Heritage Tourism in the Gunnison Valley

Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum Coal Mining Exhibit

Western Heritage

Gunnison-Crested Butte is a valley filled with a rich, storied past steeped in Western heritage. With a history of pioneers, cowboys, miners and now skiers and adventurers, these diverse individuals have made Gunnison-Crested Butte what it is today. The Gunnison County Historic Preservation Commission is charged with preserving the heritage of the communities in Gunnison County.

Historic Sites and Drives

Visitors to Gunnison County can explore the past in many ways, including taking self-guided driving and walking tours, visiting museums, and exploring local graveyards Highlights for those interested in heritage tourism include visits to some of our old mining and pioneer towns and settlements. Some have been repurposed, including Gothic, an 1880s boom town that is now home to a scientific laboratory, while others, like Tincup and White Pine, although smaller than during their heyday, are still active communities. Still others have faded into obscurity as ghost towns. While exploring these pieces of Gunnison County's rich history, it's best to obey all posted signs and watch out for artifacts.

For those interested in our more distant history, Western State Colorado University maintains an archeological dig at The Tenderfoot Site. WSCU faculty and students have been studying the site since 1991, learning more about the Archaic population of the area (hunter gatherers in a modern, non-ice age environment), who inhabited Gunnison County from approximately 8000 years ago until prehistoric farmers made an appearance.

If you are interested in taking one of our self-guided tours of local heritage sites, check out the brochures below:

Gunnison County's Railroads

Gunnison County's Outhouses

Gunnison County's Graves

We invite you to enjoy our heritage driving tour! Along the way you will experience incredible vistas, meet friendly locals and see that our county is steeped in rich Western and Victorian mining era history. The tour self-guides you to interesting... more
Crested Butte is famous for both its history and its architectural character. Its resilient, weather-beaten buildings reflect a proud tradition of surviving harsh mountain winters. In 1974, the entire town was designated a National Historic District... more
The City of Gunnison is one of the oldest municipalities on the Western Slope. Much of its history still stands nestled between newer structures that comprise the city today. Both the residential area, and the business district in the downtown area... more
The Museum is home to a number of exhibits with something to interest almost anyone. When you step into the front doors of the building you step into the past. The front of the building, which served as a hardware store from 1883-1996, features the... more
Pioneer Museum 803 E. Tomichi Ave. Gunnison, Colorado 81230 970.641.4530 Open Memorial Day Weekend (last weekend in May) through September 30 Admission is $7 per adult (groups of 12 or more are $5 per adult); Children ages 6 through 12 are $3; 5... more