Planning a Colorado sightseeing vacation? Wildlife, mountain views, old mines and ghost towns, and National Parks are all on the top of the list when it comes to sightseeing in Gunnison-Crested Butte. Take a drive on one of our scenic byways or go on a horseback ride to one of the many roadless Wilderness Areas in our mountains.
Sage deserts, stunning high peaks, and meadows filled with wildflowers: the vistas in Gunnison Country lend themselves well to those looking for a good Colorado sightseeing vacation. Whether you want to explore for a few hours or spend a week on the road checking out all that Southwest Colorado has to offer, Crested Butte and Gunnison are the perfect headquarters for your next trip to or through Colorado.
Gunnison County contains pieces of two official Colorado Scenic Byways: the West Elk Loop-Scenic and Historic Byway and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. These beautiful drives offer the opportunity to explore the different views and varied terrain of Gunnison County or create your own scenic drive itinerary.
Take a trip up Taylor Canyon to Taylor Reservoir and enjoy dramatic rock cliffs and stunning river views. Watch for wildlife! This is one of the best places in Gunnison County to spot bighorn sheep and different types of birds. Another popular driving tour is the Paradise Divide Loop up Slate River Road or Gothic/Schofield Pass Road and coming down the other side. This road, like many dirt roads in Gunnison and Crested Butte, require some clearance to navigate.
One of the best ways to sightsee in town is a walking tour of the historic buildings and districts in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Both towns have been around for quite a while and many historic structures remain thanks to the dedication of our local governments. The entire town of Crested Butte was designated a National Historic District in 1974 and many of the buildings on Elk Avenue and throughout town are the same as they were in late 1800’s.
Crested Butte and Gunnison are some of the best places for a Colorado sightseeing vacation focused on spotting wildlife. Large herds of elk and mule deer roam the valley during winter and can often be seen right from the highway. Gunnison Valley is a stop-over point for every sort of migratory bird from the common robin to rare hawks and owls in spring and early summer.
Its hard to beat early fall for wildlife sightseeing. Animals are more active this time of year as they prepare for winter and the hardship it will bring. Bears can be spotted out looking for berries and nuts in the drainage and around town. Elk and mule deer group into huge herds in anticipation of the rut. This is when you’re likely to see the impressive sight of 200+ elk crossing a mountain pass bugling and fighting as they move towards the pastureland in the valleys.
Go with a guide! An incredible thing about Crested Butte and Gunnison is no matter what you’re doing outside you’re going to have a good view. There are many guide services in the valley that offer a variety of services, from rock climbing to guided hunting trips. Guides can offer instruction, gear, and take you to spots you might not have known about on your own. Enjoy a fun, worry free day outside AND take in the incredible views of the valley!
There are so many activities to check out on your vacation to Crested Butte and Gunnison!
Whether you’re looking for outdoor reaction, arts and culture, health and wellness, or sightseeing, Gunnison and Crested Butte have something for everyone!