June 13, 2023 3 min read

It’s no secret that Crested Butte is a world-class destination for outdoor fun. With miles of hiking and biking trails, rivers to fly fish and raft, and lakes for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, we really are lucky to have it all. (There’s even rock climbing in nearby Almont!) 

While all of these outdoor activities can be enjoyed solo, it’s never a bad idea to enlist the help of a local guide. With intel on best practices, safety and technical expertise, and the gear you need to have a good time, guides and outfitters can elevate any excursion. While there are a number of excellent resources for your visit to Crested Butte, here are a few of our top recommendations.

Stand-up Paddleboarding: Wheelies and Waves

Located on the opposite end of Elk Avenue from us (near the 4-way stop),  Wheelies and Waves are our go-to pals for renting tubes, stand-up paddleboards, and more. They even have a “fiesta” paddleboard that can fit all your friends at once! Ask them for tips about where to go based on your activity of choice, current water levels, and any other questions you might have about paddle sports in Crested Butte.


Mountain Biking: Big Al’s

Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven is the spot for bike rentals, gear, trail recs, and repairs on Elk Ave. For rentals, they stock everything from electric cruisers to full-suspension mountain bikes and kids trailers. If you aren’t sure where to go based on your skill level, their friendly staff is more than happy to make a recommendation. Of course, with such a big bike community in Crested Butte, you really can’t go wrong no matter where you stop in!


Dining: Crested Butte’s Personal Chefs

Ok, we know not everyone travels to Crested Butte for the outdoor adventure. Mountain town vibes paired with craft cocktails and locally-sourced eats are reason enough to spend some time in the Gunnison Valley! Enter  Crested Butte’s Personal Chefs, our favorite culinary experts for get-togethers and special occasions of any size. Whether you’re planning a special meal for your wedding or a milestone birthday for a family member, you won’t be disappointed with their fresh menus and friendly service! 

Treating Yourself: Whetstone Sauna

Also in the special event category are our friends at  Whetstone Sauna. This mobile sauna rental can be transported to basically any venue here in the Gunnison Valley for a single day up to an entire week. Sleek, sophisticated, and totally novel, this wellness-centered outfitter will wow guests of any private event (or be the perfect splurge for a quiet romantic getaway). We love that it’s Nordic-inspired, just like many of our favorite brands at Chopwood.

River Rafting: Three Rivers Resort

When it comes to floating down rapids with the best outfitter in the valley, look no further than  Three Rivers Resort. Based in Almont right along the shores of the Taylor River, each family-friendly trip is guaranteed fun. No matter which package you pick (they offer different distances and destinations), we bet you’ll be inspired to leave another five-star review to go with the 600 plus already on Google. 


Fly Fishing: Irwin Guides 

Last but not least, let  Irwin Guides lead the way for your fly-fishing adventure in Crested Butte. They will help assess your skill level, goals, and current conditions to take you to the best creek, river, or lake where you’re all but guaranteed to reel in a big one. With a variety of choices from walking to float trips, each guided experience with Irwin is one-of-a-kind. Plus, they all pair well with an Irwin IPA—a locally brewed beer available at many of the watering holes back on Elk Ave after you’ve pulled off your waders for the day. 

Overwhelmed with choice? Swing by Chopwood for some inspiration. We are always happy to chat and provide tips for optimizing your time in our backyard!