Father’s Day and Kyle’s Birthday always fall on the same weekend so we try to do something fun, like take a weekend trip somewhere. We haven’t had the opportunity to explore much of Colorado since moving here so, I knew I wanted to go somewhere within a few hours of home. Kyle had mentioned he wanted to learn how to fly fish so I bought him some starters gear at Cabela’s, with the help of a very nice employee would could tell I didn’t know trout from catfish. The helpful gentleman picked out several things Kyle would need, all I needed to do was pay for it and find a good place to go fishing! I researched online and decided to go check out Crested Butte,CO and the Gunnison River.
Per a friends suggestion, we took the long scenic way to Crested Butte by going on 133 though Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. From there you turn on 12, better known as Kebler Pass. The pass is closed at winter so summer is the time to take it. The windy roads made me a bit motion sick so, If you struggle with that too then I recommend taking some motion sickness medicine before you go. I was uncertain about taking the extra hour to go that way, because, like most toddlers, Ryder is not a very patient car rider. However, I was so happy we did because it is absolutely stunning and so peaceful! Also, as I’m started typing this, that whole area is fighting another horrible summer fire so it maybe while before its back to normal. I feel blessed we got to see such natural beauty like that before the fire hit.
I looked at a ton of AirBnB’s and VRBOs in Crested Butte but our budget was tight and I procrastinated too long so ultimately decided to rent a room at The Grade Lodge instead. The Grand Lodge was great, the standard rooms come with a kitchen and I loved that the bedroom had its own door so, we could stay up after Ryder went to bed without disturbing him. However, If we go again I will probably look at the local renters websites and try to rent a little condo for more space and maybe get a hot tub (wishful thinking?).
There is a free shuttle bus that runs all day up the mountain and takes passengers in and out of downtown. It was so convenient and Ryder loved riding and people watching. I highly recommend taking advantage of it if you ever go.
One bus stop at the end of town that we usually got back on at, had the cutest little library, which of course Ryder was very excited about. He would pull out book after book while we waited for the bus to arrive.
The first night we spent exploring all the shops downtown and ate at Bones Taco’s & Tequila. Being from Dallas, we miss eating really good tacos so we’re excited to try it and it didn’t disappoint.
Breakfast Saturday morning was probably the best meal we had! We stumbled across Izzy’s. We got there just in time because before we even got our meal there was a line to the door, had a 30 minute wait and sold out of bagels. We didn’t even realize we stumbled into such a hot spot. Lucky us!
Next, we walked downtown and popped into the cutest mini donut shop. They style your donut right in front of you, which Ryder loved!
We walked over to the park where Soccer players were having a game and swarms of kids were running and playing, it was kind of a nice break.
The weekend ended up being overcast and rainy, I’m not complaining because all of Colorado needs the rain so badly, but it did put a damper on fishing and hiking plans. Instead we let Ryder take a car nap and we drove up the mountain. We drove through Gothic, a nature research town , which the nerd in me thought was pretty awesome. We drove until the mountain was blocked off, almost making it to Emerald Lake, just in time to snap a few photos before it poured down rain.
That night we walked downtown again, I was desperately trying to find an affordable hoodie since it cooled down and all I brought was spaghetti straps. I was getting so frustrated and driving my husband crazy because I was being picky but right before giving up I found the softest, cutest hoodie to keep me warm, and now have a memento of the trip.
We ate pizza at Secret Stash, the food was good but it was one of those meal where your toddler is so over it all and all you can think is “Please just let us get through this meal without too much screaming” so we downed a few slices and left quickly.
That night waiting at the bus stop we met a couple from Denver with a little boy Ryder’s age and the boys became instant friends, hugging on each other, it was adorable. Too bad we didn’t meet the first night, we could have made a new friends. Darn it!
Sunday morning we headed to Gunnison to maybe fish and sight see. We went the the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and paid the daily park entrance fee and drove through, stopping at the outlooks to hike and see the beautiful black canyon.
When we were done driving the top, we drove all the way to the bottom of the canyon, which I highly recommend you do if you go. We got up close to the river which would have been a perfect spot to picnic if we had food. It is so breathtakingly gorgeous!
Kyle never did break out his fishing gear that weekend, but we did enjoy some family time and getting to see some of the most beautiful sights in Colorado. Maybe soon we will take a day trip to Gunnison to fish and hike more.
I highly recommend Crested Butte to anyone wanting to get away in the mountains! We plan to go again this winter and see the town in ski season, and of course I’ll tell you all about it.
If you’ve ever been please comment what were some of your favorite things to do or your favorite places to eat, stay, and shop.