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In addition to activities in the recreation area, there are opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, camping, and four-wheeling on other nearby public lands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. For maps and other information, contact the offices of the Gunnison Ranger District and the Bureau of Land Management Resource Area at 216 N. Colorado St. (tel. 970/641-0471; www.fs.fed.us/r2 or www.co.blm.gov).

A good base for exploring this area is Three Rivers Resort and Outfitting, 11 miles north of Gunnison at 130 C.R. 742 (P.O. Box 339), Almont, CO 81210 (tel. 888/761-3474 or 970/641-1303; www.3riversoutfitting.com). Located between Gunnison and Crested Butte, close to the national forest, Three Rivers offers fishing and rafting trips , and also has fully equipped and furnished cabins and lodge rooms ($65 to $200).

Fishing -- The Gunnison River, both above and below town, and the tributary Taylor River, which joins the Gunnison at Almont, 11 miles north of town, are outstanding trout streams. In addition, the region's lakes are rich in fish. Willowfly Anglers, located at Three Rivers Resort, Almont (tel. 970/641-1303; www.willowflyanglers.com), offers fly-fishing instruction, rentals, and guide service. Full-day float fishing trips cost $265 for one person and $315 for two, and walking trips are also available, starting at $155 for one person, half-day.

Golf -- The 18-hole Dos Rios Golf Club, off U.S. 50 about 2 miles west of town (tel. 970/641-1482), charges $65 for 18 holes and $40 for 9, including a cart.

Horseback Riding -- One of the best ways to see this beautiful area is from a saddle. Ferro's Blue Mesa Lake Ranch, P.O. Box 853, Gunnison, CO 81230 (tel. 800/617-4671 or 970/641-4671; www.coloradodirectory.com/ferrosbluemesa), offers horseback rides into remote areas of Curecanti National Recreation Area and to nearby national forests. Rates start at about $20 for 1 hour, and half- and full-day rates are also available. Also contact Ferro's about multiday pack trips. Ferro's is located on Soap Creek Road, about 26 miles west of Gunnison, overlooking Blue Mesa Reservoir. In addition to horseback rides, Ferro's has a general store with fishing licenses and supplies, plus several historic cabins, with rates from $40 to $85. There are also campsites starting at $10. Another recommended horseback-riding guide service is Tenderfoot Outfitters (tel. 800/641-0504 or 970/641-0504; www.tenderfoot-outfitters.com), with half-day rides starting at $70 for adults, $50 for kids 6 to 12.

River Rafting & Kayaking -- For trips on the Taylor and other rivers, check with Three Rivers Resort and Outfitting or Scenic River Tours, 703 W. Tomichi Ave. (tel. 970/641-3131; www.scenicrivertours.com). Rates for 3-hour raft trips over relatively calm stretches are about $30 for adults and $25 for children under 12. Both companies also offer guided white-water trips with rates from $55 per person. For paddlers of all kinds, the new Gunnison Whitewater Park, just west of town off U.S. 50 on the Gunnison River, is a series of rock structures along a few hundred feet of the river that make it an ideal course.

Skiing -- The two major winter-sports centers in the area are Crested Butte, 32 miles north on Colo. 135, and Monarch, 44 miles east on U.S. 50.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.