Nestled in beautiful southwestern Colorado is where you will find the town of Gunnison. Surrounded by vast wilderness, including the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Hartman Rocks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Taylor Reservoir, Gunnison is at the epicenter of outdoor adventure. You name it, you can do it here.
Even though Gunnison sits in a valley, it is still 7,700 ft in elevation. It my take a day or two to acclimate, but don't fret, the wilderness will be waiting. A vacation in Gunnison is one the entire family will talk about for years to come!
Gunnison, is located in southwestern Colorado. Sitting at the base of multiple valleys leads to cold temperatures and the title of one of the coldest places in the United States. It's just a quick thirty minute drive south from Crested Butte or fly into Gunnison and drive up to Crested Butte. Either way, the drive will amaze you with its stunning beauty, especially when the leaves are changing or the wildflowers are blooming.
It may be a small town, but Gunnison has big character. Spend the night in a remodeled 50's motor inn, stay in a rustic cabin, rent a vacation home or stick with what you know and stay at a national chain hotel. Either way, you will have options.
Campers choose from primitive to proper. With over two million acres of National Forest in the area, you have choices. Camp in the backcountry or enjoy the amenities of an RV Park. There are tons of official campgrounds that offer tent space and RV access. The hardest part will be choosing one.
You won't go hungry in Gunnison. The city boasts a large array of high quality restaurants offering everything from western cowboy flair, aka steaks and game, to international cuisine. Enjoy a beer at the local brewery and visit the chocolate factory for dessert. The hardest part of finding a place to dine in Gunnison is deciding where to go.
Sitting in the heart of the Rockies, Gunnison and the surrounding area are one big outdoor playground. Hikers can enjoy the Elk Mountains, found to the northeast and topping out at 14,000 ft. Access to a number of the wilderness areas is available in the summer, including the secluded West Elk Wilderness Area and the picturesque fourteeners of Uncompahgre Wilderness Area.
Gunnison claims to be the birthplace of mountain biking. Guessing from the sheer amount of road and mountain biking trails available, thousands, they may be right. Spend the day getting acclimated to the elevation with a mellow ride through Hartman Rocks Recreation Area.
Hiking and biking are just the start. Embrace your inner cowboy or girl and take a horseback excursion into the wilderness. Enjoy a day on the trail or sleep under the stars by heading out for multiple days. Anglers will enjoy the productive waters of Blue Mesa Reservoir in Curecanti National Recreation Area or head over to the Gunnison River. Don't miss your opportunity to go golfing, rock climbing, boating, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and much more.
In the winter, head over to Mt. Crested Butte for some skiing or strap on the snowshoes and bound your way through the snow covered landscape. Take in the serenity of a calm winter day by gliding along some of the 20km of groomed Nordic trails.
Don't miss your opportunity to go dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling or ice fishing.
When you tire of all the activities, spend the day enjoying the town of Gunnison. Learn about the cities history by visiting the sixteen historic buildings that make up the Gunnison Pioneer Museum. The unusual highlight here is the Andy Mallett Antique Car Museum, which houses 63 antique cars. Car buffs will rejoice!
For something totally different, spend the day learning about evolution. In the summer, tour Western State College's archeology field, Tenderfoot Site. Work on the sight began in 1991 and now reveals important artifacts from the Archaic occupation.
You don't have to sleep under the stars to see the night sky, just visit the Gunnison Valley Observatory.
Due to their close proximity to one another, Crested Butte and Gunnison combine forces when it comes to festivals. Don't miss the culinary delight that is the Crested Butte Land Trust Wine and Food Festival, generally held the toward the end of July. For something more laid back, try the Fall Festival of Beers and Chili Cook-Off, held in September.
Gunnison is a short and easy drive south of Crested Butte. Part of the drive is even part of the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. Expect to see fields of wildflowers, mountain ranges, and thick forests.
From Crested Butte, take CO-135 south until you reach Gunnison, roughly 27 miles down the road. Once in Gunnison, turn left at E Georgia Ave and take a right at N Iowa St to get to downtown.