Gunnison to Crested Butte + ADD NEW ROUTE
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From Gunnison, CO, head north on Hwy. 135 as far as Crested Butte. GRAVEL WARNING!!! The road from there to Paonia is very scenic, but is mostly gravel.
This is a pleasant ride in a wide valley with peaks of the Rockies on either side. Some will have snow to the middle of summer. Gunnison is a western themed town with most necessities. The countryside along the way is mostly ranch land with some old cabins and a winding river nearby.
The jewel of the route is the old-mining, new-ski/outdoor/vacation town of Crested Butte. There are usually events of various types going on throughout the year. When I was there, the Ride-the-Rockies bicycle tour was passing through and camping, so there were hundreds of bikes in town. It's a funky place (as most small Colorado mountain towns are) with citizens that don't have much money and want to be left alone, and visitors and 2nd home out-of-towners with lots of money.
There are all the types of tourist shops that are normal. Most of the downtown shops are colorfully painted and draw multitudes of tourists along the boardwalks. There is some interesting artwork here and there.
In the winter, this is a Nordic and alpine ski center. It is also rumored to be the home of the first mountain bike. Many mountain bikers and jeepers use this as their base during the summer and early fall.
Go for the leisure ride and the scenery. The route is pretty straight.
Plenty of restaurants, motels, and food at both ends. Some bike services in Gunnison, which is quite a bit larger.
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