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Water Wheel Inn - Gunnison, Colorado
From the Owner, Jim Valenzuela MD
Biking in the Gunnison Valley
Lodging Specials
Local Bike Shops
Upcoming Events
From the Owner...
Jim Valenzuela
Water Wheel Inn Owner
It's no secret, biking is my recreation of choice. I like dirt, dual track or jeep roads, uphill, all day. Weird, huh?

Really great fun, for instance to ride from Durango to Moab, across the Uncompagrhe Plateau and over the La Salles Mountains. Nor is it so wimpy to climb up and down the San Juans on the Alpine Loop. Check out the trip here.
Yet, cyclists come in all stripes. This month I have asked friends to chime in on cross-country and downhill mountain biking as well as road cycling. Although not in this newsletter, we even have an annual recumbent road tour stay with us. People pedaling, on whatever, I contend have more in common than not. The Gunnison valley is a biking bonanza. For you, our readership, we offer links to very cool, local bike shops. And don't forget to ask for a copy of Dave Koz's trail map of Hartman Rocks.
Now then... Let's ride.

Jim Valenzuela

Biking in the Gunnison Valley
We've asked different friends from around the area to give us some helpful information on biking in the Gunnison Valley. Enjoy!

Dave Wiens -
May is a special time for mountain biking, hiking and trail running around Gunnison. The trees are yet to bud and the valley is still brown and the far-away peaks are buried in snow. Carbon, the Anthracites, Whetstone, Axtel, Fossil Ridge, the Continental Divide, the San Juans, these distant sentinels will be your constant companions as you ply the sage country close to Gunnison with knobby tires, sneakers or hiking boots; the only good place to ride, run or hike this time of year as the higher country is still muddy or snowed in.

Challenge yourself on the world-class singletrack trails of Hartman Rocks (Map, PDF) or head northeast behind Western State College and explore the many roads and trails that offer unparalelled views, especially early or late in the day when the entire valley glows with the low sun. At high-noon, the sage brush  can be somewhat muted but as the day moves on, our most prevalent and treasured native shrub shines in blue gray hues rarely seen in the natural world. Get out there, explore this amazing country and enjoy this special time of the year when the treasures of spring are still dormant or just in their infancy. Get out there!

Joellen Fonken -
Think of Gunnison as the hub of a wheel. Many of us in Gunnison do. It's the center of which great things are built on. From this multi-faceted valley cyclists are treated to a wide variety of drainages, valleys, ridgelines, and mountain passes littered with tiny towns and western history. All the routes are on 2 lane roads or highways (though most are quiet and don't be surprised to see wildlife along the route) that twist and turn up and out of the great Tomichi Valley.

then... The Out and Back Adventure kicks off...

The Out and Back Bike Adventure kicks off its 4th season with an opportunity for road riders to explore and enjoy the quiet roadways in and around Gunnison. The series was created by Gunnison Nordic in an effort to keep skiers fit year round in our beautiful surroundings. The series is a selection of 7 self guided tours all starting from the City of Gunnison. Wheel awards are up for grabs this year, get on that bike and get in some miles! Check Gunnison Nordic's website for complete details and routes. Happy miles!

Kain Leonard -
Photos by Mike Tittle
Downhilling in the Gunnison Valley is not for the gravity junkies that want to hop out of the shuttle vehicle and bomb to the bottom. Yes, there are some great shuttles around here, but you have to work for them. Rest assured, these trails are worth all the work and heart beats you can feel in the back of your head as you near the beginning of your decent. Most downhills here are long, continuous, and filled with natural features that create an experience you will not soon forget. South Fooses, Agate, and Greens Creek trails on Monarch Pass are the best downhills around, but do not miss Doctors Park for a classic decent. For info about these trails you are best off going to a local bike shop and buying a map and asking your friendly mechanic where these goods are at and how to best get there. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but I promise you descending through multiple ecosystems, down 4700 vertical feet over 13 miles, and hitting about 300 natural jumps on you way down is well worth it. Also, for those of you who just want to keep it simple and head out for some chair lift served downhilling, Crested Butte mountain has some fun trails for everyone and few others with some spice.

Lodging Specials

Check out all of our spring/summer specials that include golf, fishing and more.
View All Specials

Local Bike Shops

When you're in the area, be sure to check out some of our favorite bike shops: Rock 'N' Roll Sports, Tomichi Cycles, Tune Up and The Alpineer.

Bike to Mike's

Bike to Garlic Mike's and receive 2 for 1 drinks everyday and pasta dinners deals on Wednesdays with Live Music (only if you Bike to Mike's). Going on all summer.

Upcoming Events

24 Hours of Gunnison Glory
May 28th - 29th
Bag as many rock climbing routes as your body and mind will allow

Sage Burner Trail Race
May 29th
Features 50k and 25k running competitions, both starting at 7:30 a.m

Gunnison Growler Mountain
Bike Race

May 30th
Sixty-four or thirty-two fluid miles of the best singletrack Gunnison has to offer

Challenger British
Soccer Camp

May 31st - June 4th
The nation's number one all British Soccer Camp program

Crested Butte
Restaurant Week

June 11th - 19th
All participating restaurants will offer a multi-course dinner for the price of $88.85 (Crested Butte's elevation) for a party of four (or $22.21 per person) not including tax and gratuity.

Fat Tire Bike Week
June 23rd - 27th
The world's oldest mountain bike festival. Voted Best Festival by Bike magazine.

Gunnison River Festival
June 25th - 27th
Expect great flows, great weather, and great fun!

Bayou in the Butte
June 26th - 27th
Music, food, beer, wine, fun for two days in Crested Butte town park and Center for the Arts outside stage.

Bridges to the Butte 24-Hour Townie Tour
June 26th
This one-of-a-kind 24-hour bike tour loops through downtown Crested Butte, meandering across the town's bridges.

Summer Fashion Show
“On the River”

June 27th
Fashion show will consist of great fashions by our local area retail stores, a gift show, an auction and a wonderful luncheon.

More Event Information

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The Water Wheel Inn
37478 W. Hwy 50 - Gunnison, CO 81230
Toll-Free 1-800-642-1650 - Local (970) 641-1650

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