Taylor River Lodge
- Enjoy a destination created for mixed groups with activities to keep all guests entertained
- Fish the productive waters of the Taylor River and Gunnison River on foot or by boat
- Experience the views, wildlife, and adventure of the Rockies while hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing
- Dine on fine meals in the beautifully appointed lodge or while overlooking the river from the full-service deck
- Sleep in comfortable, private cabins well suited for couples or families
Taylor River Lodge is a natural for fly fishers as well as offering a wide range of additional guided outdoor activities.
Eleven Experience was created with a singular focus; to provide the world’s finest adventure-based luxury destinations for couples and families with children. To this end, their premier property in the Rockies for summertime activities is Taylor River Lodge. Located along a mile of semi-private water on the Taylor River and minutes from float trips on the Gunnison River, Taylor River Lodge is a natural for fly fishers as well as offering a wide range of additional guided outdoor activities. During a week stay guests are encouraged to take part in hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, all located very near the lodge. True to their mission, Taylor River Lodge is a true luxury facility that has the equipment, staff and expertise to introduce guests of all ages to the activities they offer.
This area of Colorado is an anglers’ paradise, with pristine trout-filled water surrounded by spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery. Located in the heart of the Gunnison Valley, guests at Taylor River Lodge have access to hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. Following is a breakdown of the angling options.
A mile of the Taylor River the forms the property boundary at Taylor River Lodge, creating a semi-private fly fishing experience. The Taylor River is known for its’ large tailwater fish in an intimate canyon setting. Along the lodge property guests will walk and wade a variety of water types with low pressure and high catch rates. Guides at Taylor River Lodge know the river from its’ mountain headwaters all the way down to the lodge, giving guests the ability to fish various sections over multiple days.
Just a short 11-mile drive down the canyon road from Taylor River Lodge, the East River meets the Taylor River to form the headwaters of the historic Gunnison River, Colorado’s second largest river. And so begins the river’s amazing 164-mile journey through the Gunnison Valley on its way to Blue Mesa Reservoir and the famous Black Canyon, and ultimately to Grand Junction where it joins the Colorado River. The Upper Gunnison River is pristine trout water which is best fished from drift boats and fishing rafts during most of the season, providing access to 26 miles of river from the headwaters in Almont to Blue Mesa Reservoir. Float different stretches over multiple days in our new premium drift boats, custom built for Eleven.
The property is a private, eight-cabin retreat open from late May through mid-October. The off-the-grid location deep in Colorado’s Taylor Canyon is the perfect setting for friends, families and corporate groups to unplug and reconnect. Fishing is at the heart of the experience, with a trout pond and a mile stretch of semi-private river steps from the cabins, and the Gunnison River minutes away for float trips. The surrounding mountains offer rugged single track and scenic hiking trails, and the on-site, rock climbing wall, archery and hatchet throwing area will make you nostalgic for your Scout days. After a day outdoors, steam and soak in the bathhouse or cozy up in the main lodge with a good book. Evenings take on a campfire vibe with stargazing around the communal fire pit..
Lodging options include two single family homes and six cabins, all with en suite bathrooms and personal steam showers. All of the accommodations feature a rustic décor paired with modern comforts. Some of the options have lofts and all of them are exceedingly comfortable. Whether you want to play or relax, there are ample choices on-property. Soak in the saltwater pool at the Bathhouse or head to the game cabin for late-night billiards. An elevated BBQ and fire pit area is the go-to spot for after dinner drinks. With its old hickory chairs, leather furnishings and roaring fireplace, the horseshoe-shaped bar in the main lodge is the ideal spot to swap fish tales.
Breakfast includes local bread, fresh fruit, house-made pastries, granola, smoothies and juices, and a daily specialty breakfast item. Lunch is served at the property or in the field depending on guests’ preference. You can have a different dining experience every night by choosing either from the seasonal menu, creating a custom dish, or cooking for friends and family side-by-side with Chef Diego. Bartenders pair wines with each course for dinner. Pre-arrival, the Eleven team works with each guest to ensure they know your food preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Snacks are always on hand in Yeti coolers or minibars throughout the property.
Mountain biking - Mile for mile, trail for trail, Crested Butte, Colorado ranks amongst the world’s top mountain biking destinations. Considered to be one of the birthplaces of mountain biking, Crested Butte’s mountain bike pedigree runs deep. From May through October riders can explore 750+ miles of singletrack. Endless trails mean unlimited options for mileage, elevation, and technical (or mellower) combinations. You’ll find terrain for all abilities, from flowy singletrack through stunning wildflower meadows to rowdy descents through pine forests in the high alpine. Crested Butte’s bike-friendly vibe and Eleven’s knowledgeable guides ensure an unparalleled experience in mountain bike Mecca.
Stand up paddle boarding - You will find a variety of water in the Gunnison Valley – from swift and challenging to lazy river floats.
Mountaineering on Guides Ridge - This mountain ascent is ideal for a family with adventurous kids, yet also challenging enough for the seasoned alpine climber. You’ll learn mountaineering skills as you use a harness and rope to reach the summit of Mt. Crested Butte.
Hiking - Our guides know every inch of the surrounding trails, from mellow meanders through wildflower meadows and lush aspen forests to steep alpine ridgelines and 14ers.
Rates & Details
2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy
- 7 night/6 day package: $10,427
- 6 night/5 day package: $8,976
- 5 night/4 day package: $7,480
- 4 night/3 day package: $5,984
- 3 night/2 day package: $4,488
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided activities, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, all gear necessary for activities, use of lodge bikes on property. .
Not Included: Airfare, transfers to/ from the lodge, fishing license, gratuities.
Species: Brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout
Season: late May - mid October
Capacity: 27 guests
Fly Water Q&A
Who is best suited to this destination? This is the place for any angler who has a partner, family or friends who prefer not to fish and want to enjoy other activities. The property shines for beginning to intermediate anglers looking to go on a fishing trip and works very well for families. The lodge almost feels like a dude ranch due to the number of provided activities.
Where is the lodge? The lodge is in east-central Colorado, just outside of Almont, nestled on the banks of the Taylor River.
How do I get there? Guests can fly into Montrose, Gunnison or Denver Airports. The closest airport is Gunnison, but note that both Montrose and Gunnison are regional and few flights each day. If flying into Gunnison, the lodge can provide shuttle service at no additional cost, and will provide shuttle service to Montrose at an additional charge. Flights from the east coast will be able to arrive earliest if they fly into Denver and rent a car. The drive from Denver is beautiful, and many guests chose to do this.
- Drive time from Montrose Airport is about 2 hours (shuttle service for an additional fee)
- Drive time from Gunnison Airport is 30 minutes (shuttle service available from the lodge)
- Drive time from Denver International Airport is 4.5 hours and is very scenic.
When should I go? Mid-June to the end of July will provide the most diverse fishing in terms of the locations provided. Flows will be consistent enough to float the Taylor River and Gunnison River, and there are a variety of hatches. August can be quite warm and the fishing slows down quite a bit during the day, this is a good time to go for anglers who are interested in fishing half days and enjoying other activities during their stay. The middle of September sees cooler nights and less pressure, fishing during the day turns back on and flows have slowed so much of the fishing turns to walk and wade.
How will I fish? Anglers will fish two per guide and will either drift, hike in or walk and wade depending on the location. There is wonderful dry fly fishing throughout the season and a single dry fly, or a dry/dropper combination is common. In Colorado the landowner owns the river bottom, so when drifting the guides are unable to anchor, or to get out for walk and wade. Guides will use eddies to fish certain seams, and are constantly on the oars to allow the angler as much time as possible in each section of river throughout the day.
Is there wade fishing? There is wade fishing on the banks of the Taylor River at the lodge, at the public access points of the Gunnison River, and in the alpine streams and lakes.
Where will I fish? The lodge co-owns just over a half mile of the Taylor River and which provides excellent access to walk and wade fishing. Taylor River Lodge will be the only guides on this section of the river. For full days of floating, anglers may be taken to float one section above the lodge or one of two sections below the lodge. Just outside of Almont, the East River offers a few miles of walk and wade technical fishing, and turns on later in the season. There are three main sections to float on the Gunnison River, all are able to be drifted depending on the time of year, and in the later season they are excellent locations for walk and wade fishing.
For those looking for something a little different, there is some hike-in fishing to high alpine streams and lakes suited to 3- and 4-weight rods. These systems include streams, clear alpine lakes with small inlets and outlets full of opportunistic fish in the 8- to 12-inch class with opportunities for slightly larger fish. All fish in these sections are native, with most being cutthroat, as well some brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout. These options can take anglers up to 10,500 feet in elevation and are incredibly scenic. Scarp Ridge will provide excellent views of the surrounding peaks, and Spring Creek will offer fishing a small stream that bends through a large meadow. Some of this fishing can prove to be technical as anglers will be using smaller flies, and will need a fairly accurate cast at 40 feet with a 12-foot leader.
There is a pond on property which is a great place for beginners and casting practice, and the lodge also has access to a property with five substantially sized ponds that are very deep. These ponds hold trout year round, and some are connected, so trout are commonly in the 14- to 24-inch range. Most of the fishing is with big dry flies like hoppers later in the season and can be very exciting.
Guests looking for more experiences can all fish the Blue Mesa Reservoir which offers very good lake fishing, and there is an option for as well for guests to do a two night float through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the beginning or end of the their trip.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Access to the Taylor River can take anywhere from a few minutes to about 15 minutes. The Gunnison is about 40-minutes away and the hike-in locations take about 20- to 40-minutes to drive to.
What type(s) of fish will I catch? Primarily brown and rainbow trout with cutthroat, cuttbows and brook trout depending on location.
How many fish will I catch? This will vary by angler and fishing conditions but guests can expect about 20 fish per day.
Will I see other anglers? There will be few other anglers on the private section of the Taylor River. Guests will likely see a couple other boats on the floated sections of the Taylor River and the Gunnison.
What are the guides like? There are male and female guides, and all are Colorado residents living very close by. There is a wide range of personalities and age, and the lodge pairs guides with anglers based on their strengths. Some guides work very well with kids and families, others with walk and wade technical fishing, and so on.
What are the physical demands? The trip can be as easy or physically demanding as the guest would like. Walk and wade days are generally quite easy to navigate, although the river bottom is very rocky and wading itself can be a little tricky. Anglers looking for a more adventurous day will have the hike-in option which will vary from a moderate hike to a difficult hike depending on the distance the guest would like to go.
Are there any special skills required? There are no special skills required, this trip works very well for beginner anglers.
Does the lodge provide equipment? Everything is provided, including boots and waders, at no extra charge.
What is your favorite setup for the trip? 5-weight floating line will work very well on most of the water.
- Sage Trout LL 9-foot 5-weight rod
- Sage Trout Reel 4/5/6
- Elite RIO Perception line weight-forward 5-weight floating
What are the top flies? Caddis and red quill in size 14 to 18, any general attractor pattern like Chernobyl ants or chubbies in size 12, rubber legs in size 10 or 12, pheasant tail and prince nymphs in size 14 to 16.
What are the options if water conditions become challenging? The drainages are usually in great shape by mid-June, but if runoff is a problem, the ponds are an excellent alternative. In the heat of the summer if the fishing slows down during the day, other activities are recommended for the safety of the fish, as well as starting and ending earlier in the day.
Due to the high elevation, guests should prepare for rain, and potentially snow in the shoulder seasons.
What is a typical day like? The day will start with breakfast around 7:30 AM and most guests will be starting their activities between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Lunches will be packed for any guest partaking in a full day activity, or will be ready at the lodge for those staying on property. Guests will return to the lodge generally between 4:30 and 5:00 PM to relax before cocktail hour and dinner. There isn’t a firmly set schedule, and depending on the location of the fishing, the guide may recommend an earlier start time. This will be discussed the with the angler at the end of each day. On the day of arrival, the fishing manager will let guests know when and where to meet their guides the next morning. Everything will be coordinated with the fishing manager so that meals are accommodated for early start times. It is common for some guests to stay on property throughout the day to enjoy the spa, the property amenities and on-property activities.
What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the lodge? The lodge feels like an old school chic ski-cabin with a laid-back vibe. Guests can arrange their itinerary the way they like. In the evenings kids are usually playing outside or in the media and game room where there are movies, games like ping pong, and staff helping set up lawn games. This is a very safe location and kids are free to roam. The cabins are situated away from the main lodge and spa, and are quiet and peaceful.
Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person at the lodge? There are rotating front end managers and general staff on site all day. A general manager will be on site every day at various times and an assistant will also be on property throughout each day. Someone will always be in the front office at the Copper John building (check in place), and someone will always be in the main lodge. To ensure all guests have what they need, general property staff is constantly moving around.
Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Breakfast and dinner are usually taken on the deck which overlooks the Taylor River, or in the main dining area of the lodge. Guests will be provided a table for their group, but often end up sharing tables with other groups or families throughout the trip. Meals may also be packed in a cooler for a picnic to be taken anywhere on the property or back to the guest’s cabin.
What is the alcohol policy? All house alcohol and beverages are included (house alcohol at Taylor River Lodge is on the higher end) and there are select bottles of wine and spirits at an additional charge.
Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? There are a variety of cabin options. There are six smaller cabins, each with a queen bed and three which have a lofted twin bed well suited for a child under the age of 13. There are also two single family cabins, one with a king bed and a bunkroom, and the other with a queen bed and a lofted bunkroom. All cabins have an ensuite bathroom and front deck. Meals are taking at the main lodge, or at the outdoor barbecue. The bath house includes a saltwater pool, steam room, sauna and hot tub, and there is a gym and spa facility with two treatment rooms.
Is there internet and/or cell service? There is reliable Wifi throughout the property, cell service is spotty and dependent on the carrier.
Are there other activities? There are many other activites at the lodge. An artificial rock wall is on property for beginner climbing, and a rock face is across the river for wall climbing – guiding at both are included in package rates. There are many hiking locations ranging from easy to difficult and most are included. For guests looking for a more advanced experience, guides will take them on a mountaineering experience to climb a 14,000-foot peak at an additional charge. The Gunnison valley has many mountain miles of single track mountain bike trails and guides are prepared to take anyone from inexperienced to advanced, this is included in the package rate. For an additional charge, guides will take guests to Crested Butte for downhill biking. Guests will also have access to stand up paddle boarding, whitewater rafting (with an additional charge), and horseback riding (with an additional charge) for full or half days.
Are there any other expenses? If looking for any of the activities mentioned above that are not included, guests should plan on those, any high-end select bottle of alcohol, gratuities, shuttle service, and fishing licenses.
Do I need a visa? A visa is not needed.
Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? The lodge sits just above 8,000-feet in elevation and some may experience altitude sickness, although this can most often be combated by drinking more water. The staff will be able to assist if this is an issue, and there is oxygen provided if anyone is having trouble breathing at the lodge (this is not common). Rain and mosquitos can be an annoyance at various times in the season, but are not very common. If there is lightening, outdoor guided activities will be cancelled. Wildlife is common in this area, and guides are trained in how to handle encounters.