Head about 37 miles to the west on I-70 from Vail, and you're in the mountain community of Gypsum (population, about 4,000). Though its name comes from the rather unglamorous mineral deposits in the area, little Gypsum is bursting with enthusiasm and is a doorway to all the great activities that come with being smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Like a crown, Gypsum sits atop a fertile valley punctuating the mountain chain as it rolls westward. Flanked by Red Mountain and Tenmile Peak, there are miles of 4 x 4 trails, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding and cross country skiing trails. A beautiful landscape and a challenging 18-hole course isn't all you'll encounter at Gypsum Creek Golf course. It hosts numerous events like tournaments, concerts, and even a Hawaiian luau. In late spring, all summer, and early fall months before the snow flies, take a drive on scenic Cottonwood Pass to Aspen, Carbondale and Snowmass, about an hour-and-a-half, and 68 gorgeous miles away. In the winter, Vail Valley, Beaver Creek and other ski areas are about 30 minutes to the east on I-70 for winter sports in world-class resorts.