I got into Gunnison at 11 P.M., ready to sleep and not wanting to spend a lot of money to do it. The bartender at the local brewery informed me about a nearby hostel that opened in June called The Wanderlust. It’s located at 221 North Boulevard in Gunnison, Colorado, with two dorm and private rooms available, in addition to free wireless Internet, tea, and coffee, storage for bikes and skis, an outdoor fire pit and grill, lockers, and laundry facilities.
Owner Amy Stevens calls her hostel “a bed between adventures.” “We are primarily focused on people traveling around Colorado with their bikes, skis, or both,” says Stevens, who’s also a guide for Crested Butte Mountain Guides. “I have stayed in so many hostels and developed a love for the kind of community you can find. Hotels are ridiculously expensive and usually uncomfortable, so why not stay somewhere cheaper with a community environment? I want people to come in and play the guitar, cook large meals, or relax on the couch, and do it for a price that allows them to continue traveling.”
In addition to the pennies it costs to stay, you can catch a free bus to Crested Butte just one block away from Wanderlust. The hostel is a lodging partner with the resort, so staying at Wanderlust gets visitors discounted lift tickets and if you show up before December 16, you ski for free. [thewanderlusthostel.com]