18
45.15" -0.23"
Ivanhoe
SNOTEL 547
41" 4"
silverton 0.3 wsw, co
SNOTEL CO-SJ-4
23.02" -0.14"
Chapman Tunnel
SNOTEL 1101
40" 5"
carbondale 4.6 nne, co
SNOTEL CO-GF-49
9.77" 0.11"
Slumgullion
SNOTEL 762
26" 2"
gunnison 3wsw
SNOTEL GUXC2
1.28" -0.02"
Mc Clure Pass
SNOTEL 618
31" 2"
Lily Pond
SNOTEL 580
29" 2"
ouray .23 nnw, co
SNOTEL CO-OR-2
0.77" -0.08"
Upper Taylor
SNOTEL 1141
40" 5"
bayfield 6.2 n, co
SNOTEL CO-LP-98
9.94" -0.09"
Burro Mountain
SNOTEL 378
30" 2"
carbondale 5.9 ene, co
SNOTEL CO-EG-51
12.22" 0.05"
Dry Lake
SNOTEL 457
46" 1"
gothic
SNOTEL GTHC2
41.05" -0.13"
Schofield Pass
SNOTEL 737
77" 3"
Upper San Juan
SNOTEL 840
56" -1"
Vallecito
SNOTEL 843
29" 1"
Moon Pass
SNOTEL 1124
7" 3"
Wager Gulch
SNOTEL 1188
16" 1"
Nast Lake
SNOTEL 658
25" 1"
Zirkel
SNOTEL 1033
55" 0"
Butte
SNOTEL 380
37" 2"
Lynx Pass
SNOTEL 607
23" 1"
crested butte coop
SNOTEL CBUC2
26.59" -0.24"
Cochetopa Pass
SNOTEL 1059
9" 3"
Ripple Creek
SNOTEL 717
59" 5"
pitkin 1.1 sw, co
SNOTEL CO-GN-59
21.85" -0.25"
Red Mountain Pass
SNOTEL 713
43" 0"
Bison Lake
SNOTEL 345
54" 2"
Beartown
SNOTEL 327
36" 1"
Wolf Creek Summit
SNOTEL 874
73" 2"
Bear River
SNOTEL 1061
20" 0"
Columbine
SNOTEL 408
49" 0"
Lost Dog
SNOTEL 940
52" 2"
Molas Lake
SNOTEL 632
39" 0"
Stump Lakes
SNOTEL 797
34" 0"
glenwood springs 7.0 nw, co
SNOTEL CO-GF-67
12.22" 0.58"
rifle 3.2 ene, co
SNOTEL CO-GF-28
6.14" 0.38"
glenwood springs .64 s, co
SNOTEL CO-GF-1
10.86" 0.34"
basalt 5.8 e, co
SNOTEL CO-EG-6
14.54" 0.06"
Buffalo Park
SNOTEL 913
38" 2"
steamboat springs 0.7 ese, co
SNOTEL CO-RT-53
24.45" 0.85"
Idarado
SNOTEL 538
24" 0"
bayfield 7n
SNOTEL BYFC2
9.84" -0.08"
pagosa springs 9.1 nnw, co
SNOTEL CO-MN-1
22.34" -0.18"
Upper Rio Grande
SNOTEL 839
12" -1"
Brumley
SNOTEL 369
30" 1"
Mccoy Park
SNOTEL 1040
30" 1"
Grayback
SNOTEL 1058
3" -1"
wolcott 2.3 n, co
SNOTEL CO-EG-8
17.47" -0.14"
Independence Pass
SNOTEL 542
39" 3"
cimarron 8nw ham
SNOTEL CKDC2
1.28" -0.02"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Gothic 4 9,657 ft
Avalanche 13 7,320 ft
Redstone 17 7,299 ft
Lake Irwin 32 10,400 ft
Lost Lake 19 9,621 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
Aspen Mountain 39" 30° 0.97"
Aspen Highlands 40" 29° 0.76"
Crested Butte Mountain Resort 37" 25° 0.54"
Buttermilk Mountain 40" 29° 0.76"
Sunlight Mountain Resort 31" 32° 0.33"
Snowmass 40" 29° 0.76"
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Shoshone (Power Plant to Grizzly Creek) 531.0cfs 1.7 Mi III- to IV
Barrel Springs 531.0cfs 4.0 Mi IV+ to V+
Shoshone (Power Plant to Grizzly Creek) 531.0cfs 1.7 Mi III- to IV
Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park 1220.0cfs 0.25 Mi II to IV-
Grizzly Creek to Two Rivers Park 531.0cfs 6.0 Mi II to III
Oh Be Joyful 217.0cfs 1.0 Mi V
Waterfall to Confluence 201.0cfs 1.0 Mi V-
Castle Creek 97.8cfs 2.0 Mi IV+ to V-
Catherine Store Section 201.0cfs 4.0 Mi II to II+
Carbondale to Westbank (Pink to Black) 370.0cfs 7.0 Mi II
Bogan Canyon 58.5cfs 6.85 Mi III to III+
Barrel Springs 531.0cfs 4.0 Mi IV+ to V+
Crystal Mill Falls 58.5cfs None Mi V- to V
Two Rivers to South Canyon 1220.0cfs 5.0 Mi II+ to III
Avalanche Down 58.5cfs 12.0 Mi III
Cemetery 370.0cfs 12.0 Mi II+ to III+