Nestled in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley, Hotchkiss, Crawford and Paonia offer access to some of the state’s greatest natural treasures and activities. Explore landmarks like Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, partake in quintessential pastimes like fly-fishing, hiking and wine tasting, and enjoy Rocky Mountain hospitality at its finest.
There are special places and unique vistas around nearly every Colorado corner. You can help ensure these places exist for generations to come by staying on roads and trails, keeping speeds in check, leaving campsites and picnic spots just as you found them, and following instructional signs while you’re out and about in our state.
This less than 1-mile hike is located about 4 miles east of Crawford on Needle Rock Road and offers stunning views of the surrounding area and aptly named Needle Rock.
Located about 13 miles from Crawford, the South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is home to a visitor center and several trails offering spectacular views of the canyon's sheer walls and the rushing Gunnison River below.
Cozy up on the porch swing at the Stone House Inn for some primo stargazing. If you're up for a drive, the Needle Rock trailhead — where artificial light is nonexistent — is another incredible stargazing locale.
During the first full week of August in downtown Hotchkiss, enjoy an old-fashioned rural county fair and take in some great live music and visit vendor booths at the Farm to Fiddle Festival.
Launch a boat or kayak in the North Fork River at Paonia River Park, which provides direct river access for the public. Created and built by the Conservation Center, the park has an instructional kiosk to educate the public about the local river habitat. Find it off Grand Avenue, north of downtown Paonia on Shady Lane.
The West Elks American Viticultural Area (AVA) spreads through Delta County on Colorado's Western Slope and boasts of some of the highest vineyards in North America.
Sip wine on the patio amid stunning views of the West Elk Mountains at Azura Winery (don't miss their great art gallery). Move on to Stone Cottage Cellars and Terror Creek Winery, and end at Black Bridge Winery/Orchard Valley Farms. Besides a nice wine-tasting room, Orchard Valley Farms has pick-your-own fruit, a nice farm store and riverside seating.