By traveling responsibly during your visit to Colorado’s beautiful Gunnison Valley, you’re not only helping 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.
When exploring Colorado’s beautiful mountains via skis, fat bike or snowshoes, following the rules makes for a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone. Learn more about the downhill skiing safety code, where you’re allowed to ride a fat bike, and more!
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.
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.
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.
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.
To help reduce environmental impacts and conflicts between groups.
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.
Have a plan: If a restroom is unavailable, bring WAG bags or a portable toilet and pack out all waste (pet and human).
Take only pictures: do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
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.
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.
Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
More tips on how to lighten your footprint when traveling to Crested Butte and Gunnison.