The Gunnison National Forest is part of a triad of national forests with Grand Mesa National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest. It also borders three other national forests. The forest covers nearly 1.7 million acres that extend across the counties of Gunnison, Saguache, Hinsdale, Delta, and Montrose in western Colorado. Seven wilderness areas lie within Gunnison National Forest and are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. While exploring the forest, you will have the opportunity for skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, and off-roading. For those who enjoy strolling and birdwatching, there are lots of trails to choose from.
Exploring the national forest in an RV allows you to experience sights you might miss otherwise. The Gunnison National Forest is a vast area with RV campgrounds in all directions. Prepare your lunch and set out on a hike, and then, at the end of the day, return to your RV and relax. RVshare has a wide selection of RV rentals to make your time at Gunnison National Forest more enjoyable.
The Tall Texan is within walking distance of the Gunnison River. Enjoy fishing, picnicking, biking, or simply relaxing. They offer full hookups, and many of the spaces are pull-throughs, perfect for larger rigs. Nightly rates start at $40. Water hookup: Yes Electrical hookup: Yes Sewer hookup: Yes Wi-Fi: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Gift shop, game room, playground, picnic tables, fire circles, and grills, restrooms, showers, laundry, cable, playground, propane, dump station.
Crested Butte RV Resort is nestled in the foothills of Crested Butte. Stargazing and Happy Hour on the river are popular features of the park. Stop in at the general store or try "catch and release" fishing at Slate River. Many of the RV sites are back-in, and big rigs are welcome. Rates start at $45 per night. Water hookup: Yes Electrical hookup: Yes Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Shaded picnic area, fishing, fire pit, BBQ grill, ice, restrooms, showers, laundry, dump station, dog grooming
Black Canyon RV Park and Campground, located in Cimarron, has 36 RV sites that can accommodate big rigs and slide outs. Each site has its own picnic table and charcoal grill. While staying in the park, enjoy fishing, golf, and hunting. Water hookup: Yes Electrical hookup: Yes Sewer hookup: Yes Wi-Fi: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Restrooms, showers, laundry, barbecue areas, fire pits, playhouses, horseshoe pit
Skyhigh Colorado RV Park overlooks Taylor Reservoir and is within walking distance to the lake or streams of the forest. A trout fishery is just below the lake dam. Stop in for a bite to eat at the Nugget Café and shop at the trading post or the gift shop. Rates start at $50 per night. Water hookup: Yes Electrical hookup: Yes Sewer hookup: Yes Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: No Other amenities: Showers, laundry
The Judd Falls trail offers a great view of Gothic Mountain and a waterfall. The rocky switchback trails wind among the aspen and wildflowers.
Length: 1 mile
The Snodgrass trail offers views of Mt. Crested Butte and the Elk Mountains. The changing colors of the aspens and striking sunsets make this trail a popular choice. You can choose to hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride on this trail.
Length: 5.8 miles
Scarp Ridge Middle Loop offers wildflower meadows and views of Lake Irwin and Anthracite Range as you climb to the summit. Once there, you can enjoy the scenery of Mt. Owen, Ruby Peak, Blue Lake, Afley Purple Peak, the Oh-Be-Joyful Basin, and the Peeler Basin.
Length: 4.6 miles
Intensity: Moderate to Strenuous
The Oh-Be-Joyful Pass trail follows an old mining road and is a steep climb for part of your hike through the glacial valley of Ruby Range. Upon reaching the point above Oh-Be-Joyful Falls, you'll continue up the valley to the base of Daisy Pass. If you'd rather, you can hike around Oh-Be-Joyful Peak and Hancock Peak.
Length: 10.1 miles
The Lower Loop follows the Slate River through the valley. It connects with other trails letting you decide which route to take. The Lower Loop offers views of Gothic Mountain and Peanut Lake. You will hike past an old mining shack called The Gronk and past The Alien Shack. Take your time to appreciate the view.
Length: 6.4 miles
Three Lakes Loop winds through the forest and links Lost Lake, Dollar Lake, and Lost Lake Slough. You can picnic by the waterfall and choose to hike the entire loop or shorten it at any of the lakes. Lost Lake Slough offers a good fishing spot.
Length: 4.5 miles
The Gunnison National Forest offers a wide array of wildlife such as mule deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, black bears, mountain lions, and the elusive Canada lynx. Glimpses are rare, but it's worth being patient, especially if you are a hunter. There are both game birds and others such as three-toed woodpeckers to just enjoy watching. If fishing is more your thing, the many streams and the Gunnison River running through the forest offer rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and brookies. If you like to explore at your own pace, ride a horse or mountain bike on one of the many trails through the forest. Many of the trails can be explored with an ATV. Enjoy the meadows of columbine, paintbrush, delphiniums, and of course, windflowers.
Stargazing is another favorite activity in the forest because of the clear night skies. Black Canyon of the Gunnison offers several locations for viewing the Milky Way and the constellations.
While you are there, explore the north rim of the Black Canyon for a popular geocaching site.
Address: 2250 South Main St, Delta, Colorado 81416
Fee: Entry fee $0
Whether you are planning a summer vacation or a winter getaway, Gunnison National Forest is the place for an RV road trip. View spectacular mountain ridges and unusual wildlife as you travel areas around the forest. Hike, ski, hunt, or fish at one of the many streams or lakes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then go birdwatching as you stroll past flowers of all types. When you are done for the day, return to your RV hideaway to relax.