With a history that encompasses not only bits of the Wild West but also inhabitants that pre-date settlers who came from the East, Montrose is an amazing blend of ancient, old and very, very new.
At the Ute Indian Museum just south of Montrose proper, visitors are given a unique glimpse into Native life in the 1700s and 1800s. The Museum is located on the original homestead site of revered Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta. Not only does the complex include a memorial park devoted to Chief Ouray, but it also is the burial place of Chipeta. It has been lovingly restored and maintained with native plants, picnic areas, teepees and walking paths – and there is a memorial to the Spanish Conquistadors who were in the region the year the United States gained its independence – 1776.
There are other museums as well, along with a vibrant shopping area and a number of fine eateries and lodging accommodations. Much of what you’ll find in the shops is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind, and the art ranges from Western and Southwestern to edgy and playful.
In fact, there’s so much to do in Montrose that Outdoor Life magazine named it to its "Top 200 Towns for Outdoorsmen" in 2010.
During the warmer weather months from spring through fall, there are three challenging 18-hole golf courses to sample, and as your very good geographical luck would have it, Montrose is an excellent gateway to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with a seemingly unending range of things to do and see.
Rock climbing is epic, and in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area you’ll find unparalleled rafting and unbeatable fishing in Gold Medal waters. What’s more, the San Juan Mountains are where your camping, hiking and biking memories are waiting to be made – with something great for all levels of outdoor abilities.
Got the need for off-road? Got your cure right here. BLM lands are perfect for badland enthusiasts, but you’ll find a full range of terrain, from forest trails to scree routes.
Make sure your camera batteries are full before you leave for one or all of the six designated scenic or historic byway excursions. You’ll hit elevations of 12,000 lofty feet above sea level as you cross mountain passes – with spectacular vistas all along the way.
Wintertime means more fun, with Telluride and Crested Butte ski areas within driving distance, and snowshoeing even closer in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Yep, there’s snowmobiling as well, along with Nordic and backcountry skiing. All year, all fun.