From its high mountains to its outstretched plains, and the waters and forests that lay beyond, the Gunnison Valley offers plenty of adventures in the summertime too.
The Home of Mountain Biking
In 2016, Outside magazine named Crested Butte the best mountain biking destination in America. Here’s what the magazine said:
“[This] little Colorado town comes out on top for two big reasons: it’s packed with epic, fun-to-ride trails and it’s built around people who absolutely love bikes.”
Crested Butte is also one of the birthplaces of the sport. While Marin and Cupertino were building the bikes, we were building the trails. The Pearl Pass Tour is the longest running mountain bike event, and the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association is the oldest organization for mountain bikers.
With over 750 miles of singletrack in the valley you’re almost guaranteed to find something new each time you head out the door. Mountain biking is so huge in the valley that MTBHome.com was created to house the wealth of information about our trails and riding. Check it out if you’re looking for something new to ride and join TrailQuest if you’re looking for a reason to ride it all and a way to track your progress!
Fish, Float, or Foot
Water and trails are the essence of the Gunnison Valley. Miles of paddleable streams from mellow to Class V, and Colorado’s largest lake are all linked together by the Gunnison Valley watershed. Within all that water is some of the best fishing in the West, especially if you can escape the main spots along the Gunnison and Taylor in favor of smaller alpine streams and lakes in the summer.
5 Wilderness Areas surround the Gunnison Valley adding hundreds more miles of trail to the 750+ that are open to mountain bikers. If solitude is your thing then find your way into more than 600,000 acres of wilderness. Climb a peak or two, fish for cutthroat trout, or hunt trophy elk in some of the most beautiful terrain in Colorado.
You can learn more about outdoor recreation activities at GunnisonCrestedButte.com.
Golf, Swim or Namaste
Gunnison and Crested Butte offer plenty to do in town, too. Golfers can challenge themselves on two 18-hole golf courses: Dos Rios in Gunnison and the Club at Crested Butte. Fun fact: golf balls fly farther at altitude in our thin air.
The Community & Aquatics Center in Gunnison has lap and leisure pools open to members as well as several youth and adult recreational programs.
Find out about all the recreation and sports opportunities in the Gunnison Valley, and search for the nearest gym or yoga studio, through the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association.
Winter and Snowsports
Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and fat biking dominate the winter sports’ scene in the Gunnison Valley during the winter. Plenty of opportunities also exist for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating on natural and man-made ice.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is generally the first thing that comes to mind when talking about winter sports in the area. Find over 1,500 skiable acres with some of the best inbounds double-black terrain in the lower 48. If steep lines and tight chutes are your jam then you need to ski here on our nearly 500 acres of double-black terrain. The rest of the terrain is mostly blue and green and is separated from the difficult stuff so you don’t have to worry about blundering into scary situations if you’re newer to the sport.
Thanks to the Crested Butte Nordic Center, Crested Butte is known as the Nordic Skiing Capital of Colorado. During the winter they maintain 55 km of trail around the Slate River valley. In almost all the drainages throughout the valley are other free Nordic skiing trails on many of the unplowed Forest Service roads. Make sure if you’re checking these out that you also check with the Crested Butte Avalanche Center for the latest forecast, and carry the correct equipment. Gunnison Nordic grooms trails in snowy winters in a couple of different locations in Gunnison offering great trails for locals in the south end of the Gunnison Valley, too.
Fat biking is the newest winter craze to hit the Gunnison Valley with phenomenal riding all winter long. Gunnison and Hartman Rocks in particular is a great place to try it out if you’re new. Closer to Crested Butte there are miles of Forest Service roads, and the Nordic Center allows fat biking on select trails. Crested Butte also hosts the Fat Bike World Championships. It’s the funnest thing going on two wheels each January.