Gunnison, sweet Gunnison, If you haven’t been fortunate enough to spend time in this area it is another MUST. It’s one of our favorite places to explore and we do so frequently. The public lands are abundant and it is beautiful, green, and has moderate temperatures all summer long.
It’s one of our happy places. The lifestyle is relaxed and we are all content to sit around and enjoy the great weather and beautiful views. This trip was a bit more adventurous than we usually go for when we visit. We spent an afternoon on the boat and the next day on the side by sides. When you are offered the chance to enjoy someone else’s toys you take it. Make memories and enjoy the day and that’s exactly what we did. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG!
Blue Mesa is a spectacular reservoir. The sheer size is astounding! We took the boat out one morning and enjoyed the lake. We put in at Iola (little known secret, it’s super quick to get in and out at this ramp instead of going down to the marina where most people chose to go) and took our sweet time cruising almost to the other side. We enjoyed a picnic on the water and had beautiful weather for most of the day. We do have some adorable frog ponchos for the boys that we thought we’d get to use, but the rain moved quickly and we didn’t need them. There’s a reason they call it Sunny Gunni!
We don’t often get to go out on the side by sides, but they are an absolute favorite of the boys. They both loved the ride! They both also took a nap while we rode, but they begged to go on them and had a blast. We explored the Hartman’s Rock area. It’s located just behind Jordan’s parents house and you can even see the roof of the house from over the top. The view is spectacular and you can see for what seems like an eternity. There are countless trails for bikers, hikes, and OHV’s and the area is full of dispersed camping. We saw a few Class B and C’s that we would never have driven to the spots where they were, but clearly it’s doable.
In the southern part of the Hartman’s Rocks area lies the old Aberdeen Quarry. It’s eerily quite. You can see the old remnants from when the rock was mined. A good amount of the stone was used in the Colorado state capitol building back in the late 1800 and early 1900’s. You can read more about the history HERE. We are about the hands on history and learning with our boys so this was a fun area to explore. We haven’t taken them to The Capitol yet, but it’ll be a great full circle lesson when we make it there. They are still young enough that they are much more interested in exploring the outdoors and throwing rocks in the creek than exploring the buildings that could have helped produce those small stones.
We stopped into Mario’s for a late lunch before we headed out and the half and half and pizza didn’t disappoint. Check out a more thorough review on the “Grub Hub” tab if you are looking for local food.
Gunnison, like Crede, offers a free dump station for RVers. It’s a on the edge of town and there is a trash dumpster too. For those of you who don’t use these this probably sounds ridiculous, but for our fellow travelers who need to empty those tanks this is quite the find. It’s not a big area to get in and out of with other trailers around, but we have no issue getting our 32′ in and out of here.
We didn’t visit it this trip, but the Gunnison Pioneer Museum is an excellent local resource for information on the area. There is an old train on the highway side of the museum yard with a bell. Our oldest loved exploring the buildings, old machinery, and cars when we took him last summer. It’s worth the visit if you are in the area and even more so if you are a history nerd.