• Beautiful Columbines

  • Winter View from our Home


Located on the Western Slope of Colorado, the Gunnison Country includes high alpine valleys and parks, some of the finest hunting and fishing in the nation, 14,000-foot-high mountains, and a rich history in mining, cattle, and recreation.  The decade of the 1860’s brought placer miners to the many streams of the Gunnison Country, and several million dollars of gold were panned out of Washington Gulch, the Crystal River, Armstrong Gulch, and Gold Creek. The late 1870’s and early 1880’s in the Gunnison Country saw an enormous silver-mining boom. Between 25,000-40,000 people flocked to the region. The two great towns of the Gunnison Country – Crested Butte and Gunnison – had more than just silver to rely upon. They were railroad, smelter, and supply towns. After the turn of the century, cattle, coal, and the creation of Western State College in Gunnison sustained the region. Always a great recreation center, the Gunnison Country today is famous because of skiing at Crested Butte, outstanding hunting and fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Crested Butte is a “must see” with plenty of “must do’s” in every season of the year.


Biking in Crested Butte during the Spring / Summer / Fall Seasons is a must! There are numerous biking trails, as well as bike shops.


Doctor Park

 19 miles. Singletrack – loop

Doctors Park offers some fantastic downhill on the Gunnison Spur of the Colorado Trail. This trail can be ridden as a loop or you can use a shuttle if riding up eight miles of road doesn’t appeal to you. Most people park at the bottom (North Bank Campground) and ride or shuttle up Spring Creek Road to Doctor Gulch (trail 554).

If you are into camping there are many formal and informal places to camp near Spring Creek, or the whole Taylor River Valley, for that matter. I highly suggest getting the Latitude 40 map for Crested Butte.

Trail 401.

14 miles. Singletrail – loop

Start the long climb up on Gothic Rd for ~4.5 miles towards Schofield Pass. Turn right onto trail 401 to climb a little bit more on singletrack. At the top there are spectacular views, to the east you can see the Maroon Bells. From here, the scenery can’t be beat… start the narrow singletrack downhill through fields of wildflowers and aspen groves. There are about two more steady climbs after the long downhill back to your car, take your time and enjoy the views!

Reno / Flag / Bear / Deadman

20 miles. Singletrack. Time: 3hr 30 min

The route described here is just over twenty miles long and can be ridden in three to four hours, making a nice half day ride. It is well marked, so donít worry about getting lost. There are no extreme challenges so any reasonably competent single-track rider should enjoy it. The loop features an easy road ride uphill, feeding into miles of single-track, and finishes with a fast, somewhat steep downhill. You can make it longer by riding from town or adding in other segments that are close by. As with most Crested Butte Trails, avoid this area if it is wet. The trails will appreciate it and your body will appreciate it.

Farris Creek

14 miles . Singletrack

Just incredible fun… the climb up the initial hill is hard going but it pays back in a big way. There is some superb downhill through rock gardens, serene trails through aspen stands (and look out for the bear claw marks on the bark), flowing single-track across open hills. It’s got a bit of everything. The descent to the junction with Canal Trail is gripping but watch out for the sting in the trail…

Crested Butte Moutain Resort

25 miles. Singletrack

Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort “has over 25 miles of downhill and cross country mountain bike trails, a skills zone, dual slalom course, and numerous natural and man-made obstacles.” A number of the trails on the mountain are multi-use trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding and are of a more cross-country disposition.

Strand Hill

7 miles. Singletrack 

Big loop with a bail-out trail if you get tired of all the climbing. Climbs are steep and rutted until you get to the single-track. The views are amazing. The lower sections of this trail are ver scenic with some gradual climbs that evolve into steeper climbs to the summit. The decent is fast, flowy, filled with roots, rocks, and small drops. A great add on trail for Deer Creek or Upper Loop.


Guide Books for Hiking in the Gunnison Valley

Timber, Talus & Tundra – Mary Ann Tarr
Hiking the Gunnison River Basin – Geraldine M. Bloomquist & Paul

Both are available at The Bookworm at two locations:

211 N. Main in Gunnison
408 3rd Street in Crested Butte

USFS Maps and other Hiking Maps available in Gunnison

Bookworm, 211 N. Main St.
Eflin Sports, 701 N. Main St.
Gene Taylors Sportings Goods, 201 W. Tomichi Ave.
Gunnison Sporting Goods, 133 E. Tomichi Ave.
High Mt. Drifter, 114 S. Wisconsin St.
Traders Rendezvous, 516 W. Tomichi Ave.
USFS and BLM offices 216 N. Colorado

USFS Maps and other Hiking Maps available in Almont, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte

Three Rivers Resort, 130 County Rd 742, Almont
Alpine Outside, 315 6th St. 4-Way Stop, Crested Butte
Bookworm/Book Seller, 408 3rd St., Crested Butte
Eflin Sports, Slopeside Treasure Center Building, Mt. Crested Butte

Hiking in Crested Butte is an amazing, unlimited sport! There are tons of trails to choose from, all filled with unbelievable scenery.

We share some of our favorites:

Crested Butte Summit Trail - Moderate-Difficult, 1.25 miles

Access: Park in the visitors parking area at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. There is a kiosk where maps can be obtained. Tickets are available at the Ski area ticket office or Eflin Sports in the Treasury Center. Follow a walkway to the Silver Queen Chairlift, which will take you to the trailhead.

The trail is well marked and will take you to the summit of Crested Butte Mountain through tall timber, across tundra and a screefield. There are spectacular views in all directions from the summit. Your return is a hike down the mountain (about 6 miles) or a ride down the chairlift.

Snodgrass Trail - Moderate – 3 miles (Trail closed for grazing July and August)

Access: Travel 2 miles past the ski area at Mt. Crested Butte on Gothic Road. The trailhead is on the left side of Gothic Road.

At the trailhead, cross over the fence on Snodgrass Road. At approximately 0.5 miles, the trail intersects with a road. Turn left and follow the trail west to the Washington Gulch Road. This trail takes you through fields of wildflowers and in and out of aspen and pine groves. There are
beautiful views of Crested Butte Mountain along the way. Watch for “stop sign” closures.

Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Recreation Path - Easy – 2.75 miles
(2 miles are ADA accessible)

Access: Park at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort parking lot. The trailstarts at this parking lot heading back towards Crested Butte.

The trail follows Gothic Road for the first 3/4 mile, crossing the road twice. The remaining 2 miles wind through meadows. The end of the trail is still under construction. When you get to the barricade, signs will direct you onto a single track dirt path out to Gothic Road. You may continue your hike on the shoulder of Gothic Road into Crested Butte. There is a shuttle that can take you back up to the parking lot.

West Maroon Pass (Crested Butte to Aspen) – Moderate – 24 miles RT

Access: Drive from Crested Butte to Schofield Pass and into Schofield Park (about 13 miles). The trail (#1970) begins at approx 10,400 feet. Once on the Aspen side a free shuttle can drive you to Aspen from Maroon Lake.

The trip from Crested Butte to Aspen is one of the more popular hikes in our area. The route is well sign marked. Plan about 3 hours to the Pass and another 2 to the lake for those in good shape. The total elevation gain is 1,450 feet. The hike to the pass and back is a splendid hike with fewer logistics than the through hike.

about cb4

We recommend visiting Willowfly Anglers for fly fishing and guided trips on the Gunnison River.

Gunnison River

The Gunnison River begins at Almont, Colorado, where the Taylor River and East River merge to form its headwaters. The river grows in size as it flows down through the Gunnison Valley and into Blue Mesa Reservoir. This is the first of several dams as the Gunnison continues its flow through the Black Canyon and eventually into the Colorado River. Our section of the Gunnison River, the upper Gunnison, is from the headwaters in Almont all the way to Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The upper Gunnison River is impacted by both snow-melt and the controlled releases from Taylor Reservoir. The Gunnison is best fished from a boat in the early season during high water. There are also plenty of public access points for wading the river during summer and fall.

The Gunnison River contains a very high density of trout, including browns, rainbows, and cutthroat. There are long riffles and runs, and a lot of deep pools which hold large trout. There are good hatches of stoneflies, caddis, and mayflies during the season. The peak season is from mid June to mid September, and fall can offer excellent fishing on the Gunnison. The fall kokanee salmon run brings loads of hard-fighting sockeye salmon up the Gunnison River from Blue Mesa as they run all the way to Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery on the East River. There is a catch-and-release season for kokanee from August 1 to October 31. Big trout will follow the salmon up to feed on their eggs. A 9-foot 5-weight fly rod is a good all purpose choice for the Gunnison River. A 6-weight rod can also be used during the salmon run.

East River
The East River is a freestone river which drains out of Emerald Lake, which is located at about 10,500 feet in the Rockies near Crested Butte. It flows down through the valley to Almont, where it joins the Taylor River. Most of the river flows through private property, and there is limited public access. The most popular public access area is at Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery, just a few miles north of Almont.

The East River is a low gradient river with nice long pools and plenty of riffles. The East is easily waded and a very enjoyable river to fish. The section by the hatchery is wild trout water with special regulations (flies only). The river holds nice rainbows, browns, and some cutthroat. Due to the limited public access, it can get some pressure, especially during the kokanee salmon run.

Crested Butte offers some of the most varied and pristine ski area terrain around. The lift lines are short if there are any to begin with. Whether you are a beginner just wanting to learn the basics, an intermediate desiring to cruise the blues, or an expert wanting a fantastic challenge, Crested Butte is a ski area that meets everyone’s needs.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is the name of our local ski area/resort. Their web site has a wealth of information about lift-served alpine skiing in Crested Butte.

The ski area has spent over $200 million dollars on new lifts, additional terrain, new state-of-the art snowmaking and grooming, a complete renovation of the luxury ski-in, ski-out Elevation Hotel and the completion of the new Lodge and Conference Center at Mountaineer Square. Crested Butte Mountain Resort now offers over 25,000 square feet of meeting space to suit the needs of both small and large groups.

With 121 trails, 15 lifts, Colorado’s Best Corduroy, the famous, experts-only “Extreme Limits” terrain, unparalleled ski and snowboard instruction, extraordinary restaurants, lively après ski bars, cross-country skiing, snowshoe tours, and sleigh ride dinners. There are plenty of choices for everyone at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is now offering the Peak Pass with prices for adult passes starting at $599. The Peak Pass includes unlimited skiing and riding at the resort with no blackout dates.  Guests can upgrade to the Peak Pass+ to include Adventure Park access and 2014 summer lift access as well as resort discounts. As part of the restructure, the resort is also planning on eliminating many of their previous Mountain Card and limited-use products. The all new Peak Pass and Peak Pass+ replace the Platinum, Gold, 12-Day, EZ Pass, and X-Card.  Our early season pricing for the Peak Pass runs from May 1 – September 27, 2013. The Peak Pass+ upgrade is available at the price points below until July 31, 2013.

PEAK PASS - May 1-Sept 27 2013

Unlimited skiing, riding with no blackout dates. Valid for the 2013/14 Winter Season.

Adult  18 – 69 $599

70 and above $399

Young Adults (13-17) $299

Child (7-12) $199

6 & Under FREE

College* (Purchase by 10/25)  $469

Crested Butte may be a small town, but it has plenty of wonderful restaurants for a nice night out on the town…

We share some of our favorites:

Located in MT. Crested Butte

Firehouse Grill is proud to present the finest in custom pizzas and calzones, gourmet oven-baked sandwiches, pasta entrees, steaks, burgers, wings and appetizers, all at reasonable prices. Come dine mountain-side next to the fireplace or in our full-service sports-bar with a pool table and numerous televisions. Full-menu delivery and take-out available everyday. Weekly food and drink specials!!

The Avalanche

Located at the ski area in Mt. Crested Butte, the Avalanche features buxom breakfasts, lovely lunches & delightful dinners starting at 8:00am daily. Our banana granola pancakes, biscuits & gravy, homemade clam chowder and chili, half pound burgers, smoked salmon salad, fish & chips, spinach manicotti, & carmel apple crisp are just a smidge of this menu’s collection of comfort foods.

Don’t forget the Rugrats. We have a kids’ breakfst & lunch menu just for them and don’t miss the nightly dinner specials.

Take-out, eat-in or enjoy views from our sunny deck.
(Happy Hour is from 3-7!)

Located in the Town of  Crested Butte 


313 3rd Street, Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-7291

Authentic, freshly made Pan Asian cuisine. Featureing Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Crab Rangoon, Pad Thai, Thai Fried Rice, Assorted Butty, Lamb Korma, and a great selection of desserts. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. *Daily Specials              Try their Pad Thai!!


402 1/2 Elk Ave., Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-5148

Camp 4 Coffee, proud recipient of the Best Coffee In Town award, 1998. Our motto: Third World Technology, First World Flavor. Don’t miss The World’s Largest Bench!
Home of the fastest breakfast in town: coffee and a breakfast burrito for $3.50 in two minutes or less. And it tastes good, too!
Three locations to sell more stuff: downtown Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte Bus Stop, and CB South Park. **New additional location in Riverland!**


215 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-6125

Crested Butte’s newest micro brewery is a “Sunny Place for Shady People”, serving nine beers on tap, a huge selection of over 40 bottled beers, cocktails, bar food and live music regularly. Located upstairs, next to the post office, downtown Crested Butte.
Happy hour daily from 3-8 pm: $1.50 pints! Bad beer night is Tuesday from 9pm until it’s gone. Stop by and play some pool, watch the game, dance, or enjoy the great outdoors on our sunny deck with other shady folks. Open daily from 3 pm until 2 am.
They also sell 5 & 15 gallon kegs, or you might want to take home a half gallon “growler.” Brewery tours are available by request.

SOUPCON – French Cuisine

127 Elk Ave Ste A, Crested Butte, CO 81224

(970) 349-5448

Amazing small french restaurant! Call in advance for reservations!! A more expensive option, but highly recommended if you want to have an amazing food experience!

The Secret Stash - 970-349-6245

303 Elk Ave, Crested Butte, CO 81224

Amazing pizza and great atmosphere! Low key night, perfect for a date!! (http://www.stashpizza.com/)

© 53 Paradise 2013