Montrose, CO is surrounded by a picturesque countryside. The San Juan Mountains stand on the horizon to the south and the Black Canyon to the east. A rich agricultural history and beautiful landscape made Montrose a settlers destination location.
Surrounded by a national park, recreation area, and miles of scenic drives Montrose is a great base for year round outdoor recreational fun. You name it, you can do it here. Spend you next vacation exploring all that Montrose has to offer.
Located in southwestern Colorado, Montrose is a quick two hour drive from Crested Butte. The city is a short distance from the southrim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which is considered to be more picturesque then the Grand Canyon due to its steep, sheer walls, striking depths and narrow openings.
After a long day of play, you will want a decent place to rest your head. Montrose offers many options for accommodations. Most hotels and motels are national chains, but some are independently owned and offer a bit of western charm and hospitality. There is even a recently remodeled 50's era motel for those looking to take a step back in time. A handful of bed and breakfasts are also available.
For those who prefer to sleep under the stars or who are touring the west via RV, you have plenty of options. Multiple RV parks vie for your business, each offering an assortment of amenities. Offering additional campsites is the Curecanti National Recreation Area, just a short distance from Montrose.
When you get hungry in Montrose you won't have to go far to find what you want, because this town has options. In the morning, grab some coffee from the express cart or head to the local bagel shop for breakfast. Choices range from familiar national chains, to fast food joints, a number of pizza places, to restaurants with international flair. You are in the west, so steakhouses are also plentiful. After dinner, stop by one of the bars for a cold one.
This year round outdoor mecca boasts innumerable recreational activities the entire family will love.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
The southrim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just fifteen minutes from Montrose. The park offers an abundance of activities including hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, wildlife viewing, horseback riding snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more.
Curecanti National Recreation Area
For water sports, look no further than Curecanti National Recreation Area. The recreation area encompasses three mountain reservoirs. Available activities include boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, camping, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and much more.
- Blue Mesa Reservoir is the most accessible and most popular with weekend boaters and wind surfers. Beware of afternoon storms and strong winds.
- Morrow Point Reservoir is for adventurers who don't mind climbing down over 200 steps to reach the bottom of the canyon. The reservoir is stunning and popular with canoers and sea kayakers. Campsites are available for overnights.
- Crystal Reservoir can be a challenging place. Similar to Morrow Point, you must carry your boat down to the access point, but in addition the water levels fluctuate drastically during the day. This creates difficult boating conditions including tricky currents, backwashes, and protruding rocks. Not for the inexperienced or unprepared boater.
Biking is huge in this area. There are many paved bike routes found throughout the city. For mountain biking, look no further than the three public land areas found just outside Montrose; the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, Dry Creek Area, and the Uncompahgre Plateau. The 'Montrose Area Biking Trails' map is a great resource that lists the most popular trails in the area.
Great fishing is available throughout the area. For easy access, the Uncompahgre River flows right through town and is the perfect spot for all ability levels. Thirty minutes south of town is the Ridgway Reservoir, a great place for shoreline fishing, with Kokanee Salmon present during the autumn run. The Cimarron River offers great dry fly-fishing opportunities for Brook, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout.
For adrenaline junkies, don't miss the opportunity to go whitewater rafting. Feel your heart beat as you crash over Class II to IV waves. The Uncompahgre River, Lower Gunnison River, Gunnison River Gorge, and the San Juan River all offer different levels of rafting. Early spring, as the water drains from the San Juan Mountains is when the water is highest and perfect for rafting, so pick a river and hit the water.
Montrose is steeped in history and culture, so it is no wonder there is so much to do while here.
Historic Walking Tour
The Historic Walking Tour takes you along 5-blocks in Montrose and offers 12 interpretive signs describing the towns early history and heritage.
Montrose County Historical Museum
For more about the history of Montrose, visit the Montrose County Historical Museum, which focuses on the early pioneers and the hardships they faced while settling in western Colorado.
Ute Indian Museum
Before the first pioneers moved in, the Ute Indians called this part of Colorado home. For a complete history of the area a visit to the Ute Indian Musuem and Ouray Memorial Park is a must. This museum sits in the heart of the traditional Ute territory and includes one of the most complete collections of the Ute people.
Museum of the Mountain West
Two miles east of town is the Museum of the Mountain West, which strives to paint the picture of what life was like in western Colorado from 1880 to the 1940's. This isn't another replica of a western town, it is the real thing. This “town” includes original buildings and artifacts of a Chinese laundry, bar, pharmacy and doctor's office, just to name a few. This museum will truly blow you away.
When you tire of all the history lessons, spend the day on the green. Montrose offers three different golf courses to choose from; a links course, a Nicklaus designed course, and a competitive public course. If you are traveling with kids, check out the miniature golf course.
Montrose offers a rich history and a rich antique scene, so collectors and shoppers alike will have a great time discovering all the treasures available at the many antique stores in town.
After a long day, catch a double header at the Star Drive-In Theater. Owned and operated by the same family for over 60 years, this drive-in is lovely and offers double headers in the summer.
Montrose offers attractions the whole family will enjoy!
The drive from Crested Butte to Montrose couldn't be prettier. Leaving Crested Butte take CO-135 S to US 50 W. From there take a left on S Cascade Ave and the first right on S 1st St. This leads you downtown Montrose.