Gunnison National Forest covers a whopping 1,672,136 acres in Central Colorado. It’s consists of a variety of wilderness terrain, covering vast distances of some remote places.
From Gunnison the forest spreads out on both sides offering a tremendous bit of everything. Soak in the fall colors while driving on Kebler Pass in Crested Butte.
Biking, Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Hunting, Picnicking, OHV Riding, Scenic Drives, Winter Rec – Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing
Cottonwood Pass – The pass begins just east of Almont, which is north of Gunnison. It winds it’s way over to the San Isabel NF and Buena Vista. Camping is easy to spot on the drive.
Kebler Pass – Stunning seasonal 2WD cruise from Crested Butte to Paonia. Camping, hiking and off-highway-vehicles are commonplace.
Silver Thread Scenic Byway – This stunning highway connects US 50 at Blue Mesa Reservoir with US 160 and South Fork to the south. It passes by Lake City and Creede. The route passes 3 national forests.
Tincup Pass – A gnarly 4×4 pass over the Continental Divide near Pitkin. It connects with Saint Elmo ghost town near Buena Vista, on the other side. A high-clearance 4×4 is required. There is lots of camping around Pitkin.
Waunita Pass – A shorter pass connecting Pitkin with Waunita Hot Springs. Dispersed camping can be found on most of the drive. Other recreation includes biking, hiking, and 4×4/ATV roads. To access, take County Road 887 from Doyleville or go right over the pass from Pitkin. Bowerman is a one shack ghost town on the drive.
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness – One of Colorado’s original national wilderness areas designated in 1964. It contains six of the toughest 14’ers in Colorado to summit. Part of it’s located in the White River National Forest.
Map: Gunnison N.F. (shown in dark green) (.png)
Motor Vehicle Use Maps: Large, PDF’s from the USFS. They show forest service roads and where dispersed camping is permitted.
- Panoia – Paonia, Crawford
- Gunnison – North – Crested Butte
- Gunnison – South – Almont, Pitkin, Gunnison, Lake City
Gunnison Campgrounds: Reservations