Gunnison River Farms
The raw-wood buildings of the inn house a fly shop, library, TV room, pool table and dining hall. Step outside for drinks under the pergola or join fellow lodgers on the benches surrounding a massive stone fire pit for ghost stories. Situated like ducks in a row, with views for miles of farm fields, are rustic four-bed and two-bed cabins (with bathrooms), each with its own screened-in porch perfect for sunset-watchin’.
Be sure to book a whitewater-rafting trip through Class II and Class III rapids on the 14-mile stretch of the Gunnison directly downstream from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. After that rush of excitement, you’ll be ready for house-made appetizers under the setting Colorado sun.
What makes it special?
The head chef, Deanna Wright, makes three-course meals for guests and uses the freshest produce possible — it literally comes from the farm’s organic gardens and bio-dynamic orchards. So, depending on the season, you might get to savor peaches, apples, grapes or pears. P.S. We can’t write about this spot and not mention the insane charcuterie boards — piles of cured meats mingle with blocks of goat cheese doused in chutney and local honey.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
It’s a toss-up between the on-site winery and the guided fly-fishing trips. The vineyard produces boutique bottles for guests to sip as they look out across green lawns to the river and tabletops beyond. But for the anglers in the group, you can book a walk-and-wade trip on the Gunnison for 3 miles of Gold Medal fishing. Wade into the chilly waters for 20-inch rainbow trout and sizeable brown trout.
Top sensory encounter you’ll experience
Keep your eyes peeled for the 4,000-year-old petroglyphs just steps from the lodge. These Native-American creations are etched into the rock and depict various cultural symbols important to the individual tribe’s identity.
Our favorite traveler review
“Fantastic on all fronts, e.g., fishing, location, people, amenities, quiet, lodging, food, close-by activities. Stayed a week. Doing again this summer. Plus bringing a large group.” — Jeff C., Google
Things to see & do nearby
A short drive away, Orchard City is home to fruit stands, and it’s not far from the start of the Grand Mesa scenic byway. The road stretches out across the largest flattop mountain in the world, so it’s a must-drive. For more natural pursuits, check out Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Sheer rock walls drop thousands of feet, and some are so tight it appears that the walls are black — now you get the name! Since the lodge doesn’t serve lunch, swing into Dented Face Brewing Company's barbecue in Delta for tender brisket sandwiches atop Texas toast and tacos sprinkled with jalapeños.
Photos courtesy of Gunnison River Farms