Located within the Gunnison National Forest and the Elk Mountain Range, Crested Butte is known as “Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town.” This old Wild West town is one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations”, recognising it as a place which sheds light on the nation’s historic past. A stroll through downtown Crested Butte takes you past shops and restaurants housed behind beautiful late-1800s storefronts, reminiscent of the town’s mining days. The valley is also home to long-time ranching families who still graze their cattle in local pastures.
It was in 1962 that Crested Butte Mountain first opened as a ski area, with Colorado’s first gondola. Often referred to as “the wildflower capital of Colorado,” the area is now a year-round holiday destination with endless activities on offer. The town itself is free from high-rise buildings, chain stores and traffic lights. The main street, known as Elk Avenue, is filled with shops, galleries and an abundance of good bars and restaurants.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers over 1,500 skiable acres of expansive and diverse terrain. Open from late November to early April, 15 lifts serve ± 9000 feet (2,755 metres) of vertical paradise. In fact, the resort is known for some of the best lift-served extreme terrain in the US. Terrain ranges from beginner and intermediate groomers to extreme glades and steeps. As home to the first winter X games, the multitude of terrain parks are unsurprisingly excellent too.
Aside from skiing, visitors can enjoy a plethora of activities such as Nordic skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, to name a few. In summer, Crested Butte transforms into an epic mountain biking destination, with over 750 miles of trails to choose from. Whitewater rafting, kayaking and other watersports are also popular. The resort also hosts several events throughout the year; including a biking and running race in September between Aspen and Crested Butte, Crested Butte Pole, Pedal, Paddle endurance race in April and the annual Crested Butte Bike Week in June.