The Water Wheel Inn - Bordering The Dos Rios Golf Course & Downhill from Crested Butte & Monarch Ski Areas
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"Superb location for viewing the Gunnison Sage Grouse by arrangement with Lou, 43 birds seen before half flew off when two coyotes ran through the lek area. This is 1% of the total population of this Grouse so the site is very important. Good wide [area] to view from-but you have to keep quiet."

The Gunnison Valley has an abundance of wildlife: deer, elk, bears, mountain sheep and random stray moose or mountain lions.  Areas are easily accessible for viewing.  The Brown-Capped Rosy Finch and Gunnison Sage Grouse are elusive, but often seen.  During the months of April and May, the Gunnison Sage Grouse does its annual “dance,” which is quite spectacular to see.

Contact  the Gunnison Sage Grouse Conservation at

"Coyotes, Eagles, and Hawks are in attendance as the Sage Grouse displays their mating ritual.. The display involves puffing up air sacs on their chests and exhaling making strange primordial sounds"

Gunnison Sage Grouse

As dawn breaks on a crisp spring morning in the sage brush hills of Gunnison County, the Gunnison sage grouse are performing their ancient mating ritual, dancing to the tune of primordial rhythms known only to them. Attracted by the males displaying their beautiful tail feathers, yellow air sacs, long "pony tails" and alluring voices, the female birds start to appear. It is truly a spectacle to behold for the determined onlooker.

Contact the Gunnison Sage Grouse Conservation at

Book a birding group reservation for April and May-special group rates apply!

*Photo courtesy of Don Taylor

List for birds in Gunnison Basin:
click here
Gunnison BLM
216 N. Colorado Street
Gunnison, CO 81230

Wildlife viewing:

7 Wildlife areas

  • Almont Triangle
  • Gunnison River
  • Gunnison
  • Lake Irwin
  • Roaring Judy
  • Spring Creek Reservoir
  • Taylor Reservoir

*Photo courtesy of Don Taylor


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The Waterwheel Inn
P.O. Box 882 ~ Gunnison, CO 81230
37478 W. Hwy 50 ~ Gunnison, CO 81230
Toll-Free 1-800-642-1650 ~ Local (970) 641-1650

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