Where Old West Meets the Modern World
Gunnison, Colorado was founded in the mid 1800’s, and was well positioned to be a hub of the mining boom with two major railroads staking a claim to provide transportation for goods and services to Western Slope miners. Though little is left of the mining industry or the railroads of the 1880’s, the cattle and ranching industry which got it’s start around the same time, remains an integral part of the local economy today. In addition, the Gunnison ranching community has emerged as one of the strongest advocates of environmental protection in the area, and leaves a legacy of thousands of acres of preserved land and open spaces for all to enjoy. Gunnison, Colorado no doubt has a rich history and is rooted firmly in the ideals of the ‘Old West’, however the city, seated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains has now become a hub for outdoor adventurists, academics and families seeking a simpler way of life.
Western State Colorado University
The fourth oldest college in the state, Western was called the ‘Colorado State Normal School’ in 1911. Though it got its start as a preparatory college for teachers, Western was known for being one of the first liberal arts colleges in the state, changing it’s name to Western State College in 1923 and Western State Colorado University in 2012. Today Western is home to more than 2,500 students and is lauded as one of the top environmental schools in the country, in addition to strong programs in education, geology, recreation and exercise science, business as well as a number graduate programs. In 2015, The Princeton Review again added Western to its honor roll of America’s most environmentally responsible colleges. There is no doubt the impact the university has had on the Gunnison community which is rich with the entrepreneurial spirit!
Cattleman’s Day – Tough Enough to Wear Pink
Celebrating 115 years, the week long celebration combines the ranching history of the Gunnison Valley, from rodeos and 4-H competitions, to live music and the bright lights of the carnival midway – everything a local fair should be. Gunnison Cattleman’s Days is also one of the biggest fundraisers for Tough Enough To Wear Pink a community non-profit that provides funding for breast cancer awareness, prevention, education, support, screenings and equipment. Check out this year’s schedule of events at cattlemensdays.com
The Gunnison River Festival
There is no shortage of water sports or enthusiasts in the Gunnison Valley. Rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, windsurfing, water skiing and wake boarding are all sports that residents and visitors of the area enjoy. The Gunnison River Festival is a celebration of our local waters, with events like the Friday Night Fish Fry, the Rafting Rodeo and the Oh-Be-Joyful Kayak Comp that span the entire valley from Crested Butte, to Almont to Gunnison and the Blue Mesa.
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