This special place harkens back to the Old West and today is home to Western State Colorado University and a vibrant student population. It's the perfect recreational and Western vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts, aspiring astronomers, art and music lovers, car aficionados and families alike.
The summer season kicks off with the Original Growler mountain bike races on Memorial Day weekend and continues with the Gunnison River Festival, featuring river activities and flat water kayak, canoes, stand up paddle board (SUP) and swimming competitions (not to mention a canine paddle!). And all summer long Gunnison Whitewater Park offers recreational canoeing, kayaking and rafting.
Gold Medal Waters
Anglers hoping to earn bragging rights fish the waters of the Gunnison River, home to the country’s largest Kokanee salmon run and the biggest concentration of trout in the state. Record Rainbow, Brown, and Mackinaw catches have been recorded at nearby Blue Mesa Reservoir and Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery. Blue Mesa Reservoir is the state’s largest body of water where visitors enjoy boating, fishing, waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, and camping. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just minutes away.
Looking for adventure? If mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding fuel your passion, visit Hartman Rocks Recreation Area with its single track and double track trail network. Golfers enjoy scenic links surrounded by pristine mountain views. Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities here.
Authentic Old West Culture
Folks who love the authenticity of the West will enjoy a boot-stomping celebration at Cattlemen’s Days, Colorado’s oldest and longest running rodeo. This marquee event includes the thrills and spills of PRCA rodeos, a parade, county fair, carnival rides, cowboy poetry, dances, concerts and more.
Arts & Entertainment
Gunnison boasts a lively arts, culture and music scene. Gunnison Arts Center presents theatre productions, concerts, art and dance classes, and exhibitions. Don’t miss First Friday Art Walk. And just down the road the I Bar Ranch offers the perfect backdrop for country and bluegrass music. Star-gazers will be awestruck with the clear night sky and public viewings offered at Gunnison Valley Observatory in summer and fall. And history buffs enjoy the Pioneer Museum.
August is a great time for cruising mountain roads, admiring classic cars, and browsing art in the park. You’ll also see chainsaw maestros transform logs into public works of art during the annual Gunnison Car Show weekend.
The 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge rides into town in August. Selected for its majestic beauty and bike-friendly community, Gunnison is host to Stage 3 of one of the biggest professional cycling events in America.
While you're here, you'll need a great place to stay. And be sure to stop by Gunnison’s vibrant downtown business district for an afternoon of shopping, local brews and terrific local eateries. Welcome to the Old West!
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