Responsible Travel in Gunnison Crested Butte

Enjoy the mountains. Leave No Trace.

By visiting Gunnison Crested Butte responsibly, you’re not only helping us preserve these lands for the next visitor, but for future generations to come. Whether you were drawn here by the epic mountain biking, beautiful hiking or any of the other things to do, tread lightly so the next visitor can have the same amazing experience.



Certain trails in Gunnison are closed seasonally for mud. Others are closed during specific dates in spring to protect wildlife, including elk, deer and the Gunnison sage grouse. Obey all posted signs you encounter, and never recreate on muddy trails. Click the button below for more details. 


How to minimize your impact on the Gunnison Valley’s beautiful backcountry

The seven principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. Each principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

  • prepared camper

    Plan Ahead an Prepare

    To help reduce environmental impacts and conflicts between groups.

  • leave no trace practice #6

    Camp in Designated Campsites

    Drive only on established roads, and camp only in established campsites. Camp at least 200 feet away from water. Manage your camp in a way that minimizes impacts on the land, water, plants and animals. Check out this Car Camping 101 video to learn more about how to car camp in a way that minimizes impacts on the land.

  • leave no trace practice #5

    Dispose of Waste Properly

    Have a plan: If a restroom is unavailable, bring WAG bags or a portable toilet and pack out all waste (pet and human).

  • leave no trace practice #4

    Leave What You FInd

    Take only pictures: do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.

  • leave no trace practice #3

    Minimize Campfire Impacts

    Campfires can cause lasting impacts on the environment. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings or fire pans. Burn all wood and coals to ash and put out campfires completely.

  • leave no trace practice #2

    Respect Wildlife

    Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Control pets at all times or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

  • leave no trace practice #1

    Be Considerate of other visitors

    Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.

Where to Hike and Snowshoe in Crested Butte in Winter

Winter vs. Summer trail use

Hiking and snowshoeing is permitted on Town Ranch, the Rec Path, Whetstone Vista, Green Lake Trail and the drainages (Slate River Road, Gothic Road, etc.). The summer trails along Peanut Lake Road, including the Woods Walk, the Budd Trail and the Lower Loop, are closed to all use in winter. Snowshoes are allowed on CB Nordic’s groomed trails with the purchase of a CB Nordic day pass. Dogs are only allowed on certain groomed trails; please visit CB Nordic’s dog policy webpage for more information. Fat bikes are permitted on open backcountry trails and a few groomed trails. Check out CB Nordic’s fat biking page for more information on this unique activity.

Getting Around Gunnison Crested Butte

Public transportation

If you don’t have a car, you can easily walk, bike or utilize the free buses to get around the Gunnison Valley. The RTA bus regularly runs between Gunnison and Crested Butte, making visiting both towns convenient. The Mountain Express Shuttle services Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Shuttles from Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport are also available. Some hotels and bed and breakfasts offer bikes for guests to use.

Camping in Gunnison Crested Butte

There are many places to camp in the Gunnison Valley for tent camping, RVs and fifth-wheel trailers. Research camping spots before your trip to avoid surprises (for example, expecting a toilet at camp but finding out that there are none when you arrive). With recent changes to camping regulations around Crested Butte, it’s more important than ever to plan your trip before you arrive. Check out different camping options in Gunnison Valley. 

From the blog

More tips on how to lighten your footprint when traveling to Crested Butte and Gunnison.

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