Gunnison County, Colorado: Outdoor Activities and Sites


With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and endless recreational opportunities, this destination offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.


  • Gunnison County, Colorado, boasts awe-inspiring natural wonders, including the iconic Alpine Loop and Boreas Pass Road.
  • Outdoor adventures abound, from hiking and biking to skiing and exploring scenic byways like the Collegiate Peaks and Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway.
  • The area is rich in history and culture, with fascinating historical sites, cultural landmarks, and vibrant local traditions.

Destination Overview

Gunnison County is a true paradise for those seeking an authentic Colorado experience. From the majestic peaks of the Collegiate Ranges to the winding trails of the Gunnison National Forest to the stunning Blue Mesa Reservoir, this region offers a breathtaking array of natural wonders. The iconic Alpine Loop and Boreas Pass Road are must-visit destinations, providing unparalleled access to the area’s rugged beauty.

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves spoiled for choice in Gunnison County, set in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. Hikers can explore the Collegiate Peaks, Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway, and West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway, while mountain bikers can challenge themselves on the trails of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and Gunnison National Forest. In the winter, the county transforms into a skier’s paradise, with world-class ski areas and resorts like Mount Crested Butte and Monarch Mountain offering exceptional powder and terrain. For fishing, Taylor River, Ohio Creek, and Blue Mesa Reservoir are all great options. Even birdwatchers can find plenty to do in the Gunnison basin, observing the Gunnison sage grouse and other local and migratory avians.

Local Experiences and Culture

Gunnison County’s rich cultural heritage is woven into every aspect of the visitor experience. From the vibrant arts scene in Crested Butte to the authentic cowboy culture of Gunnison, visitors can immerse themselves in the local traditions. Don’t miss the chance to savor the region’s renowned cuisine, featuring locally sourced ingredients and unique flavors.

Seasonal Attractions

Gunnison County is a year-round destination, with each season offering its own unique charms. Fall brings a stunning display of golden aspen leaves, making it the perfect time for scenic drives and hikes. Winter transforms the Gunnison basin into a snowy wonderland, ideal for skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports. Spring and summer are prime times for outdoor adventures, with wildflowers in bloom and countless opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing.

Historical and Cultural Landmarks

Gunnison County is rich in history, with numerous landmarks and sites that offer a glimpse into the past. Explore the remnants of the Old West at the Gunnison Pioneer Museum or delve into the area’s mining heritage at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. The county is also home to several cultural landmarks, including the Ute Indian Museum and the Gunnison Arts Center.

Family and Kid-Friendly Activities

Gunnison County is a fantastic destination for families, offering a wide range of activities suitable for all ages. From the interactive exhibits at the Gunnison Valley Observatory to the family-friendly trails of the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the thrill of a whitewater rafting adventure or a scenic horseback ride through the stunning landscapes.

Accommodations and Dining

Gunnison County offers a diverse range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cozy cabins and rustic lodges. Whether you’re seeking a pampered getaway or a more rugged experience, you’ll find the perfect place to stay. The area’s dining scene is equally diverse, with options ranging from upscale eateries to casual cafes serving up delicious local fare.

Planning Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to Gunnison County, it’s essential to plan ahead. The summer months are peak season, offering warm weather and a wide range of outdoor activities. Winter is a popular time for skiers and snowboarders, while fall and spring offer fewer crowds and stunning scenery. No matter when you visit, be prepared for the region’s high altitude and variable weather conditions.


What are the must-see attractions in Gunnison County?

The Alpine Loop, Boreas Pass Road, Collegiate Peaks, and Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway are among the top attractions in Gunnison County. Additionally, the historic towns of Crested Butte and Gunnison offer a glimpse into the area’s rich cultural heritage.

What outdoor activities are available in Gunnison County?

Hiking, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, and exploring scenic byways are just a few of the many outdoor activities available in Gunnison County. The area is renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities, as well as its extensive network of hiking and biking trails.

What is the best time to visit Gunnison County?

The best time to visit Gunnison County depends on your interests and preferred activities. Summer is ideal for hiking, biking, and outdoor adventures, while winter is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Fall offers stunning foliage and fewer crowds, while spring is a great time for wildflower viewing and milder temperatures.

Are there family-friendly activities in Gunnison County?

Absolutely! Gunnison County offers a wide range of family-friendly activities, including interactive museums, scenic horseback rides, whitewater rafting, and kid-friendly hiking trails. Many of the area’s resorts and lodges also offer family-friendly amenities and programs.

What types of accommodations are available in Gunnison County?

Gunnison County offers a diverse range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts and hotels to cozy cabins, rustic lodges, and campgrounds. Whether you’re seeking a pampered getaway or a more rugged outdoor experience, you’ll find the perfect place to stay.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.