May Showers Bring Whitewater to the Gunnison Valley

Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado (June 5, 2015) — Late season powder delighted backcountry skiers in Crested Butte.  More importantly, the powder increased a below average snowpack. May showers brought frequently grey skies to Sunny Gunny—the local nickname for Gunnison.  Now paddlers and local outfitters enjoy outstanding whitewater conditions throughout the Gunnison River Basin.

Water levels are now at 90% of normal in Taylor Park Reservoir and 85% at Blue Mesa Reservoir. And our rivers are flowing. Whitewater conditions are expected to remain stellar through September, so leaf peepers can plan water activities while admiring fall foliage.
Almont is our whitewater and canyon destination. The Taylor Canyon, just east of Almont, is the best spot to catch whitewater. The Taylor offers from Class II to Class IV rapids. Local outfitters, Three Rivers Resort and Scenic River Tours, lead a variety of kayak and rafting tours throughout the Gunnison River Basin. Expert instructors take beginners out for kayak adventures in hardshell kayaks and inflatable duckies.

Whitewater Festivities

This summer marks the debut of the revamped Gunnison Whitewater Park. Multiple new features offer a variety of challenges for stand up paddle boarders, kayakers, rafters, and the rare, but awesomely gnarly, Colorado surfer. It’s a great destination for families as well and is conveniently located just south of downtown Gunnison.

The Gunnison River Festival kicks off June 11. The weekend highlights include an Inflatable Whitewater Rodeo, Canine Big Air and Hooligan Competitions. Face painting, food and water-themed activities will help to keep the kiddos busy. On Sunday, trek to the Crested Butte backcountry and watch kayakers race the Oh Be Joyful rapids.

For a full schedule of events visit:

Gone Fishing

Fishermen and lady anglers, can cast early in the summer at the Taylor Park Reservoir northeast of Almont and Blue Mesa Reservoir just southwest of Gunnison. Brown, rainbow and lake trout abound, and local buzz confirms that the Kokanee salmon are biting too. Numerous outfitters are available for day and weekend excursions.

About the Gunnison Valley

Avoid the crowds, especially traffic on I-70, and explore our nearly two million acres of mountain wilderness. We call ourselves the Home of Mountain Biking. With 750 miles of singletrack, more than any mountain valley in the US. At the Crested Butte Bike Festival—the oldest bike festival in the world—visitors are blown away by the local riding opportunities and bike culture. Early July transforms Crested Butte into the Wildflower Capital of Colorado. Summers are full of music, art and food festivals and, of course, wildflowers. Gunnison is a quintessential western town, and hosts the longest running Colorado rodeo, Cattlemen’s Days.  Almont, located between Gunnison to the south and Crested Butte to the north is a spot to cast a line, climb, ride horseback, paddle and camp.

Travel Deals and Happenings 

The Gunnison Valley is home to eclectic restaurants, boutique lodges, Crested Butte Mountain Resort and knowledgeable outfitters. Find an outstanding travel deal at For the latest event, travel deals and seasonal updates, follow us on social media. Facebook: Gunnison-Crested Butte, Twitter: @VisitGCB, Instagram: @VisitGCB

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