West Elk Leaf Peeping in Gunnison, Crested Butte & Paonia

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Take a drive on through the largest aspen grove in the state at the height of fall color, indulge in some of the state's best eats and hike your days away in these towns.

Sustainability Activity
Help Maintain Public Lands

The Crested Butte Conservation Corps (CBCC) maintains the public lands in and around the Crested Butte area. By donating to the CBCC, you will be supporting crews working in the backcountry six days a week.

Day
1
Activity
Take an Art Tour

Stroll main street Gunnison and check out the art galleries to get a sense of the scenery in the area. Must-visits include the Open Your Eyes Gallery and the Gunnison Gallery.

fresh fruit at firebrand deli photo
Lunch
Firebrand Delicatessen
Serves breakfast, lunch and coffee; deli, restaurant, grocery store.
Activity
Go for a Drive

Drive north on CO 135, 3.5 miles, then take a left onto Ohio Creek Road. You'll get to drive through the West Elk Wilderness area and see the iconic Castles. If you want to stretch your legs, check out Mill Creek Trail or Beaver Ponds.

Dinner
Garlic Mike's
Garlic Mike’s, invites you to enjoy the finest Italian cuisine this side of New Jersey on the beautiful Gunnison River in Gunnison Colorado. Red…
Activity
High Alpine Brewing Company
Located in downtown Gunnison, Colorado surrounded by epic terrain that locals embrace all year round. Family owned and operated, Scott and Stacey…
Lodging
The Inn at Tomichi Village
The serene surroundings, and crisp mountain air make Tomichi Village the right choice for visitors searching for a combination of charm, peace and…
Day
2
Breakfast
Almont Resort
Family owned since 1893, Almont Resort offers fireside and riverside dining, a full service cocktail lounge, and your choice of more than 20 cabins…
Activity
Sink a Line

To get your blood pumping, go Kokanee Salmon fishing on the Gunnison and East Rivers with Willowfly Anglers.

Lunch
Secret Stash
Come taste for yourself why we have been voted Best Pizza in Crested Butte every year since 2002 when we opened!
Activity
Hike the Afternoon Away

Hike Upper Loop trails just outside of Crested Butte. These lightly trafficked routes will give you beautiful views and the chance to see some local wildlife.

Dinner
Sherpa's Cafe
Authentic Himalayan cuisine. In a mission to share our love and culture, we opened Sherpa Cafe's door on July of 2010. Since then the Sherpa Café has…
Activity
Montanya Distillers
Montanya Distillers is a Colorado craft distiller of award-winning rum, founded in 2008. The company moved its headquarters from Silverton, CO to…
Lodging
Elk Mountain Lodge
Located 1 block from Elk Ave, fine restaurants, and unique shops and galleries, the Elk Mountain Lodge has become the premier hotel in downtown…
Day
3
Breakfast
McGill's At Crested Butte
Enjoy homemade breakfasts such as french toast with real maple syrup, eggs benedict, and fresh baked biscuits.
Activity
Drive Kebler Pass

Just over the top of Kebler Pass lies the largest aspen grove in Colorado. To see it, take Whiterock Ave west out of Crested Butte. You won't be disappointed, and neither will your followers when they see all your fall photos.

Activity
Keep on Hiking

Hike the Three Lakes Loop accessed from the Lost Lake Campground on Kebler pass. You can take Lost Lake Road #706 to the trailhead. This easy 2.8-mile trail offers views of a sapphire lake surrounded by golden aspens.

Insider's Tip
Picnic Lunch

After breakfast, grab lunch to-go from Clark's Market and have a picnic during your Kebler Pass drive.

Dinner
1-2-Thai Authentic Thai
Inspired by her mother who is a street food cook in Thailand, Alm and Tyson decided to begin a little business of their own. A Thai Food truck.
Activity
Taste Paonia's Wine

Follow the West Elks AVA wine trail to discover some of Colorado's best wineries.

Lodging
Bross Hotel Bed and Breakfast
The Bross Hotel is a graceful frontier hotel noted for its genuine hospitality located on the western slope of Colorado. The ten guest rooms all…
Day
4
Breakfast
Bross Hotel Bed and Breakfast
The Bross Hotel is a graceful frontier hotel noted for its genuine hospitality located on the western slope of Colorado. The ten guest rooms all…
Activity
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Hiking…
Lunch
Pappy's Restaurant at Elk Creek Marina
Come enjoy the beautiful view of Elk Creek Marina & Blue Mesa Lake from our patio dining area ! LIVE MUSIC SATURDAY NIGHTS! Casual dining open…
Activity
Explore the Waters of Blue Mesa Reservoir

Rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard and make your way around the scenic Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Dinner
Berg Harvest
Berg Harvest is a family fruit farm located in Paonia, Colorado along the beautiful North Fork of the Gunnison river.  Named for Paul Berg, who…
Activity
Gunnison Arts Center
An 1880s centerpiece for visual, literary and performing arts year-round. Exhibition gallery, 75-seat theater and clay center. Enjoy our art…
Lodging
Blue Mesa Outpost
Camp with us at 7,777 feet! Each of our accommodations envelope you with gorgeous views of Blue Mesa Reservoir and the surrounding Rocky Mountains…