September in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley is truly something to experience. Whether you like to hike, SUP, ride a motorcycle, or drive, here are our favorite fall leaf peeping areas.
Drive from Crested Butte towards Gunnison, and take a left at Jack’s Cabin and head towards Taylor Reservoir. As you drive along the winding road next to the Taylor River, you will catch glimpses of people climbing and fly fishing. Once to the reservoir, take the right at the Taylor outpost up towards Tincup. If you have extra time, grab a paddleboard and head up to Mirror Lake, just 3 miles outside of the town. We recommend a 4x4, dirtbike, or adventure motorcycle to really experience Cumberland Pass, that boasts sweeping views of the valley below. You will drop into the town of Pitkin, then out to Gunnison before returning to Crested Butte. We highly recommend stopping by The Dive in Gunnison for a quick burger and a beer on your way home.
Route: 122 miles
Kebler is the most popular fall drive in the valley. It goes through the largest Aspen grove in North America, and if you hit it right (usually the 3rd week in September) you cannot beat the fall colors. From Crested Butte, turn down Whiterock and head towards Kebler Pass. The road is mostly dirt, and expect A LOT of people stopping on the side of the road to take photos. We recommend stopping at Horse Ranch Park and hiking the Dyke Trail to the overlook (about 45 minutes) for amazing views and stopping at Lost Lake for a relaxing paddle. At the end of Kebler Pass, take a left and head over to Paonia for some wine tasting and pumpkin picking at Black Bridge Farms.
Route: 94 miles round trip
Short on time and still want an epic fall drive? Ohio Pass offers beautiful views of the Castles (a large mountain pillar) and travels through the Aspen grove to Gunnison. Take Kebler Pass, and make a left 9 miles up the road towards Ohio Pass. The dirt road twists and turns through the trees and drops down onto Hwy 135 right before Gunnison.
Route: 61 miles roundtrip