- Gunnison is barely a half hour drive south of Crested Butte.
- Explore the infinite amount of hiking trails that wind through the mountains and valleys.
- Let adrenaline take over as you enjoy the exhilaration of a whitewater rafting trip.
- Enjoy pristine powder with no lift lines up at Mt. Crested Butte ski resort.
Gunnison offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities; spring brings new life to the mountains and valleys, in summer, the mountain sides are covered in a kaleidoscope of colors, as fall sets in the trees take on warm hues of yellow and orange, and the snow covered landscape of winter is complemented by constant sunshine. So no matter when you visit, you are promised a great time in a beautiful place.
Sitting on the west slope of the Rockies, Gunnison's landscape offers infinite routes of exploration. Hikers have options as trails vary from thigh burning excursions to picnic strolls. Bag a peak on one of Colorado's famed fourteeners, take in the majestic and spell binding Black Canyon, or search out the crystal clear waters of an alpine lake.
As with hiking trails, the area boasts a plethora of both road and mountain biking trails. Whether a beginner or an expert, this biking mecca offers trails for you. Take a ride through the high country dessert via the 2 Hartman Rock's Trail loop to orient yourself with the area.
Gunnison is surrounded by roughly two million acres of National Forest land. So, pack your pack and hit the trail. Or maybe you just want to go camping without the packing, no problem, you will find hundreds of campsites around the area, especially in and around Curecanti National Recreation Area.
- Horseback Riding
Embrace your inner cowboy or girl and hit the trail on horseback. Set out for a half-day or full-day adventure or spend the night under the stars while enjoying a multi-day trek.
Rivers, reservoirs, and alpine lakes abound, so pick a spot and enjoy a day of fishing. All fisherman, bait and fly alike, will get their fill from these waters. Hit the popular Taylor River, where the fish are enormous, sometimes close to ten pounds, the Gunnison River which offers Gold Medal stretches of river, or Blue Mesa Reservoir. Common fish include rainbow, brook, brown, and cutthroat trout along with kokanee salmon. Don't forget a fishing permit!
The place to be for boating is Curecanti National Recreation Area's Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest man made body of water in Colorado. Pack a lunch and enjoy the day on the lake. Beware, high winds are common, especially in the reservoir's Bay of Chickens, a perfect destination for windsurfers. If you don't have a boat, rent one from the marina.
- Boat Tours
Experience the upper portion of Black Canyon of the Gunnison River with a boat trip. Be ready for the decent hike from the trailhead to the boat dock, which includes over 230 steps. Boat tours are also available on Blue Mesa Reservoir.
Enjoy a tranquil day at Blue Mesa Reservoir as you practice your paddling and rolling before you hit the whitewater. The Gunnison offers Class V kayaking rapids and is famed for killer waterfall drops. Don't miss your chance for a go on Oh-Be-Joyful, Little Daisy and Cascade. The water peaks in mid-June.
- Whitewater Park
Welcome to a paddler's playground! This new addition to Gunnison is found on the Gunnison River, just west of town, downstream of Twin Bridges. A series of rock structures stretching for over a mile create an awesome spot to perfect your spoons, cartwheels, loops, and helixes.
- Whitewater Rafting
Hit the Taylor or Gunnison River for an exhilarating day on the river as you hit Class II-IV rapids. The Taylor is steep, offering fun, long shoots. The Gunnison River, made up of a series of steep creeks and streams offers a great combination of awesome whitewater and scenic floating.
Gunnison is renowned for “big bucks.” Colorado limits the amount of licenses for mule deer, consequently, many bucks grow large trophy sized racks. Elk hunting is also popular. Contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife for a hunting permit.
Spend the day on the golf course. Majestic mountain views will follow your every shot. Two courses are available, each offering different hazards that aim to challenge the player.
- Downhill Skiing
Mt. Crested Butte is the place to head for great downhill skiing. You won't find long lift lines here, just killer powder and trails for every level of skier. Don't miss the new Gold Link Terrain Park and Superpipe.
- Cross-Country Skiing
Is there a better way to take in the serenity and quiet of a snow covered landscape than with a day spent cross-country skiing? No. Near Crested Butte you will find over 20km of groomed trails or stay closer to Gunnison and head over to Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, which offers about 12km of groomed trails.
Snowshoeing is a great and easy way to stay active in the winter. Just remember, where you can hike, you can snowshoe. So, grab those snowshoes and start bounding through the snow.
When the snow hits, sledding season begins. Local snowmobile clubs keep miles of trail nicely groomed. Do like the locals and head up to Kebler Pass for deep powder with a nice base. Beware of avalanche dangers.
- Ice Fishing
Even in winter, Gunnison is a hot spot for fishing. Fly fisherman head over to the area just below Taylor Dam where they will find hungry and eager rainbow trout. Blue Mesa Reservoir also offers great ice fishing.
- Dog Sledding
Do something completely different this winter and enjoy a day spent dog sledding. Different tours are offered for half-day and full-day excursions. Let the energetic and spirited huskies pull you through the tranquil mountain scenery. This truly is an experience of a lifetime.