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!
"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 www.sisk-a-dee.org
"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 www.sisk-adee.org
Book a birding group reservation for April and May-special group rates apply!
*Photo courtesy of Don Taylor
List for birds in Gunnison Basin :
7 Wildlife areas
*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 ~
Elk Creek Marina
Lake Fork Mariana
Morrow Point Reservoir Boat Tours
From Memorial Day – Labor Day
** Please arrive 1 hour early, as you must walk down to boat dock
4-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".
Guided Tours and/or Rentals:
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 www.coloradoatvrentals.net.
Suggested off-road trails in the area:
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.
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)
Taylor River: Class 1 to 4 (kayak, duckie or raft)
Lake Fork: Class 2+ to 4 (big paddling action)
For more great things to do in the Gunnison Valley visit: www.mountainflyer.com
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.
Colorado free fishing day is the 1st full weekend every June.
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.
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
For those that climb indoor:
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.
Fee Range: $25-$65 with Cart
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
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