Fly fishing on the East River in the Elk Mountains
- Major Airports:
- Gunnison–Crested Butte (GUC)
Uncrowded, unspoiled – and unbelievably fun
Population centers, running south to north, are Gunnison, Almont, Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte and Gothic – all welcoming you to explore.
An old cattle and mining town with the most affordable lodging in the valley and great places to get a meal, Gunnison is home to the oldest rodeo in the state as well as Western State Colorado University. Its many offerings for visitors include fine river and stream fly fishing, authentic hoe downs, an abundance of mountain bike trails, an active arts community, and the largest body of water in the state, Blue Mesa Reservoir. The city also provides easy access to The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
At the headwaters of the Gunnison River at the confluence of the East and Taylor rivers, Almont is a tiny dot on the map, but two lodge operations here offer al fresco dining and comfortable rooms and cabins. This is a great jumping off point for whitewater rafting and kayaking, and it is also known as the rock climbing headquarters for the valley. A stay at the family-owned active dude ranch completes your authentic adventure experience.
Powder Magazine named Crested Butte the best ski town in America. The whole town is a National Historic District. You’ll find a bit of lodging, from cheap to very fine eats and an atmosphere full of color and local character and events. This fun and funny place also offers lots of arts, music and all the sports you’d expect in the mountain home of mountain biking.
Mt. Crested Butte
Located at the foot of Crested Butte Mountain, which has been nicknamed the high church of skiing, this is where most the lodging in the valley is located. You’ll find lots of activities for kids, lots of events, lift rides and an Adventure Park. While there are limited dining options, they include one of the very best restaurants in the valley. Try out the variety of mountain bike trails and lift-served downhill trails.
While mostly unpopulated in the winter, Gothic is home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) and bustling with biologists from around the world in the summer. RMBL is the oldest continuously running high altitude lab in the world and is producing critically important work. But the Lab invites you to have a meal, tour the site, listen to lectures and put your kids in the classroom of the great outdoors.