Known locally as “Gunny”, Gunnison, lies thirty minutes south of Crested Butte in the heart of the Rockies. There aren’t many towns around Gunnison, making it an ideal place to get away to. The surrounding area is filled with year round recreation.
The historic downtown is lined with unique shops, nice restaurants and plenty of places to grab a beer, like the Gunnison Brewery, which offers a full menu, custom brews and nightly specials. Lodging is easy to come by, with everything from chain hotels to rustic cabins.
A true frontier city, Gunnison was founded by Captain John W. Gunnison who passed through in 1853 scouting a railroad route from the Mississippi to the Pacific. He was killed weeks later in Utah by Indians. By 1880, Gunnison was the biggest city in the area with over 10,000 people. Mines sprouted up in all directions around Gunnison.
Naturally, the town became a shipping and supply center. After the gold and silver dried up, the ranching took over. Shortly after, the fishermen, hunters and sightseers came. Education also plays a big role in revenue for the area with Western State Colorado University.
Curecanti National Recreation Area – The largest lake in the state, Blue Mesa Reservoir, begins shortly west of town. When full, it’s 20 miles long. The park then continues north of Highway 92 along the Black Canyon’s North Rim. The boating, camping, fishing and hiking are tremendous.
- Gunnison National Forest is is located both east and west Highway 50 with multiple roads that allow primitive camping. The road out to Waunita Hot Springs has camping along the road, before and after the ranch. The road then continues over an old mountain pass to Pitkin. Camping can also be found further east on Highway 50 along the Monarch Pass.
- To the west on Highway 50 is the Curecanti National Recreation Area. It houses the Blue Mesa Reservoir and numerous modern campgrounds, all along the highway.
- Gunnison River runs by town, offering a variety of of spots to fish it. There’s a whitewater park that has a trail along the river and picnic areas.
Cattlemen’s Days – Annual three day celebration in July with rodeo competitions, live music and vendors.
Things to do near Gunnison
- Ohio City (20mi)
- Waunita Hot Springs Ranch (26mi)
River Tubing & Kayaking: