Five Autumn Drives from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association

Crested Butte Fall ColorsFall is the best time of year for many Gunnison home owners, and if you’ve ever spent time here during autumn, you know why. During the fall, the valley explodes into a gorgeous backdrop of gold, orange and crimson flowers, bringing visitors from near and far to see the spectacular scenery.

September Splendor in the Rockies” is going on now, and there are a bevy of activities like biking and running events, farmers’ markets, festivals and so forth. Whether you live in the area or you’re visiting from out-of-town, one of the best ways to take it all in is to hop in the car for a scenic drive. Here are five worthy of your time and gas money! 

  1. Ohio Creek Road to Kebler Pass: From Highway 135, turn left on Ohio Creek Road and about 12 miles up, you will see the spires of “the Castles.” These erosion remnants that were carved out of volcanic debris erupted from the West Elk Volcano, which is now extinct. Other highlights of this drive include the Anthracite Range, Paonia Dam, and McClure Pass, which is a popular route to Aspen. 
  2. Kebler Pass to Marble & Crystal River Valley: If you’re looking for one of the most scenic landscapes of the Anthracite Mountain Range, drive north from Crested Butte on Whiterock Avenue until it becomes County Road 12. Stop across the road from Horse Ranch Park for some of the best views! 
  3. West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway: This is hands down one of the most picturesque drives in Colorado, and one you don’t want to miss. This drive will take you through Crested Butte, Almont, Gunnison, Crawford, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Redstone, Carbondale and more. It’s 204 miles though from start to finish, so plan accordingly! 
  4. Almont to Various Scenic Routes: Nestled between Gunnison and Crested Butte is Almont, a charming little town on Highway 135. Here, the Taylor and East Rivers converge to create the Gunnison River, so for water lovers, there really isn’t a better Sunday drive. 
  5. Crested Butte to Gothic: Just a few miles from Crested Butte, Gothic is located on the east bank of the East River at the junction with Copper Creek. This mid- to late-1800s boom town is home to the famed Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and a variety of camping sites and hiking trails can be accessed from here.

Interested in homes in our beautiful valley? I’m a local real estate agent and I’d love to show you around. Please contact me today.


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