Gunnison County, Colorado
Suggested Spring, Summer and Fall Travel
Day 1: Denver International Airport to Gunnison 4.5 hours
- Stops along the way: Salida, a Historic Town; lunch at the Twisted Cork Café on Hwy 50 after visit to Salida; wine tasting at Mountain Spirit Winery after lunch
- Two nights in Gunnison at the Water Wheel Inn
– 52 guests rooms, locally owned and operated
- Dinner at Garlic Mike’s Italian Cuisine on the Gunnison River
Day 2 & 3: Gunnison Experience
- Full day options:
- Self Guided SculpTour, Mural Tour, Historic Walking Tour, Gallery Tour and visit to the Gunnison Art Center (check performance and art exhibition schedule); shopping and dining on Main Street
- Historic Self Driving tour and Ghost Areas – 25 sites include: Gothic, Pitkin, Ohio City, Crested Butte, and Gunnison; take a box lunch to enjoy along the way
- Any of the half or full day options in the Crested Butte area can be enjoyed during a stay in Gunnison
- Optional recreation opportunities: Gunnison River Whitewater Park, Hartman Rocks Recreation Area (mountain biking, hiking, bird watching); white watering rafting and fishing
- Full or half day options:
- Curecanti National Recreation Area boat rentals, (pontoon, speed and fishing); hiking, horseback riding; picnic areas; day at the beach; visit to the Elk Creek Visitor Center (overview by Park Ranger; lunch at Pappy’s Restaurant at the Marina
- Experience Almont (located 10 miles north of Gunnison and 18 miles south of Crested Butte on Hwy 135
- Sightseeing, wildlife viewing, bird watching and picnicking in Taylor Canyon; Taylor Park; Tin Cup; lunch in Tin Cup at Frenchy’s, the Golden Nugget in Taylor Park or take a box lunch to enjoy along the way
- Optional recreation opportunities: hiking, fishing, rafting, horseback riding and rock climbing
- 3 Hours: Tour 5 Acre Pioneer Museum, out buildings, car museum
- Evening: visit to the Gunnison Valley Observatory (Colorado’s largest research quality telescope) for night sky star gazing
Day 4, 5 & 6: Crested Butte Experience, a Registered National Historic District
- Three nights at the Elk Mountain Lodge (19 rooms) or Old Town Inn (33 rooms) in Crested Butte or with Crested Butte Lodging & Property Management (managing a variety of 170 rooms and condominium units) or Crested Butte Mountain Resort Properties (managing a variety of 185 rooms and condominium units) in Mt. Crested Butte
- Any of the Gunnison Full and half day options can be enjoyed during a stay in Crested Butte
- Full day options:
- Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum: walking guided or self guided tour; art gallery tour/visit to Crested Butte Center for the Arts (check performance and art exhibition schedule); shopping and dining on Elk Avenue; schedule some “bench time” for people watching; check performance schedule for the Mountain Theatre
- West Elk Historic and Scenic Byway Loop Experience (Gateway from Crested Butte) Kebler Pass drive to Paonia for wine tasting and orchard markets; on to Hotchkiss and the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for sightseeing; scenic overlooks along the way with picnic lunch spots; back to Gunnison and on to Crested Butte to complete the loop. Bird watching and wild life viewing opportunities along the way
- Optional recreation opportunities: Hiking, mountain biking, “townie bike” tour of town and fishing
- Half or full day options:
- Experience Mt. Crested Butte
- Half Day and full day combinations for recreation: horseback riding, hiking, summer chairlift rides (mid June to early September); mountain biking; Frisbee golf, hot air ballooning
Trip Option 1: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park 55 miles (1.2 hours) from Gunnison – travel along Blue Mesa, icon of Curecanti National Recreation Area and Colorado’s largest body of water for over 27 miles and part of the West Elk Loop Historic & Scenic Byway traveling over two mountain passes, Cerro and Blue Mesa.
Day Trip Option 2: Sand Dunes National Park 141 Miles (3.2 hours) from Gunnison traveling along scenic Hwy 114 and over Cochetoa Pass; head south on Hwy 285 and west on Hwy 160 through potato country in Monte Vista to Alamosa for lunch and on to the Great Sand Dunes (fill up on gas in Saguache as you travel back to Gunnison).
Day Trip Option 3 : Historic town of Buena Vista 2 hours from Gunnison – drive up scenic Taylor Canyon Road in Almont and up over Cottonwood Pass for a rafting excursion on the Colorado Headwaters of the Arkansas River; take in 14,000 foot mountains; head back to Gunnison on Hwy’s 24 and 50 west on the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway; have a late lunch at the Coyote Cantina for some rustic southwest Mexican cuisine and make a stop at the top of Monarch Pass for a gondola ride to take in the majestic views on both sides of the Continental Divide.
Day Trip Option 4: Historic town of Salida 55 miles (1.2 hours) from Gunnison – traveling east on Hwy 50 watch for wild life heading up over scenic Monarch Pass; make a stop at the top for a gondola ride to take in the majestic views on both sides of the Continental Divide; make a stop at the Twisted Cork Café for lunch and travel along the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway on Hwy 24 east; on the way back stop at Mountain Spirit Winery for a taste of some award winning Colorado wines.
Day Trip Option 5: Lake City Registered National Historic District 45 miles (1 hour) from Gunnison – take in the sightseeing along the Silver Thread Historic and Scenic Byway (Hwy 149); 14,000 foot mountains, hiking, scenic overlooks, mine sites, and shopping and dining in town.
- Experience Mt. Crested Butte