Photos: Fryingpan River, Colorado, December 2020

This page features photos of the Fryingpan River on Colorado’s Western Slope near Basalt.

The Fryingpan River is a tributary of the Roaring Fork River, which in turn flows into the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs. The Fryingpan begins high in the Sawatch Range, along the Continental Divide, and flows for about 42 miles until its terminus in Basalt.

“The origin of the ‘Fryingpan’ name is uncertain,” according to the Roaring Fork Conservancy, “but the most colorful story is that of a group of prospectors who fled hostile Utes only to run into another encampment, whereupon one prospector remarked that they had come ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire.'” Another account says one of the prospectors left a frying pan in a tree to mark where he left his wounded friend.

The Fryingpan includes 14 miles of Gold Medal Fishing for trout and includes eight miles of public fishing access along the river, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

See this page for photos and videos of Ruedi Reservoir, which was built along the Fryingpan to compensate the Western Slope for water exported from the watershed as part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project.

DateDecember 23, 2020
LocationFryingpan River, Colorado (map)
CreditMitch Tobin/The Water Desk
RightsFree to reuse under Creative Commons license.

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