Unique Educational Opportunities

In addition to the outstanding K-12 education available and Western Colorado University, we also have some unique educational opportunities in the Gunnison Valley. They’re truly unparalleled among communities our size anywhere in the state of Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory’s unique combination of cutting-edge science, 90+ years of history, and amazing physical environment combine to create unparalleled learning opportunities for valley residents.

Each summer RMBL (pronounced “Rumble”) brings together scientists from around the world to study a range of subjects, from wildflowers, to animals, to water. If it’s living in the East River Valley, odds are someone is studying it. Founded in 1928, RMBL has become host to the world’s largest collection of long-term high altitude studies, providing unique insights into a changing world.

Not only is RMBL science featured in the top scientific journals, but it is regularly covered in media outlets such as the NY Times, PBS, BBC, and CBS.  RMBL opens up offering scientific programs to the general public that rival offerings at universities such as Stanford and Harvard.  It offers day programs to children throughout the summer aged pre-k through 8th grade. During the fall, it works with local school teachers to reach third, fourth, fifth, and seventh graders.

Adaptive Sports Center

The Adaptive Sports Center, located in Mt Crested Butte, began life as the Crested Butte Physically Challenged Ski Program in 1987 with the help and support of President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Since then, Adaptive has expanded become a full-fledged therapeutic recreation program including water sports, challenge courses, cycling, rock climbing, and ice climbing.

Adaptive has helped literally thousands of individuals with an extremely broad range of physical, emotional and cognitive differences to enjoy mountain sports, including countless US Military veteran groups.

Gunnison Valley Observatory

South of Gunnison out by Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, the Gunnison Valley Observatory is home to the largest telescope in the state of Colorado that is open to the public. The Observatory offers public viewing on Friday and Saturday nights the second weekend in June through the second weekend in September. Viewing is by donation and reservations must be made in advance.


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