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Into the West


Set out early, at least before noon, and prepare for a five-hour drive. It’s pretty though, for the most part, but beware of cops around the Fairplay area (I speak from experience).

If it were winter, you’d stop off in Monarch for a day of skiing. But because it’s spring, your first stop will be Salida, an artsy, outdoorsy Western Slope town with tons of personality.

Days: Four
Roundtrip: 520 miles
Must-Have Souvenir: A trout

On the Road:

  • If you plan your trip for late June, you need to hit Salida in time for the famed Salida Art Walk. Spend time moseying from gallery to gallery to restaurant along with hundreds of other art-lovers.
  • Wanna get dinner in Salida? We suggest Amicas, known for its micro brews and pizzas, such as the crave-worthy Pizza al Pesto.
  • Fly fishing in Salida: check out Ark Anglers for fishing conditions and hatch charts on the Arkansas. And before you leave Boulder, visit Front Range Anglers on Pearl Street.

In Crested Butte:

  • Almont Resort serves up great fish and chips, and on weekend evenings, there is often a band playing your song in the large restaurant.
  • If you dig horseback riding, Gunnison is a perfect place to get back in the saddle. Colorado Guide & Outfitter offers several trips.
  • In Crested Butte, check out Dragon Fly Anglers. The guys here know their stuff, and they claim to be the best fly fishing shop in Colorado.

We suggest you take some time to peruse the galleries, as the city has been named one of the best small art towns in the country. You’ll love Culture Clash for its jewelry and the funky Art Matters Gallery. Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at the Salida Café and get back on the road. You’ll pass through Gunnison, in which you’ll likely want to pit stop for groceries and drinks. Where the East and Taylor rivers meet to form the Gunnison, you’ll find Almont Resort, where you have reservations for a cabin on one of the rivers. Check in, unpack and make dinner. Just steps from your cabin, there’s an anglers shop; here you’ll find a guide and any last-minute flies or tackle. Rise and shine early, and head out to explore the Upper Gunnison River for the day.

Once you are back, clean up and head back to Gunnison for dinner at Garlic Mike’s. The next morning, have a cup of coffee on the porch of your cabin and enjoy the riverfront view. Plan on spending the day in Crested Butte: The town goes a little quiet when ski season ends, but you can spend time in the downtown false-front shops or head up the Crested Butte Summit Trail for an often challenging hike with stunning views of the valley. The Crested Butte area is also known for its mountain biking; you’ll want to check out the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven for maps and guidebooks, and then head out. Be sure to grab a casual lunch or dinner at the Last Steep or, for something more upscale, try out the tapas at Django’s Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Head back to the cabin and enjoy your last night with hot chocolate by the campfire.

Road Trips – And Countless Adventures on the Open Road


email no info send march17th/09

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