Gunnison, Colorado

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The historic City of Gunnison is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.[5] As of the U.S. Census 2000, the city had a total population of 5,409. The city was named in honor of John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.

Gunnison is the home of Western State College of Colorado. The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport serves the valley and nearby Crested Butte, Colorado with both commercial airline and general aviation flights.

Gunnison's newspaper, Gunnison Country Times, is published weekly.[6] There are also various radio stations that serve the area, including KWSB-FM (91.1), which is affiliated with Western State College.[7] KBUT of Crested Butte also simulcasts NPR broadcasts at 89.9 FM.[8]



Gunnison is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the United States, especially when snowpack is present. The average January low is −8 °F (−22 °C), and the average July high is 82 °F (28 °C). The record low is −60 °F (−51 °C), recorded at Blue Mesa Reservoir. The record high is 98 °F (37 °C), set on August 15, 1931. [1]

The city typically experiences moderate snowfalls, with an average of 50 inches (130 cm) per year. Early fall and late spring snows are not uncommon and snow can remain on the ground in town from as early as November to as late as April. Surrounding mountains experience very heavy snowfall with longer periods of snow on the ground. Many locations average 300–400 inches (760–1,000 cm) of snow annually. The snow is welcome to the area, as it is beneficial to water supplies and local ski resorts. Total liquid precipitation averages nearly 11 inches (280 mm) per year in the city of Gunnison, while surrounding mountains may receive anywhere from 15 to over 40 inches (380 to 1,000 mm) annually, depending upon elevation and local topography.

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