Visit The North Fork Valley for a Spectacular Vacation Charming B&Bs, restaurants serving farm fresh to table food, locally produced wines, art studios by renowned artists, music performances, and ongoing entertainment events and festivals make the three towns of Crawford, Hotchkiss, and Paonia of the North Fork Valley a special place to visit. We are on the east side of Delta County, on the Western Slope of Colorado. The North Fork Valley is a beautiful and pristine area tucked away in the West Elk Mountains nestled between the North Fork and South Fork of the Gunnison River and two National Forests and the majestic Black Canyon National Park. Starting with river activities, enjoy our Gold Medal fishing on the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Try stand up paddling out of Hotchkiss. Go on guided raft trips and fishing trips out of Crawford or at Pleasure Park near Hotchkiss. We have experienced guides for all activities along the river or enjoy your own solitude at several accessible river spots in the National Forest and BLM land. Hiking and biking are favorite activities in the area. Rent bikes in Paonia and find a bike trail leaving the town towards Jumbo Mountain. Or hike our numerous hiking trials around all three towns. And for the heartier, hike down from Crawford's North Rim of the Black Canyon to the Gunnison River. The North Rim of the Black Canyon is the more secluded, "road less traveled" and is a great area for camping. A trip to the North Fork Valley is not complete without tours of our area wineries and organic farms and orchards, some of which have onsite Bed and Breakfast accommodations. The North Fork Valley is recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) with a climate and elevation conducive to producing high-end wines by a dozen local wineries. Visit and grab a taste of wine and take home a bottle of your favorite using the West Elks AVA map as your guide. And try out our area brew pubs for beer and Big B's Delicious Orchards, a local manufacturer of delicious hard cider. While touring the wineries, also plan your trip around visits to some of the numerous organic farms and orchards. The North Fork Valley has one of the highest concentration of organic growers. The Valley Organic Growers Association (VOGA) provides both a printed and online directory of farms and tours at the area's Visitor Kiosks in each town. Every town has a Farmer's Market to easily purchase local food, and typically have arts and crafts. And catch one of The Learning Council's Pop-up kitchens that serve vegan and gluten free lunches by our area creative chefs using locally gown food. In addition to an organic farmer belief system, we care about our beautiful North Fork Valley and enjoy having the Western Slope Conservation Center and Citizens for a Healthy Community help keep our area special. Budget lots of time to check out the local art scene centered around the Paonia Creative District which is one of only twenty-three Creative Districts in Colorado. The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition based in Paonia and the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss anchor the art activities in the area. A stroll down Paonia's Grand Avenue with historic buildings that house numerous art studios is a must. The historical Creamery Arts Center houses a beautiful and large collection of local artist's best work that is available for purchase. Or take it easy and buy a new or used book from our local bookstores and enjoy reading at one of several coffee shops serving locally roasted coffee. All three towns have comfortable and quaint coffee shops, with some showcasing arts and crafts from local artists. Do not forget to browse our local merchants that provide the more traditional goods to the more eclectic fine apparel, post cards, glassworks, etc. from our local creative artists. Every town serves ice cream from our local ice cream producer, Third Bowl Ice Cream in Hotchkiss. We have two historical museums, one in Hotchkiss that showcases Hotchkiss and Crawford history, and one in Paonia which includes a historical schoolhouse. The three towns are 15 to 23 minutes from each other by car so a trip to the North Fork Valley provides easy access to everything the three towns have to offer, each with its own unique charm. And while enjoying everything else during the day, save some energy for evening fun with the available music and theatrical performances at the Blue Sage and Paradise Theater in Paonia and the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss. Local bands play at Big B's outdoor restaurant (great climate) between Hotchkiss and Paonia and at the Boardwalk in Crawford. There is Picking in Park in Paonia during the summer months. The North Fork Valley area has several annual festivals and events. Pioneer Days in Crawford, Cherry Days in Paonia, and the Delta County Fair and Rodeo in Hotchkiss starts the list. April's outdoor “Hestival” at Big B's hosted with Picking in Park, the Mountain Harvest Festival, the three venue Holiday Arts and Craft Fair in Hotchkiss, followed the next week by the "close the street" outdoor Art Show in Paonia add to list. Plan ahead and book your lodging early as these events are quite popular with the locals and visitors alike. Getting to the North Fork Valley from Denver or surrounding counties is part of the fun. Enjoy coming to the North Fork Valley via the West Elk Scenic Byway. The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway is a 205-mile National Forest Scenic Byway AND Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway. The byway reaches its zenith at Kebler Pass, elevation 10,007 feet, open in the summer months and connects Paonia/Somerset to Crested Butte. It's a great day trip from the North Fork Valley towns. The North Fork Valley is 50 minutes from the Montrose Airport, and 60 minutes from the Grand Junction airport. Aspen is two hours away by car over beautiful McClure Pass and Denver is four hours away either by I-70 or the more scenic McClure Pass that goes by the Redstone Castle and the Paonia State Park. The North Fork Valley is beautiful, charming, and pristine with numerous activities to make for a special vacation. Come for a visit. Please visit the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition's website at NorthForkCreative.org and the North Fork Valley Chamber of Commerce website at NorthForkValley.net for further information on everything from lodging, restaurants, tours, wineries, events, and profiles of local artists and performers.