Crested Butte

Length: 205 miles
Driving time: 5-8 hours
Open: All Year
(Kebler Pass Closes in winter)

West Elk Loop Itinerary

The twin summits of Mount Sopris and the incomparable Black Canyon of the Gunnison anchor the ends of the West Elk Loop. This magnificent landscape has been home to uncounted generations of Native Americans, most recently the Utes. White settlers originally came in search of minerals and stayed to farm and ranch. The coke ovens at Redstone bear witness to the toil that built the communities of today. Carbondale, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Gunnison, Crested Butte, and other towns offer a slice of Colorado’s rich history, varied lifestyles, and natural beauty.

Main Towns: Carbondale, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Redstone

Features included:

  • Redstone listed on National Register of Historic Places
  • From the town of Marble came the marble used for the Lincoln Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Gunnison National Forest
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir
  • Curecanti National Recreation Area 
  • Crystal River and Reservoir, Roaring Fork River, Frying Pan River, Gunnison River, Morrow Reservoir, Taylor Reservoir, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest lake

Wildlife: Bighorn sheep, raptor, deer, elk