While the town of Gypsum may seem like an unassuming little mountain town of only 6,000 people, the truth is it’s a major center in Eagle County. The mix of rural and urban lifestyles makes it the perfect place from which to make a base when exploring the region.
Gypsum has a reputation for allowing residents to pursue a work-life balance, and visitors experience this when they see just how relaxed and content the people are.
The town retains a closeness to its colorful history and prioritizes recreation and health. With 12 parks, a renowned golf course, fishing areas, and a modern recreation center, recreation and the great outdoors are always at your fingertips.
The downtown area of Gypsum is where visitors can find restaurants, cozy cafes, and shops. Throughout the year, several events – such as the Gypsum Daze Festival – take place, and the popular ski areas of Vail and Beaver Creek are only a short drive away.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Gypsum, Colorado.
1. Walking Mountains Science Center
Nature-lovers of all ages have a variety of solo and guided activities to choose from at the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon.
The purpose of the center is to educate visitors about the nature and science of the surrounding mountainous terrain, and to provide them with the opportunity to explore it through various programs.
Backcountry hikes, nature walks, and interactive, entertaining activities are just some of the ways you can join in on the fun and adventure. You can also visit the Nature Discovery Center or the gift shop.
2. Embark on a Rail Adventure with Alpenglow Adventure Train Tours
There really isn’t a better way to explore the spectacular mountainous scenery of this region of Colorado than with a journey by train.
Alpenglow Adventure Train Tours offers a variety of excursions suitable for the whole family all year round. The length of these excursions ranges from four hours to 12 hours, and most of the tours include beverages, lunch, and complimentary photos and videos of your adventure.
3. 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company
For a day away from the great outdoors, visitors head to the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company in Gypsum, where they can kick back in a relaxing tasting room and sample some of the prize-winning spirits that are available.
These spirits, which include various vodkas and ryes, are created with local ingredients reflective of the mountain way of life. Tours are available.
4. Radium Hot Springs
If you would like to spend a day in nature but don’t want to do anything too strenuous, you can spend a lovely afternoon soaking in some hot springs. Situated along the Colorado River, the warm waters of Radium Hot Springs are a mix of cold river water and hot mineral water from underground. The main pool is approximately 20 feet in diameter and can be reached with an easy 20-minute hike. Wildlife is often spotted in this area.
5. Spend a Rainy Day Indoors
On rainy days, visitors can take their adventures indoors to the Mountain Recreation Gypsum Rec Center. This community center has many activities for all ages. On-site facilities include a fitness area, an indoor pool, a sauna, a gymnastics area, lockers, and showers.
6. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride with Camelot Balloons, Inc.
Embark on an early-morning adventure high above the Vail Valley with Camelot Balloons, Inc. These balloon tours, which are suitable for all ages, leave at sunrise and feature spectacular views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
The entire tour lasts three hours and includes a champagne lunch. The company has a stellar safety record too, and the well-trained and certified staff ensure that safety is a priority at all times.
7. Go Hiking in a Pristine Nature Area
The region around Gypsum is vast, beautiful, and about as natural as it can get. There are dozens of trails around the area, but here is a sample of some great ones you can tackle during your visit.
Hernage Gulch Trail is a secluded, more advanced trail running along Hernage Creek.
Yeoman Discover Trail is suitable for the whole family and is easier than many of the other trails in the area.
Nolan Lake Trail is a steep and challenging hike up to Nolan Lake, where you can enjoy stunning vistas.
Mount Thomas Trail runs along the Red Table Mountain Ridgeline and has some of the best views around.
8. Ekahi Grill
Ekahi Grill is where visitors to Gypsum can indulge in authentic Hawaiian dishes. This sounds like an odd choice in the middle of the mountains of Colorado, but this casual dining spot is a favorite with locals and guests alike.
Bubble tea, volcano fries, Hawaiian Poke Bowls, and Haiku Chicken are just some of the delicious offerings available.
9. Sylvan Lake State Park
Families can spend an adventurous day in the great outdoors at the Sylvan Lake State Park. Whether you plan to stay for a day or longer, there’s plenty to see and do, and cabins, yurts, and campsites are available for overnight stays.
The park consists of stunning vistas, aspen glades, and a lake. There are just as many activities to participate in during the summer months as there are during the winter months. Biking, hiking, bird-watching, nature viewing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing are just some of the exciting ventures you can embark on.
The lake is a popular spot for fishing, and you can rent kayaks and canoes. A picnic area is also on-site.
10. Go on a Dinosaur Discovery Rafting Adventure
Timberline Tours, in conjunction with Fossil Posse, offers a unique adventure for all ages. The Dinosaur Discovery Raft Trip combines the thrilling adventure of a raft trip with the excitement of digging for dinosaur bones.
These prehistoric creatures once roamed this region of the Colorado River Valley, and participants have the chance to uncover footprints and bones. This trip includes lunch and lasts about six hours.
11. Relax at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Bachelor Gulch
For a break from your daily adventures around Gypsum and into the great outdoors, unwind with a luxurious experience at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Bachelor Gulch in Avon. The large spa features 19 treatment rooms, a nail salon, several grottos, steam rooms, a sauna, and plunge pools of varying temperatures.
12. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
There’s so much to see and do at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, but the top draw is the Glenwood Caverns and Fairy Caves. There are two guided tours available; both go deep into the mountain, where you will see some of the biggest caves in the state.
The thrilling rides, which include one of the longest Alpine Coasters in the region, are the next big draw, and visitors can participate in a game of Old-West-style laser tag. Also on-site are a 4D Motion Theater and 32-foot climbing wall.
13. Bonfire Brewing
Situated in one of the trendiest mountain locales in Colorado, Bonfire Brewing in Eagle is the place to be for an evening of games, entertainment, and refreshing craft beer that is brewed right on site. This family-friendly brewery has darts and shuffleboard, and you just never know what entertainment might await.
14. White River National Forest
Surrounding the beautiful mountain town of nearby Aspen is the 2.3 million-acre nature area of the White River National Forest. Natural beauty is all around, including stunning mountain vistas, crystal clear lakes, and renowned sights such as Maroon Bells and the Green Mountain Reservoir.
Ashcroft ghost town is also in this area. This is an interesting place to explore, and there are tons of activities to participate in, including biking, canoeing, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
15. 7 Hermits Brewing Company
7 Hermits Brewing Company in the town of Eagle is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening sampling some quality local craft beer and cocktails. Enjoy a range of flatbreads to go along with your drink of choice.