Parlin is a tiny unincorporated town situated at the junction of Highway 50 and County Road 76. The latter leads north to Ohio City, Pitkin, and Gunnison National Forest, and the former to the town of Gunnison.
Named after John Parlin, a local rancher who moved from Maine in 1877, there isn’t much to the small Gunnison County community today. There is a Parlin post office with the zip code 81239 and a small cemetery. The town sits at an elevation of 7,933 feet and has not been included in a recent U.S. Census count.
- Curecanti National Recreation Area boasts 10 campgrounds dotted along the shores of the Gunnison River. Hundreds of campsites of all shapes and sizes are able to accommodate whatever camping rig you’re traveling with.
- Gunnison KOA Journey has RV and tent camping sites along with all of the typical KOA amenities and cabins. Back-in or pull-thru sites with hookups can accommodate rigs up to 100 feet long. Enjoy a weekend petting zoo with the kids, use the camp kitchen to cook up a meal, or cast a line in their stocked trout pond.
- Almont campground is about a 20 minute drive through Gunnison and then north toward Crested Butte. Several riverside spots are available on a first come, first served basis. All sites have fire rings and a picnic table and there are vault toilets as well.
- Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area has a small tributary of the larger Gunnison River and requires all visitors to have a valid fishing or hunting license.
- Curecanti National Recreation Area is a great area to fish the Gunnison River from the shore or a boat. Due to the popularity of the waters for swimming and fishing, it’s recommended fishermen arrive early in the day for the best bites. You’ll find rainbow and brown trout, kokanee salmon, and a handful of perch.
- Van Tuyl State Wildlife Area has a 3.1 mile loop that’s mostly flat and gravel. It winds through ranch land before heading toward the river, where there are plenty of fly fishing spots.
- Fairview Peak trailhead leads hikers to the highest fire lookout tower in North America, and although it isn’t used anymore it’s open to the public to explore and sign the visitor’s log. The length of the trail depends on the road conditions leading up, in the summer with a high clearance vehicle it will be a shorter trek. There is a great guide for navigating the trail and directions to the trailhead.
- Signal Peak Loop totals just over 9 miles to the summit of Signal Peak. It’s great for hiking and mountain biking, but there is no shade along the route so be sure to bring sun protection and plenty of extra water.
There are no accommodations in Parlin but head west to check out the hotels in Gunnison.
Activities in Parlin
- Ohio City (8mi)