The Water Wheel Inn - Bordering The Dos Rios Golf Course & Downhill from Crested Butte & Monarch Ski Areas
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Gunnison Colorado Inns

Fishing Packages




Explore and discover the Gunnison National Forest on horseback.  Take a guided trip with a local outfitter to see our spectacular backcountry and perhaps see a deer, elk or bear along the way! 1-800-641-0504


Water Wheel Inn Horeseback Riding Gallery

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"Superb location for viewing the Gunnison Sage Grouse by arrangement with Lou, 43 birds seen before approx. 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

"Boyotes, Eagles, and Hawks are in attendance at the 'lek' where the sage Grouse display and do harass the birds. 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 :
Gunnison BLM
216 N. Colorado Street
unnison, 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


Each of the three reservoirs within Curecanti National Recreation Area have a character all their own. Each providing a different type of boating experience ~

Blue Mesa

Elk Creek Marina
Daily & seasonal slip rentals.Pappy’s restaurant, shop, gas guided fishing and boat rentals. – Pontoons & fishing

Boating in Gunnison TXLake Fork Mariana
Daily & seasonal slip rentals, boat rentals & gas

Morrow Point Reservoir Boat Tours
970-641-2337 ext 205
or Elk Creek Visitor Center

From Memorial Day – Labor Day
2x’s a day (except Tuesday)
– 1 1/2  hours  - 10AM and 12:30PM
– must have reservations!

** Please arrive 1 hour early, as you must walk down to boat dock
– 232 stairs!


jeeping in gunnison texas4-Wheel your way into paradise!  Enjoy alpine meadows, wildflowers on steroids, gentle waterfalls and wildlife viewing as you explore the scenic beauty that is the Gunnison "Country".

Hartman Rocks
Kebler Pass (easy, often considered one of the best for fall colors - largest living organism in the world! Aspens galore!)
Ohio Pass (easy, incrediable view of the Castles, empties out onto Kebler Pass.  Great circle tour from Gunnison to Crested Butte and back)
Cottonwood Pass (easy - moderate.  Gravel from Taylor Canyon Road till summit, then pavement to Buena Vista)
Cumberland Pass (easy - moderate.  Gravel road connecting Tincup to Pitkin.  The Bon Ton Mine on the south and the Blistered Horn & Jimmie Mack Mines on the northside of pass)
Schofield Pass (Advanced.  Even the USFS warns 4 - wheelers about this pass!  An all day adventure at very low speeds drops you down into the Aspen side of the mountain)



Guided Tours and/or Rentals:
Alpine Express:   ~ 800-822-4844
Three Rivers Outfitting:  ~ 970-641-1303
All Terrrain Adventures, Inc:  ~ 713-208-7214
For Jeep rentals, contact Dollar Rent-a-Car at  970-642-0199. Please remember to ALWAYS stay on the designated trails for the type of vehicle you are driving and always use caution on multi-use trails!


The Gunnison Valley offers some of Colorado’s best off -road trails for Jeeps, ATVs and Dirtbikes. For many, these vehicles are the only way to access the great backcountry of the Rocky Mountains. Accessing the incredible places that surround us would be otherwise impossible unless you have the time and ability to take long horseback rides or multi-day backpacking trips. For those who are adjusting to the altitude or are physically disabled, off-roading can be a great way to access the high country. Off-road vehicles are equally useful to those traveling with young children or older adults. And for the physically active, off-road vehicles allow for quicker access to remote trailheads for hiking, backpacking, fishing and mountain biking. If you bring your own atv or dirtbike, remember to get an OHV permit at the local US Forest Service office: 970-641-0471.

For ATV rentals, contact Colorado ATV Rentals at 1-877-3525 or

Suggested off-road trails in the area:

  • Hartman Rocks
  • Lake City – Alpine Loop to Engineer Pass, Animas Forks, Silverton, Cinnamon Pass, American Basin
  • Pitkin – To Alpine Tunnel, St. Elmo, Cumberland Pass, and Taylor Park
  • Taylor Park Area – Tin Cup, Union Park, Italian Mountain, Flag Mountain, Taylor Pass (too many places to list!)
  • Crested Butte Area
    • Cement Creek to Flag Mountain and Taylor Park
    • Brush Creek Rd to Pearl Pass and Aspen
    • Paradise Divide and Daisy Pass
    • Gothic to Crystal Mill and Marble


The Gunnison National Forest brings access to 400,000 - plus acres of wilderness!  Explore the many trails offering day hike loops or hike through these hills for a 9 day backpacking vacation!  Pick up a map of the endless hiking options at our front desk, or stop by the Gunnison visitor center.

Download Our Hiking Trails download_pdf

Trail & Hiking Info

Hartman Rocks
Mill Creek (up Ohio Creek Road)
Cement Creek (1st chairlift in Colorado, Off HWY 135 N.)
Oh Be Joyful (N. to Crested Butte trail head off Slate River Road)
Dillan Pinnacles ( W. Hwy 50 to 2nd bridge)
Castles (12 miles up Ohio Creek- West Elk Wilderness)
Fossil Ridge Wilderness (Off Taylor Canyon Road)
Summerville Trail ( Off Taylor Canyon Road)
Gothic corridor ( Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness; Judd Falls, Schofield Pass & Schofield Park)
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness ( North end of Taylor Park)

Fishing Packages


Splash the River!

Experience a  river adventure that any outdoor enthusiast would enjoy! Be amazed at the beauty as you paddle through the wonderful heart of the Gunnison Valley.  Scenic River Tours and the Water Wheel Inn have teamed up to make this a memory of a lifetime.

After splashing your way down the Gunnison, come to the quiet and calm at the Water Wheel Inn surrounded by trees and ponds.

Miles of Smiles!  Three locations for whitewater rafting; in Almont - the upper & lower Taylor River and in Gunnison - the Gunnison River & the Gunnison River Whitewater Park and the Lake Fork

Gunnison River:  Class 1 to 3 (kayak, duckie or raft)
                         Gunnison River Whitewater Park (rock structures creating various water dynamics making a paddle playground for kayakers!)

Taylor River:       Class 1 to 4 (kayak, duckie or raft)

Lake Fork:         Class 2+ to 4 (big paddling action)     970-641-3131          970-641-1303


Gunnison and Crested Butte are nestled in 2 million acres of pristine wilderness in south west colorado.  The cycling is awesome.

Mountain Biking
Crested Butte is legendary with single track through forests of wild flowers, the mountain bike hall of fame and the fat tire mountain bike week.;

Hartman Rocks- is a hidden mountain biking sagebrush garden with thousands of acres and many miles of easy to advanced trails.  It is easy to find just a few miles southwest of Gunnison off of highway 50.
Monarch Crest Trail- Over 30 miles of mostly singletrack trails with some of the best scenery colorado offers.

Road Cycling
Gunnison is a "hub" to many of southwest colorado's most beautiful passes; Monarch, McClure, Cochetopa, Slumgullion and more.

For more great things to do in the Gunnison Valley visit:

Fishing Packages




With over 3,900 miles of trout streams and lake fishing, the Gunnison "Country" is sure to challenge the skilled enthusiasts and delight the novice.

Fly Fishing:
Rising early to fly fish some of the most diverse waters in southwestern Colorado and grill the rainbow trout later that evening.

~Blue Mesa Reservoir:
15 miles west of Gunnison. Largest body of H2O in Colorado where Brown, Rainbow & Lake Trout, Kokanee & Yellow Perch abound.

~Taylor Reservoir:
NE of Almont on HWY 742. 
Look for Lake Trout, Kokanee & Browns.

~Taylor River:
East River (starts @ Crested Butte to Almont)
Gunnison River ( Taylor merges with East to form the Gunnison)

~Tomichi Creek
~Spring Creek

Colorado free fishing day is the 1st full weekend every June.

Guided trips:               970-641-3131                970-641-1845         800-641-0504  970-641-1845                   970-641-1303

Don Walker - who's fished the reservoir since it opened more than 40 years ago - landed a new state record mackinaw, or lake trout, May 23 on the lake; and Larry Cornell, who was nearby when Walker caught the monster fish, held the previous record, set in 2002.

Walker's fish tipped the scales at 50.35 pounds, measured 44 1/4 inches in length with 34 3/8-inch girth. That beat Cornell's record by about 3 1/2 pounds.

Read the full story here...

More Fish Tails

Master Suites

Rock Climbing At Water Wheel InnROCK CLIMBING

Our great Rocky Mountains have plenty of places to "go climb a rock".  Check with local outfitters for a full day of sheer and challenging rock, let them point you in the right direction for favorite climbing spots.

Hartman Rocks, Taylor Canyon, Black Canyon & Gateview Canyon  970-641-3131       970-641-1303

For those that climb indoor: 
Indoor Bouldering at Western State Campus
Indoor Climbing at Gunnison Community Center

Fishing Packages

Golfing the back 9 at Dos Rios golf course and not loosing all your balls in the ponds, then drinking a cold drink back at the inn.

Water Wheel Inn is the closest hotel to the Gunnison Golf Course, Literally!  Grab your clubs and walk out the door to the Dos Rios Golf Course for a beautiful day on the greens.  The course is open to all golfers, and hosts 18 holes of semi private golf. 

Course Information:

Fee Range: $25-$65 with Cart
Season: April 1 to October 31st
Tee Time Info: Call (970) 641-1482 for reservations. Tee time policy: 5 days in advance.
Amenities: Practice areas, bar & restaurant, full service golf shop.
Pro: Tom Carricato, PGA Head Professional
Dress Code: Traditional

Contact Information:
Address: 501 Camino Del Rio P.O. Box 86 Gunnison, CO 81230
Phone: 970-641-1482 Fax: 970-641-4941
Directions: Take Hwy 50 west from Gunnison. After crossing the river, go 1 mile and look for signs for the golf course on the left.

The Gunnison Valley is graced with two 18 hole championship courses – mixing scenery and challenge.  The Dos Rios course meanders gently  around  and through two rivers – bring an extra sleeve of water balls!  And the Crested Butte Country Club golf course is a classic mountain design by Robert Trent Jones II .  You can enjoy both while visiting the Gunnison “Country”.

The Club at Crested Butte
Dos Rios Country Club
Thursday is members only day- stay at the Water Wheel  Inn for discounted green fees



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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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