Congratulations on scoring tickets to the 2021 RV Entrepreneur Summit (RVE)! We are so bummed that we can’t make it that weekend, but we hope you’ll stick around the area to join us at Camp Carpe Diem (CCD) in Ouray, Colorado on October 7-10. RVE will teach you how to work on the road. We’ll help you learn how to play!
But what should you do while you’re waiting for this next awesome get together? No worries. Montrose lies in one of the most scenic areas of Colorado with plenty to experience. Surely one of the prime reason’s Heath & Alyssa Padgett chose it for their campground. From gorgeous camping sites to iconic fall hiking, biking, and jeep trails to many breweries, wineries, and distilleries to linger the days and nights away; along with mouth-watering restaurants, coffee shops for those that need to work, museums to explore, and so much more. You may never want to leave.
And that’s OK, too, because after the RVE Summit and after CCD, you’re invited to do some boondocking with us as we continue to explore all that Southwest Colorado has to offer.
In the meantime, let us help you plan your month from the RVE Summit up until CCD, when you come play with us!
Stick Around Montrose
We get it. You’re inspired to create, to build a business. You need to stick around Montrose for a bit to keep that inspiration going. So after working at Heath & Alyssa’s co-working space at their new campground, you may want a change of scenery. The Coffee Trader on Main Street in Montrose is a great option. They have a wonderful selection of coffee and tea and plenty of room to find your spot to get some work done. The upstairs even has small rooms available for private work space.
Rather sit outside to work? There are plenty of shady spaces along the river to relax and work. As long as the kayakers don’t distract you too much.
And when work is done for the day, Montrose has a lot to explore. Pay a visit to the Ute Indian Museum where the past connects with today. “Exhibits focus on the Ute people’s history of adaptation and persistence, and unfold around a central theme of geography, highlighting significant locations in Ute history. Through stunning exhibitions, visitors explore topics of Ute cultural survival, political determination, economic opportunity, and the celebration of the Bear Dance.”
Of course, we recommend visiting a brewery or two: Horsefly Brewing Company and 2 Rascals Brewing Company are great places to meet the locals and relax after a hard day’s work. If you’d rather have wine or spirits, pay a visit to Storm King Distilling Company or stop off at Mountain View Winery and Cottonwood Cellars, just north of Montrose in Olathe. And just south of Montrose, you’ll find Lanoue DuBois Winery. There’s no shortage of good drinks here.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Blue Mesa Reservoir, and Gunnison
Just east of Montrose lie two natural wonders, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Blue Mesa Reservoir. And just past those two beauties is the quaint town of Gunnison proper. There’s no shortage of entertainment possibilities here.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a short drive from Montrose, and is a must-visit. You can get a quick look at the canyon in one visit; however, to get to the real depth and character of this National Park, plan on visiting a couple of times to get a hike or two in. We recommend the Warner Point Nature Trail as one of the options. It’s relatively short at just under two miles with a reasonable elevation gain of about 400 feet.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Blue Mesa is like no other body of water you’ve seen before. It’s sheer blue beauty is magical even if you only get a chance to drive by. But with its many access points along U.S. Highway 50, it really would be a shame to not stop at Colorado’s largest body of water. Camp, swim, hike, fish, boat, SUP, kayak, whatever you do, this is the place to experience beach days in Colorado.
Gunnison is world-renowned for its mountain biking trails. Hartman Rocks offers almost 70 different trails in a high mountain desert region that gives you all the thrills of mountain biking with vistas that you’ll not soon forget. Got a smaller rig and don’t need much for Wi-Fi? The camping here under the stars, with trails right outside your door is worth the bumpy, twisty roads to get here.
And when you’re in need of some nourishment and beverages, check out High Alpine Brewing for craft beer and brick oven pizzas. Of course, you’ll find many other wonderful establishments in this small town that seems to have everything. You’ll just have to come and explore.
Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, and Colorado National Monument
Just northwest of Montrose, you’ll find the communities of Grand Junction, Palisade, and Fruita. And you can’t forget about Colorado National Monument where shear-walled canyons and rock formations carved out of majestic peaks sit above the valley below.
From Palisade to Fruita and Grand Junction in between, this is wine country! Colorado’s wine country in the Grand Valley between Palisade and Grand Junction is home to almost 30 wineries. You don’t have to be a wine expert to know that this is the place to get your wine fix on in Colorado.
One of our favorites is Two Rivers Winery & Chateau just outside of Grand Junction. Its vineyards, tasting room, and quaint inn offer a relaxing and cozy atmosphere anytime of the year.
Grand Junction is the center of it all. Make this your home base for exploring wine country, Colorado National Monument, the Colorado River, the surrounding hiking and biking trails, the Redland Desert, and more. Head out for a shopping excursion while dining at its many restaurants and enjoying craft beer, spirits, and wine. Check out these to get you started:
- Kannah Creek Brewing Company
- Monumental Beer Works
- Ramblebine Brewing Company
- Highlands Craft Distillery
Oh, Fruita! The land of mountain biking beauty. This high mountain desert town has a unique beauty with its desert vistas and trails that seem to go on into the Heavens. Some of our favorite trails are here, including the trails along 18 Road where you can boondock to get you even closer to those heart pumping trails. Or try your skills on the Kokopelli trails for some steeps and crazy switchbacks. Not a mountain biker? Hike! There’s so much to explore here, but watch out for those bikers; they love their downhills.
And when you’re done exploring the desert trails, head on into the town of Fruita where you can wander into the shops, eat at one or two or three of the many delicious restaurants, including Hot Tomato Pizza, where you’ll find some of the best pies in the state. Need a beer? Grab a cold one at Copper Club Brewing Company while munching from one of their food trucks and listening to live music. Or wander over to Suds Bros. Brewery for some beer and food at this brewpub in downtown Fruita.
Palisade is a little over an hour north of Montrose but it’s well worth a visit. We recommend getting there just after the Summit since, if you’re lucky, it’ll still be peach season, which typically runs into October. The peaches are sublime.
If you’re into mountain biking, check out The Palisade Plunge: “32 miles of downhill, backcountry singletrack bliss.” Finally, end the day with a trifecta at one of the many wineries, then head on over to Palisade Brewing Company for some of our favorite beers in the region here, and end it all with a nightcap just across the street from the brewery at Peach Street Distillers. You may regret the fun tomorrow, but today, it’ll be nothing but bliss.
If you just happen to be a Harvest Hosts member, there are more than a few to choose from here. Free camping, peaches, wine, craft beer and spirits? I’d say that’s a day and evening well spent.
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument is the perfect place to get away from the world. Here you can experience rock climbing, hiking, and camping at its finest. With beautifully designed campgrounds, roads that seem to take you to the top of the world, and hikes that seem to take you out of this world, you’ll leave here feeling invigorated and alive.
Ridgway and Telluride
Just south of Montrose is the adorable mountain town of Ridgway and its much more famous neighbor, Telluride. Both offer great shopping, dining, and outdoor experiences that many Colorado mountain towns are known for.
Part of the time that we will be in the area leading up to CCD, we will be staying at Ridgway State Park. If you end up there, let us know! We’d love to see you and maybe hang out for dinner or for a cup of coffee in nearby Ridgway.
Speaking of Ridgway, being so close to Montrose, this is an easy day trip and well worth the minimal time it takes to drive here. And, if you’re a fan of John Wayne and want to see some of the filming locations for the movie True Grit, for which he won his only Academy Award, you’re in luck. It was filmed in and around Ridgway, with the hanging scene taking place right in downtown Ridgway, complete with historical markers.
A brief drive down Highway 62 will take you to some of the other areas where this famous film was shot. One of them is just down Last Dollar Road which is one of the roads we will be exploring during Camp Carpe Diem’s photography excursions. Click here to read more on John Wayne and Ridgway. (Although, we don’t condone trespassing on private property as this author suggests.)
Not a John Wayne fan, or would like to know more about Ridgway? Try one of our favorite places for breakfast, Kate’s Place or Provisions. You know you want to treat yourself, and going out to breakfast is a great way to do so.
What about the food, the beer, the trails? There’s all that and more in Ridgway. In fact, the trails near here are where we will be doing a lot of exploring on our mountain biking and hiking excursions at CCD. Not sure you want to try them out without some friends? Be sure to join us in October, where we will go tackle the trails together.
Being the beer fans that we are, we can’t leave Ridgway without sending you to Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery. Where else can you watch the beer being made while sipping on one that was just made? That’s small town craft beer in small town Colorado. Oh, and did I mention that they also serve pizza and cask ales?
From Ridgway, head down 62 and stop at the overlook. Then, continue on to Telluride. Telluride has a great downtown with breweries, restaurants and gift shops. And, a nice coffee shop or two to give you that needed energy to keep on exploring. Known for its ski vibe, apres ski, and just good old fashioned Colorado Mountain town fun, this is a must-stop on any southwestern Colorado tour.
You’ll need more than a day to explore this stunning area, because there’s more than just downtown. Hop on the free gondola for a scenic ride to Mountain Village, a town all on its own with mountain vistas, trails, restaurants and more.
And for some your favorite beverages alongside your culinary delights, check out the following:
Where to Stay While Waiting to Play at CCD
We want you to stick around after the RVE Summit so you can hang out with us, too. We know, in order for you to do that, you’ll need to know where to park your rig while exploring more of southwest Colorado.
That’s the joy of this state. There are many places to camp. Of course, there’s Heath & Alyssa’s campground which we highly recommend. But, if you want to move somewhere closer to some of the other sights in the area, there are places that have full hookups, partial hookups, and no hookups. Places in town and in the middle of nowhere. Places with trails or shops rights outside your door. From state parks to national parks to national forests, there’s not a lack of places to stay nor explore.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need some specific recommendations; we’d be happy to help. But everyone has their own wants and needs for that perfect campsite. To find those, we recommend the following trusted tools:
Seize the Day at Camp Carpe Diem
You’ve been seizing the day the moment you stepped into your RV, why would you stop now? After learning about business related skills at the RVE, it’s now time to learn how to find the balance between work and play. Sign up now for Camp Carpe Diem taking place October 7-10, where you will meet more of your tribe, explore more of your interests, and enjoy one of the coolest adult camps around.
It’s time to play in the mountains of Colorado. Time to explore the beauty of Ouray and Silverton. Time to mountain bike and hike. Time to learn about craft beer and photography. Time to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. It’s time to revel in RV life with like-minded adventurers. Check out the action packed agenda and get your tickets today by clicking here.
We can’t wait to play!
PRO TIP: Many small businesses aren’t open on Sundays, Mondays, or Tuesdays, and due to staffing shortages across the nation, some do not have consistent hours, so check ahead, have patience – they are doing what they can – and plan accordingly.