A bridge on Highway 50 is under construction, affecting travel to Gunnison from the west. Learn more here.

Shady Island River Park

The Gunnison County Shady Island River Park opened summer 2021. Summertime is magical in Gunnison and Crested Butte. The temperatures are mild, the days are long and the sun is warm. What could be better than cooling off in a raft or doing some fishing? The Gunnison River in Gunnison, Colorado offers amazing fishing and rafting opportunities. The town section is pretty mellow: it isn’t too long nor is the river very fast. Starting at the north end of town, the town run takes you to the whitewater park. You wind through meadows and towering sandstone cliffs.

Much of the Gunnison River is private land, and floating is the only way to access some superb water that is otherwise unavailable to wading anglers. Please keep in mind this means you can’t get out of your boat on much of the river. You also can’t put in just anywhere: you must use a public access point. Additional safe access points to the Gunnison River are essential for the guide services, community members, and visitors that recreate on the waterway.

Gunnison County received $267,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to develop 10.5-acre parcel 1.5 miles north of the City of Gunnison at 2714 Hwy 135. The Shady Island River Park project will replace the existing unpermitted North Bridge boat launch area on the west side of the highway. The River Park provides safe public access for community members, visitors, anglers, and boaters with the construction of a formal boat launch area and access to the Gunnison River. Shady Island River Park includes parking, 19 tent camping sites, a camp host, picnic shelters with restrooms, trail loop system, recreation path, fishing access, boat staging area, access for non-boaters, outdoor gathering areas, picnic tables, and a boat queue area.


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