The Ute Indians were the first known people to occupy the land in what is known today as Gunnison County. The Ute Indians spent their summers in Gunnison County and when brutal winters arrive they migrated to warmer climates. Eventually they were pushed out of the territory in the early 1800’s when Trappers and Explorers arrived to survey the land and what it might offer.
Sometime during the 1870’s, miners, ranchers and farmers began arriving with mining being the largest draw to the area. The City of Gunnison was incorporated in 1880, around the same time as the railroad arrived.
And in 1911, what we know today as Western State Colorado University actually began as The Colorado State Normal School and was founded as a preparatory college for teachers. Then in 1923, the school expanded its class offerings and became Western State College; and in 2012, it became the Western State Colorado University.
Today Gunnison is more known for the outdoor adventures and lifestyle it has to offer. There is an activity for all seasons, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, rafting, 4-wheeling, camping and even a rodeo.