There are sure to be many “Top 5 Lists” out there but for summer activities in the Gunnison-Crested Butte valley, this list pretty much covers what summer is all about here.
1. Fly Fishing
With the Gunnison, Taylor, and East rivers plus many other streams and high-country lakes, our area has some of the best fishing in Colorado. Anglers have the chance to catch huge Taylor River “pigs” or float fish the beautiful Gunnison River. Willowfly Anglers at Three Rivers Resort offers full and half day walk wade and float trips where expert guides can show you some of the best spots. Or take advantage of their exclusive private ranch land leases for the ultimate private water. They will provide the Rocky Mountain fly-fishing experience you are after.
The Taylor River provides a scenic and exhilarating whitewater adventure. Three Rivers Outfitting offers daily float trips on the Upper Taylor, a technical class 3 whitewater trip, and the Lower Taylor, a class 2 mellow float with gorgeous canyon views. For a unique experience, try the Float ‘n Dine package where you can float the Gunnison River from Almont to Garlic Mike’s Italian Restaurant. Get off the river and enjoy a great dinner. It’s the area’s only “dinner cruise.” And for extra excitement, try a guided Duckie (inflatable kayak) trip. Even veteran river runners enjoy this adrenaline rush!
The Gunnison Valley has an amazing variety of scenic trails for all levels to explore! You can explore majestic mountains, climb a 12,13 or 14-er, and explore incredible high desert canyons. Crested Butte is called “the wildflower capital of Colorado.” The rock formations at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison will make you think you’ve been transported to the Utah desert. And don’t forget to explore the great trails around the largest lake in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir. Some of my favorites are the Mill-Castle Trail, Pioneer Point (in the Curecanti National Recreation Area), and Scarp Ridge Trail. Check out Travel Crested Butte’s Hiking guide to find a good one for you.
4. Mountain Biking
Crested Butte was named the best town for mountain biking in the country by Outside Magazine. For those that want a challenge with awesome views, try the Lupine trail or Strand Hill. If you really want to push it, check out the famous Trail 401 with its 2200 feet of climbing. At Crested Butte Mountain Resort, take your bike up the chairlift and just enjoy the ride down.
5. Farmers Markets, Concerts and Festivals
There are so many fun events and festivals going on during the summer! Many of them are free, like the live music in Gunnison at Legion Park: Sundays at 6. Then there is the free Alpenglow music series every Monday in Crested Butte. Or hit the lawn at the ski area in Mt. Crested Butte for free music on Wednesdays: Live! from Mt. CB. Crested Butte has a great farmer’s market every Sunday and Gunnison holds theirs on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Another great music venue is the I-Bar Ranch. This cool outdoor venue has local and nationally known bands scheduled throughout the summer. For more quality music, check out the Crested Butte Music Festival too.
For a comprehensive list of the events in the valley, check out the Events Calendar.
Audrey Morris is a professional fly-fishing guide for Willowfly Anglers at Three Rivers Resort in Almont. She hosts an all women’s fly-fishing clinic and is available for guide trips year-round. Three Rivers Resort is the perfect basecamp for all of the area’s activities. Choose from a variety of year-round cabins, homes and lodge rooms. Enjoy private fishing along the Taylor River.