Southwest and Northwest Colorado – Gunnison

Three DayTour to Gunnison and Glenwood Springs

Cottonwood Pass, Gunnison, Black Canyons of the Gunnison, Colorado National Monument, Glenwood Springs and Independence Pass were the destionations on this 3 day tour in Colorado. This tour covered areas of the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Colorado, AND I did all the planning, mapping, and reservations from This Website!


I left Monday morning for Gunnison, CO and I decided to take the scenic route over Cottonwood Pass. I’ve never been over this pass and it was a great ride. I left from Lakewood, CO and jumped on HWY 287 South, went over beautiful Kenaosha Pass and down to Fairplay. From Fairplay I stayed on HWY 287 to US-24 West to Buena Vista. I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, if you get the chance to visit Buena Vista and the surrounding area, I highly recommend it. There are several hot springs around, hiking and biking trails, and abundant scenery. Here’s a link to check out all that Buena Vista has to offer ( From Buena vista take HWY 306 to Cottonwood Pass.

Down From Summit
Cottonwood Pass-Summit
Overlook at Cottonwood Pass

It was a beautiful ride up to the summit, very little traffic, and it wasn’t very cold either…a perfect ride!

From Cottonwood Pass to Gunnison, CO is a great ride through the Gunnison National Forest. I’ve never taken this route to Gunnison before and if you have the time for the scenic route, I would highly recommend it. I noticed a great deal of camp grounds along this route, so if you enjoy camping, I’m guessing you could find a very nice spot.


I stayed at the Roadway Inn in Gunnison. It is located outside the downtown area, very quiet, the hot tub was very nice and they had breakfast, not a sack breakfast to go like I had a week ago in Alamosa. The reason I mentioned this is because it seems the hotels are starting to become more accommodating as time goes on since the COVID-19 shutdown and breakfast is getting better as well.


Today is one of my favorite rides that goes through the Curecanti National Recreation Area and takes you by the Gunnison River and Blue Mesa Reservoir along Highway 50. Someday I’m going to stay in the Gunnison area to go fishing for a couple days.

Take HWY-50 to HWY-92 which will take you through a scenic ride up to Hotchkiss and Delta, CO. In Delta I jumped on HWY-50 which took me into Grand Junction where after a few left turns got me onto Glade Park Rd / Monument Rd which turns into Rimrock Dr in Colorado National Monument.

Gunnison to Glenwood Springs via Colorado National Monument


Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument

After exploring Colorado National Monument I headed to Grand Junction Harley Davidson to get challenge coins for my collection.

Grand Junction Harley Davidson

This is my collection so far!


After getting my new challenge coins I saddled up again and headed to Glenwood Springs and checked into Glenwood Springs Inn. These rooms, at least the one I stayed in, was a fresh remodel and very nice.

While I was in Glenwood Springs I had to visit and soak in the hot springs, so I went to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool and relaxed in the pool for an hour before they closed. It made me feel like a millions bucks and helped me sleep like a baby! It was just a short walk from the hotel to the hot springs and it was a beautiful evening for a walk. Again, since COVID-19, there are certain rules you need to follow while at the hot springs (at the time of this post), so be sure to have a mask and plan on social distancing .

Glenwood Springs Hot Springs
Day 3

The hotel had breakfast in the dining area but it was only single serving and individually wrapped items, no eggs, meat, or waffles due to COVID-19 restrictions.

After breakfast I packed up and decided to go over Independence Pass, the oposite direction I did on my way home from Alamosa the week before, because the scenery is very different from another point of view or coming from a different direction or angle. I’m glad I decide to go over Independence Pass because the weather was perfect, the scenery was Amazing, and summit was not crowded…this visit was better than the first!

As you may remember, from my previous post “Motorcycle Tours in 2020 / South Central Colorado“, we get to Independence Pass via HWY-82. We will pass through Snowmass and Aspen before we start the ascent to the summit.

Glenwood Springs_to_Denver_via_IndependencePass

I took my time on the summit of Independence Pass this time. I walked up the path to the look out points, took pictures and video, and watched a guy try to get a parasail in the air.

Independence Pass Summit
Independence Pass Summit
Independence Pass Summit
Independence Pass Summit

From Independence Pass I headed down to Twin Lakes and hopped onto HWY-24 toward Leadville, CO. In Leadville I picked up HWY-91 for a beautiful ride toward Copper Mountain. Then I caught I-70 East to HWY-6 and went over Loveland Pass, the round about way back to I-70 East to Denver.

Wrap Up

This was a great tour, great weather, and some of the best scenery! The hotels I stayed at were very accommodating, comfortable and clean. The restrictions from COVID-19 still have a grip on tourism but it seems to be getting better as time moves on. The road through Colorado National Monument was amazing and the pictures do not do it justice! Glenwood Springs Hot Springs was fantastic and the sun setting on the mountains while I soaked my road worn body was amazing! The ride over Independence Pass, going a different direction than I did last time, really made this ride a New Ride because everything looks completely different.

I’m hoping that this COVID-19 issue continues to get better and I can take a tour outside Colorado soon, but I think my next trip will be in the Northwest and North Central regions of Colorado while I wait out the travel conditions.

I will be posting my tour to Pagosa Springs, Durango, Red Mountain, Molas Pass, Million Dollar Highway, Ouray and Grand Mesa in the very near future, so be sure to Follow me (by e-mail) and Like me on Facebook to get notifications about updates, tours, and destinations.


Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

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4 Replies to “Southwest and Northwest Colorado – Gunnison”

  1. Man what great views you get to enjoy there!

    My wife and I were in the planning stages of our next trip when this whole covid thing hit. Being from Canada we are limited to north of the border for at least this year. Guess that gives us a little more time to plan a trip. It seems though we always end up heading toward the coast and get caught in the rain more often than not. I think after reading this we need to put a lot more thought in to staying off the coast and heading straight south to Colorado, the views at the National Monument look like they are worth the trip on their own.

    You mention fishing in the Gunnison area, where would be a good place to stay and fish?


    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Tyler. We had a trip to Canada planned this year also, well that’s not gonna happen! I stayed at a Roadway Inn just outside city limits (very clean and quiet) and there are a few other places nearby that are just a hop skip and jump from the river, lakes and reservoir. There are also many places to camp and there are several RV Parks with cabins right by the lake as well. Plan and make reservations as early as possible because the area is very busy in the summer!

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