26 Best & Fun Things to Do in Gunnison (CO)

Gunnison is a one-of-a-kind city and the county seat of Gunnison County in Colorado, United States.

It is the most populated municipality in the County and had a population of 6,560 after the 2020 census.

The city was named after John W. Gunnison, an Army officer of the United States and European American traveler.

Gunnison is a gorgeous Mountain town known for its outdoor recreation activities, agriculture, tourism, mining, and ranching.

There are numerous places to visit, such as West Tomichi River Park, High Alpine Brewing Company, Gunnison Community Center, Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area, Paul Wright Gym, El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant, and more.

Are you planning an exploration of Gunnison? Let’s explore the top things to do in Gunnison, CO.

Things to Do in Gunnison, CO

1. Gunnison National Forest

Gunnison National Forest
Credits: SNEHIT PHOTO / Shutterstock
Gunnison National Forest

Covering a section of the major Mountains in Colorado, Gunnison National Forest extends through Crested Butt and the cities of Gunnison.

Gunnison National Forest was named after Captain John Gunnison; he came by the region in a quest for a possible route for a railroad through the Continental Divide.

The forest currently contains more than 1.7 million acres of public property and more than one hundred thousand private lands without exceeding its boundaries.

There are twenty-two peaks, two of which are more than 14,000, while the rest have an elevation of more than 13,000.

Gunnison National Forest features campgrounds developed to comfortably accommodate small trailers, tents, and campers.

Campers can only stay on the campground for a maximum of fourteen days. Some recreational stations charge user fees identified at the various entrances using signs.

Address: 216 N Colorado St, Gunnison, CO 81230-2162 United States

2. Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area

Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area
Credits: Orschstaffer [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area
Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area is a place that offers you a perfect gateway from all the noise in Gunnison.

Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area features a Tomichi Creek of 71. 8-mile creek created from creeks near the city.

This area offers exceptional fishing opportunities to anglers, making it one of the most popular fishing locations.

There is a public region that offers access to W Mountain without any form of a permit, allowing people to go on a hike throughout the private property.

Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area has a small waterway between Gunnison and Monarch pass.

The area usually attracts more hunters than anglers. Still, it is a perfect place to make a catch, especially during the summer, late spring, and fall periods.

Address: Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

3. El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant

El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant
Credits: Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
Beef Chimichanga

El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant, an exceptional restaurant in Gunnison, is an excellent place for foodies.

El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant guarantees visitors a memorable experience. A visit to the restaurant should definitely be on your list of the best things to do in Gunnison, CO.

The restaurant offers a menu featuring an extensive collection of traditional meals with a unique invention that will soften the hearts of even hardened customers.

They offer outstanding customers services; you don’t have to wait for your order for too long, the staff is friendly, and the services are quick.

Don’t miss the Seafood Pineapple Chalupa, which contains octopus, calamari, avocado, pineapple, and shrimp.

El Paraiso Family Mexican Restaurant serves Chips and Salsa, Beef Chimichanga, Flaming Steak Fajitas, Chicken Taco Salad, Mushroom Quesadilla, Condiments for Seafood Mix Bowl, and more.

Address: 112 S Main Street, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

4. Gunnison Pioneer Museum

Gunnison Pioneer Museum
Credits: ECV-OnTheRoad / Flickr
Gunnison Pioneer Museum

Gunnison Pioneer Museum, an attraction that attracts several visitors and locals from far and wide, is home to special historical artifacts.

The Gunnison Pioneer and Historical Society were founded in 1930 to preserve historical artifacts and documents focused on Gunnison County.

It has consistently lived up to expectations by educating and motivating the new generations with new suggestions from back in the day.

The Museum offers a vibrant and unique environment decorated with walls adorned with art Unique to Colorado.

Gunnison Pioneer Museum is home to major historic buildings in Gunnison, such as the Post Office of Alonzo Hartman and the Paragon School House.

Visit Gunnison Pioneer Museum if you want to learn about the history of Gunnison County and the State.

Address: 803 E Tomichi Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

5. I Bar Ranch

I Bar Ranch
Credits: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock

The I Bar Ranch is a popular historic event center that can accommodate more than five hundred persons without stress.

The center is just 1.5 miles from downtown Gunnison, in the middle of Jorgenson Park and Pioneer Museum.

It is a one-of-a-kind bar found among the calm and relaxed places where recreation and agriculture breathe.

The I Bar Ranch was once a barn but currently hosts several open-air concerts and musical events.

The center functions from May to October. It is a perfect place for everyone seeking to have a memorable outdoor concert.

William Clark Howard founded the company. It has been passed down to third generations of the family.

Address: 850 Co Rd 49, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

6. The Dillon Pinnacles

Dillon Pinnacles
Credits: Lisa Parsons / Shutterstock
Dillon Pinnacles

The Dillon Pinnacles is located close to the heart of Curecanti National Recreation Area, about six miles from the western part of the Elk Creek Visitor Center.

A two-mile hiking trail takes visitors from the dry mesa to the pinnacles, overlooking volcanic formations that oversee the landscape of the Curecanti National Recreation Area.

The Dillon Pinnacles is a long display of miles of Blue Mesa tuff and volcanic breccia. Seven known hiking trails within the park lead to the root of Dillon Pinnacles.

Address: Dillon Pinnacles Trail, CO 81230, United States

7. AEI Fly Fishing

AEI Fly Fishing
Credits: MyraMyra / Shutterstock

As a tour company in Gunnison, AEI Fly Fishing has gained lots of experience in offering exciting fishing trips and retreats.

AEI Fly Fishing offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate the outskirts and reload their passion for adventure.

The company takes visitors on an exploration through the Gunnison River, the Taylor River, the East River, And the Gunnison River’s Lake Fork.

Professional tour guides are available to teach visitors of all skill levels, including beginners, about how the sport is carried out.

Each package offered consists of meals and lodging services in a setting entirely encompassed by nature and amazing mountain views.

If you’re ready to go outside and explore the city, visiting AEI Fly Fishing is one of the top things to do in Gunnison, CO.

Address: Co-135, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

8. Gunnison Arts Center

Gunnison Arts Center
Credits: Larry Lamsa / Flickr
Gunnison Arts Center

Gunnison Arts Center is a 12,000-square-foot facility in Gunnison featuring a theatre, dance shows, outdoor sculptures, and visual arts displays.

The facility consists of meeting rooms for organizing community events and lessons for those interested in exploring art in different mediums, including sculptures and paintings.

It operates as a recreation center and an environment where artists get the opportunity to enhance their careers and skills.

The Gunnison Arts Center is a venue for classes, exhibits, and events that brings arts right to the doorstep of the locals.

The center allows guests to create art by themselves in ceramics classes and hosts different music, plays, and more performances.

It offers adults and kids classes in culinary arts, fiber arts, literary arts, and more. Members are offered up to a 15% discount on every class, including scholarships. Exploring this Center is one of the fun things to do in Gunnison, CO.

Address: 102 S Main St, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

Also, check out the best of attractions and activities in Golden and Cripple Creek for a fun vacation in Colorado.

9. West Tomichi River Park

West Tomichi River Park
Credits: Piotr Wawrzyniuk / Shutterstock

If you are in the mood to go outdoors with your friends and family visiting West Tomichi River Park is one of the best things to do in Gunnison, CO.

West Tomichi River Park is the number one place for people who need a calm and soothing environment to relax.

The Park features a pond that is wheelchair accessible with an accessible trail that takes about 30 minutes to complete.

If you’re someone who enjoys casting lines while waiting for a perfect catch, West Tomichi River Park is a great place to fish.

There is a picnic area and pavilion where groups of friends or families can gather and grab a meal together to enjoy the scenery.

Address: 113 Emerald Ln, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

10. Curecanti National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Credits: Bernadette Heath / Shutterstock
Curecanti National Recreation Area

Of course, here is something for nature lovers!

For every lover of nature, one of the best places to visit in Gunnison, CO, is Curecanti National Recreation Area.

Curecanti National Recreation Area features three reservoirs on what was formerly the Wild Gunnison River.

Curecanti is made up of reservoirs and a water-related recreation destination in the Rocky Mountains, popular for trout and salmon fishing.

As a forty-two thousand acres recreation area, Curecanti National Recreation Area features Crystal, Morrow Point, and Blue Mesa reservoirs enclosed by mesas and canyons.

Curecanti National Recreation Area is home to several outdoor activities, such as bird watching, camping, boating, and hiking.

It was built in 1965 and is the sole manager and developer of the various recreational facilities on the three reservoirs.

Address: Gunnison, CO, United States

11. High Alpine Brewing Company

High Alpine Brewing Company
Credits: somchaij / Shutterstock

There is no better place to start your exploration in Gunnison than at High Alpine Brewing Company.

High Alpine Brewing Company, founded in 2015, is the only craft brewery in Gunnison. It is famous for its outstanding services.

The brewery thrives on being different from other brands by using special recipes in producing every one of its beers.

They combine the finest ingredients, best grains, hops, and natural water in preparing the various beers.

High Alpine Brewing Company offers a family-friendly setting for visitors to relax and enjoy their drinks and meals.

Some of the drinks offered include Town Run American Light Lager, Italian Mountain Basil Ale, Hootenanny Strawberry Hefeweizen, Honesty Hour Hazy Pale Ale, Blind Luck Cherry Lime Berliner Weisse, and more.

High Alpine Brewing Company offers a menu featuring house salad, caesar salad, brick oven pizzas, sausage platters, salumi board, sauces, cheeses, veggies, and so on.

Address: 111 N Main Street, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

12. Scenic River Tours Inc.

Scenic River Tours Inc.
Credits: PPstock / Shutterstock

Are you wondering what to do in Gunnison, CO? Scenic River Tours Inc. will surely exceed your expectations as a premiere adventure company.

Scenic River Tours Inc. has been in existence since 1977 as a locally owned and operated offering inflatable kayak trips, fishing, rocking climbing bout, and rafting.

Scenic River Tours Inc. offers the best-guided fishing and rafting tours in an isolated section of Colorado’s western slope and Gunnison County.

The well-equipped river rafts carry visitors through the most beautiful regions with an outstanding service formed by their special method of rafting.

The company also makes provision for rafting equipment which is available for rental and purchase.

Address: 703 W Tomichi Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

13. Paul Wright Gym

Paul Wright Gym
Credits: Torsak Thammachote / Shutterstock

For basketball fans, one of the best places to visit in Gunnison, CO, is Paul Wright Gymnasium, a fully equipped athletic facility.

Paul Wright Gymnasium is located in the center of major athletic centers of the West Colorado Mountaineers. In addition, several other essential facilities encompass it.

The center was built in 1925 and has gone through numerous renovations. It can comfortably carry 1,800 people.

The swimming pool was included in 1960, while the wrestling room was included in 1965 to support the 1963 and 1964 national championship teams.

Later in 1998, there was a primary renovation of 40,000 square foot which included a locker facility and weight room of 2,500 square feet.

The Department of Recreation and Exercise Science holds its lessons in one facility featuring six classrooms.

Paul Wright Gymnasium is popular for students from far and wide interested in basketball and volleyball.

Address: H32H+8P, Gunnison, CO 81231, United States

14. Gunnison Farmers Market

Gunnison Farmers Market
Credits: Ary Acevedo / Shutterstock

If you’re planning a delicious homemade meal, one place to visit is Gunnison Farmers Market.

Gunnison Farmers Market features a diverse collection of vendors offering a wide variety of goods and services.

You can purchase the finest cheese, baked goods, flowers, crafts, eggs, beef, vegetables, fruits, granola, pork, herbs, honey, and more.

Many of the offered items are sourced from the North Fork Valley. However, there are vendors offering an enormous range of some of the best and most flavorful food from Gunnison.

Gunnison Farmers Market offers live entertainment every week, including several activities for kids and cooking competitions.

The market is open from 9:30 am til 3 pm on Saturdays; make sure you go on time so you don’t miss out.

You get the opportunity to meet and interact with many locals and ask questions about the cultures of the community and how their local meals are prepared.

Address: Fred Field Heritage Center, 275 S Spruce Street in Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

15. Gunnison Community Center

Gunnison Community Center
Credits: Duet PandG / Shutterstock

The Gunnison Community Center is a must-visit for everyone in Gunnison, especially if they want to engage in a bit of exercise.

The Center is always clean and organized, with ample space making it a perfect place for some aquatic recreation and other games.

After all the stress and you feel like cooling off and relaxing on a sunny day, don’t waste time before visiting the pool region.

There is a basketball court for those who want a more energetic game when they engage in friendly competitions with loved ones.

The Gunnison Community Center features a childcare area, gymnasium, teen center, and rock climbing wall.

You will also find meeting rooms, a lobby, and gymnastics. The staff is friendly and offers assistance when needed.

Address: 200 Spencer Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

Check out our guides on things to do in Cortez and things to do in Greeley for a memorable trip in Colorado.

16. Gunnison Skatepark

Gunnison Skatepark
Credits: Smoooochie / Flickr
Gunnison Skatepark

When you have some free time and do not know what to do in Gunnison, CO, visit Gunnison Skatepark.

The Gunnison Skatepark offers visitors massive fun through the diverse selection of small to medium challenges such as rails, quarter pipes, stairs, and small ramps.

The park floors are well-layered and in good condition offering several tricky elements and exciting skating lines.

The Park is usually clean and safe for everyone to have fun, including adults and children.

Address: Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

17. Gunnison Gallery

Gunnison Gallery
Credits: BearFotos / Shutterstock

Gunnison Gallery is a paradise for art fans in the region, drawing visitors from far and wide through its unique collection.

The Gallery showcases an impressive collection of local and regional artworks featuring oil paintings, jewelry, ceramics, and Mosaic art guitars.

It also displays artworks in different mediums like bronze sculptures, Aspen furniture, portraits of Alpaca wool, and more.

Gunnison Gallery houses sixty local artists who specialize in different kinds of artwork, including posters, digital printing, picture framing, and more.

The Gallery Is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9 am-5:30 pm, Saturday from 9 am-4 pm, and Sunday from 9 am-2 pm.

Address: 124 N Main St, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

18. Jorgensen Event Center

Jorgensen Event Center
Credits: Sergey Zaykov / Shutterstock

Jorgensen Event Center, known as the spot for winter recreation and sports in Gunnison County, attracts numerous locals and visitors. Engaging in the various activities offered here is among the fun things to do in Gunnison, CO.

Jorgensen Event Center consists of a frozen pond, an indoor rink, and an outdoor ice rink open for everyone to explore.

This center offers indoor and outdoor skating throughout the week and doesn’t require prior registration.

They offer lessons for beginners who have no idea of ice skating and more complicated classes for those who want to master new skills.

Jorgensen Event Center offers youth & adult hockey with cross-country skiing through the miles of trails.

This Center is the premier winter sports location in Gunnison Valley, with concessions that offer several kinds of beverages and food.

Address: 501 E Tomichi Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

19. Ol’ Miner Steakhouse

Ol' Miner Steakhouse
Credits: Ol’ Miner Steakhouse / Facebook
Ol’ Miner Steakhouse

Ol’ Miner Steakhouse is a family-owned and operated restaurant serving the public since 2005.

They offer a family-friendly environment where visitors get to feast on their delicious lunch or dinner meals.

The menu includes sandwiches, seafood, steaks, fried cheese curds, hummus plate, fried mushrooms, quesadilla, tumbleweeds, rancher’s wedge salad, fried chicken strips, and more.

Ol’ Miner Steakhouse features a full-service bar consisting of large TVs showing various sports games and drinks.

They offer a wide variety of options ensuring that there is something for everyone that walks into the building, welcoming them with broad smiles.

Address: 139 N. Main Street Gunnison, CO 81230 United States

20. Gunnison Coffee Company

Gunnison Coffee Company
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You can’t mention the most outstanding shops in the city without listing Gunnison Coffee Company, a great coffee location.

Gunnison Coffee Company is famous for serving the finest iced and smoothies drinks prepared using fresh berries.

The shop is always lively and energetic during their workdays, making customers feel loved and welcomed.

You need to try several options before leaving the store, such as their signature White Chocolate Iced, which is creamy, flavorful, and rich, including the Huckleberry Smoothie.

Gunnison Coffee Company offers mocha, cappuccino, dark mocha, latte, caramel macchiato, matcha green tea, Italian soda, lemonade, and more.

The workers and owners are nice and cheerful when attending to guests, ensuring they receive the best services.

Address: 910 W New York Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

21. Crystal Mill

Crystal Mill
Credits: Marilyn D. Lambertz / Shutterstock
Crystal Mill

 If you are ready to set out and explore, head towards Crystal Mill, found just outside Marble town.

Crystal Mill was functional as a powerhouse and had never operated as a mill. It was constructed in the Sheep Mountain Power House in 1892.

The Mill was used solely to provide air ventilation to mines within the area and to power pneumatic equipment.

In 1917, the Mill was vacated after the Sheep Mountain Mine was shut down. Exactly sixty-eight years later, the state recognized the Mill as a historic site. In 1985, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Crystal Mill has become a central attraction frequented by numerous tourists, including hikers and photographers.

You can visit the Mill to enjoy picturesque views of the calm serenity encompassed by lush greens.

Address: Crystal, Gunnison, CO 81623, United States

22. The Dos Rios Golf Club Inc.

Dos Rios Golf Club Inc.
Credits: pisitnamtasaeng / Shutterstock

The Dos Rios Golf Club Inc. should be your top destination for an amazing tee time, especially with your friends and family.

The Dos Rios Golf Club Inc. has become a trusted brand and is considered the people’s favorite due to its hard work and consistency.

The golf course offers you all you need to have a great golfing time through its unique terrain and fantastic customer service.

You can make a shot and test your golfing skills through their sand traps, fairways, and water hazards.

The Dos Rios Golf Club Inc. features a clubhouse where you can enjoy a variety of snacks after or before your tee time.

Address: 501 Cam Del Rio, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

23. Gunnison County Public Library

Gunnison County Public Library
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Gunnison County is home to a library service history of over seven decades offered to both visitors and locals.

In 1939, the first-ever library was founded in Gunnison in Webster Hall’s basement by the University Women’s American Association.

Gunnison County launched the Gunnison County Public Library in 1965; the library was relocated to its current location in 1975 with a little addition in 1983.

The establishment of Gunnison County Public Library was possible through the efforts and goal of Ann Zugelder, a local Philanthropist.

Gunnison County Public Library is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

If you’re a scholar or a research works person, include a visit to Gunnison County Public Library on your Gunnison checklist.

Address: 1 Quartz St, Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

24. Hartman Rocks

Hartman Rocks
Credits: Zoran Photographer/ Shutterstock

Hartman Rocks encompass more than 14,000 acres of public land cooperatively managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the city of Gunnison, Gunnison County.

Hartman is part of Gunnisons’s most outstanding attractions. It is a home for motorcycling, rock climbing, trail running, nordic skiing, desert mountain biking, and horseback riding.

This attraction features 45 miles of 50 designated distributed campsites, 45 miles of single-track trail, and numerous climbing crags.

The single-track tracks are ideal for dirt biking, mountain biking, trail running, and hiking. 4×4 trucks, ATVs, and ROVs plow the roads.

During winter, 16 miles of trails prepared by Gunnison Nordic Club are used by Nordic Skiers for both skate and classic skiing.

If there is plenty of snow, snowmobiling on maintained roads and trails is an ideal way to enjoy the Hartman Rocks. Fat biking can be enjoyed on groomed single-track winter trails by visitors.

Address: Gunnison, CO 81230, USA

25. West Elk Wilderness

West Elk Wilderness
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West Elk Wilderness is nestled inside the Gunnison National Forest, featuring over 176,000 acres of land. It is also Colorado’s fifth largest wilderness. 

The wilderness altitudes vary from 7,000 to more than 13,000 feet. It is an extensively underdeveloped area with fewer public visitations, except for fall hunting season when the area’s campsites and trails witness many visitors.

The wilderness was established in 1964 by the United States Congress, which also oversees the area.

The West Elk Wilderness is every hunter’s paradise filled with myriads of elk and deer. The wilderness offers 200 miles of beautiful trails, ideal for every hiker to enjoy the spectacular views while enjoying a stroll in the area.

Address: Gunnison, CO 81230, United States

26. Pine Creek Trailhead

Pine Creek Trailhead
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Enjoy a great time outdoors by visiting the Pine Creek Trailhead. This place is a perfect place to connect with nature. It is nestled in the Curecanti National Recreation Area near Gunnison, Colorado. 

This Pine Creek Trailhead is a 2.4-mile long out-and-back trail that takes approximately 1 hr to hike fully. The track is a moderately challenging hike with plenty of spectacular views.

Many people explore this nature trail as it offers many outdoor recreations for people to enjoy. Their activities include walking, hiking, walking, fishing, and picnicking.

Pine Creek Trailhead is a must-see place for any hiker. The path is dog-friendly, but owners must ensure they are always on a leash.

Address: Pine Creek Trail, CO 81230, USA

Are you considering exploring Colorado, here is a guide on things to do in Trinidad, things to do in Buena Vista and things to do in Lakewood for a fun vacation

Plan Your Trip to Gunnison

Gunnison underlines the fact that nature is truly beautiful. In addition, it is a family-friendly city with mind-blowing cultures and history, including its highly hospitable locals.

Make sure you try out some of their native meals and drinks made using locally sourced ingredients. Also, be updated with some of their festivals, where you can see the people’s culture and beliefs firsthand.

Gunnison has something for everyone, including the young and old, regardless of preference.