Jeep Trails of the Gunnison Country
The Gunnison Valley is surrounded on all sides by majestic mountains: The Elk Range to the North, West Elks to the West, Sawatch Range to East and the San Juans to the South. In between lay a broad variety of landscapes including a massive “Sea of Sage”, fantastic rock formations, alpine tundra, wildflower meadows, vast forests of aspens, pines and fir trees, canyons, creeks, rivers and waterfalls. All of it is crisscrossed by literally thousands of miles of trails, most of which were originally created by miners and ranchers over a hundred years ago! Many of these miners and ranchers also left behind relics of a time gone by like ghost towns and old equipment. The Gunnison Valley is also home to a large variety of wild animals like Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Mountain Lion, Fox, Coyote, and a broad range of birds.
We offer tours on a large array of trails from peaceful 2wd tracks all the way to adrenaline pumping extreme 4×4 trails and anything in between! Join us for a leisurely cruise deep in the forest or Sea of Sage while keeping an eye out for wildlife or pushing the limits of your skills and 4×4 on high alpine passes or “rock crawling” at Hartman Rocks. Just let us know what your skill/comfort level is and what you want to see, and we’ll make it happen!
Here are some of our favorite trails/zones:
Washington Gulch to Slate River Loop-Moderate
Our most popular tour, this 1/2 day loop offers guests a little bit of everything! Leaving from Crested Butte, we drive up Washington Gulch, though wildflower-filled meadows, aspen groves and stands of spruce trees beneath majestic 12,500 ft tall Gothic Mountain. Passing through the historic mining town of Elkton we drop down into the Slate River Valley to the west, with the option of continuing up to the top of Paradise Divide at 11,250 feet in elevation! We then follow the Slate River all the way back down to Crested Butte, past waterfalls, historic mining ruins, Oh-Be-Joyful Creek and expansive wetlands home to beaver, great blue herons and moose!
Our favorite full day tour, Italian Creek connects Cement Creek to Taylor Park. Beginning in Crested Butte South, we will drive up Cement Creek past unique red rock formations and up Reno Divide through dense coniferous forests. Then we ascend the peak of American Flag Mountain at 12,713 feet and experience one of the most spectacular 360 degree views in North America before dropping down into the Italian Creek drainage past historic silver mining ruins and wildflower-filled meadows. Finish the day driving past beautiful Taylor Reservoir and down Taylor Canyon.
Taylor Park-Easy to Difficult
Taylor Park is a motorhead’s playground! This large high alpine valley is crisscrossed by hundreds of miles of OHV trails, with the majestic Collegiate Peaks as a backdrop. Home to several old mining towns, high alpine lakes, and rivers, countless loops can be made in this area on trails with a variety of difficulty levels.
Pearl Pass is a classic Jeep trail that starts up Brush Creek outside of Crested Butte and tops out at an elevation of over 12,700 ft. Originally built in 1884 to bring silver ore from Aspen to the railroad in Crested Butte, it has a rich history in mining and mountain biking. Regarded as one of the most challenging 4×4 roads in Colorado, this tour is bound to live up to the highest expectations of adventure and scenery!
Hartman Rocks-Easy to Difficult
Hartman Rocks is a Bureau of Land Management Recreation Area located just minutes south of Gunnison. Formed by a 5-mile wide “Ring Dyke”, this stunning landscape is home to spectacular granite formations and some of the oldest exposed rock in Colorado! Multiple loops can be made on the 50 miles of Jeep trails of varying difficulty. Being lower in elevation, this is the first area to open for 4×4 use in the Gunnison Valley and a great option for early season tours when the higher elevations are still covered in snow.