The idyllic setting of Muddy Creek Cabins
Bring home the bacon: When the bull statue is out front, you know the Middle Park Meat Co. is open. This butcher shop specializes in aged steaks, apple-cured pork chops, and housemade bacon so good it has a cult following. Closed Sun; south of town at 1107 State 9; 970/724-3880.
Make it an overnight: The 10 cozy Muddy Creek Cabins, on the edge of town at the foot of the Cliffs, have kitchenettes, rustic pine furniture, and front porches with views of the mountains. From $109; muddycreekcabins.com
3 more watery adventures
See aquatic fossils: The Kremmling Cretaceous Ammonite Locality is a 182-acre ridge that’s chock-full of fossilized marine life from 73 million years ago. A quarter-mile one-way hike climbs to rocks embedded with clams, snails, and sea worms; some ammonites (predecessors to squid) span several feet. On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land 14 miles north of town off County Rd. 26; 970/724-3000.
Plumb the canyon’s depths: The cleft in the mountain range to the southwest is Gore Canyon. Explore it via the BLM’s 1.5-mile one-way Gore Canyon Trail, which hugs the Colorado River as it passes under 1,000-foot rock cliffs. Spring runoff can drown the route; call for conditions. $3/vehicle; 13 miles from town on County Rd. 1 at Pumphouse (Launch Site 1); 970/724-3000.
Reel one in: During the Colorado River’s stonefly hatch (typically late May or June), trout feed in a frenzy that has earned nationwide fame among anglers. Hook into the action by wading the pools along the Gore Canyon Trail, or add your name to the call list at Grand County Fly Fishing Company, which guides float trips. From $350 (fishing license from $9; wildlife.state.co.us); grandflyfishing.com