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Shore fishing or floating downstream are great ways to experience the Roaring Fork River. Any day spent fishing the Gold Medal Waters of the Roaring Fork River is a good one! From the confluence with the Crystal River downstream to where it meets with the Colorado River, the Roaring Fork River is designated as Gold Medal Water.

These waters are defined as being able to produce 60 pounds of trout per acre, and at least twelve 14″ or larger trout per acre. Only 322 miles of Colorado’s 9,000 miles of trout streams, and three lakes carry the Gold Medal Water signature and the Roaring Fork River is one of them. This river is ideal for float trips, but easy access thanks in large part to the Rio Grande Trail, make it an excellent location for wading too.

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The Roaring Fork River flows from Aspen into Glenwood Springs. Although there are plenty of places between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs for wading and shore fishing, this section of river is best experienced by floating. It is known for its large rainbow and brown trout, averaging from 12 to 18 inches in length. During the winter months, this part of the Roaring Fork has a reputation for harboring some of the largest whitefish in Colorado. To float the lower river, launch boats at Carbondale under Highway 133. Take out at the Westbank Bridge access or at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.

Fishing Map

For a list of favorite local fishing spots, view this map.

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Hanging Lake winter hiking reservations are  available through April 30, 2024. The US Forest Service has scheduled a rebuild of the Hanging Lake Trail that is set to begin this spring and last throughout the summer months. Reservations will be available at the discretion of the US Forest Service, continue to check this page for updates. Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal.