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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 hoedowns, 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.


Crested Butte

Powder Magazine named Crested Butte the best ski town in the USA. 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.


Mount Crested Butte

At the foot of Crested Butte Mountain, which has been nicknamed the high church of skiing, you'll find most of the lodging in the valley in addition to activities for children, 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 that bustles with biologists from around the world in the summer. The laboratory is the oldest continuously running high-altitude lab in the world and produces critically important work. Everyone is invited to have a meal, tour the site, listen to lectures and put children in the classroom of the great outdoors.

Fun Fact

The Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest man-made lake.
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The Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest man-made lake.