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Crested Butte Travel Guide

Crested Butte
Crested Butte © Larry D. Moore

The popular holiday destination of Crested Butte is located in Gunnison County, considered the wildflower capital of Colorado. Regardless, when the resort is covered in white each winter, the flowers are forgotten and skiers from all over the world descend on this resort town, often touted as one of the best extreme skiing locations in the world. Both the US Extreme Skiing Championships and X-Games have been hosted here and the extensive terrain has something to offer everyone. The resort town is famous and well-loved within the skiing community as a laidback, unpretentious, fun-loving place to visit - 'Worth Getting To', as the Crested Butte saying goes.

Although the reputation and renown of this resort is in the extreme skiing arena, there truly is something for all types. Most of the mountain is suited for intermediate skiers and riders but there is plenty of terrain suitable for beginners and experts as well. Crested Butte also has a terrain park, Canaan, with a number of jumps, tables and rails for beginners and intermediates. There is also a Superpipe at the top of Forest Queen, and a mini half pipe for beginners in the terrain park.

Crested Butte has almost anything holidaying visitors could possibly want for mountain sports, including rental and repair shops. These include Christy Sports, Butte & Co. and Flatiron Sports. For other shopping needs the resort is quite limited, but there are some gift shops and clothing stores available for souvenirs. Avid shoppers may be a little disappointed, but the resort does provide everything visitors may need on holiday.

There are fantastic restaurants offering everything for all nationalities of holidaymakers across the town. Lil's Land & Sea offers the best of both worlds with an extensive menu of sushi, seafood, vegetarian, and grilled meat varieties. The Wooden Nickel sells the best steaks from fillet mignon to New York Strips, while the Secret Stash boasts the best pizza in town. For fine dining head up the mountain for Dinner @ 10,000 Feet, with a sleigh ride preceding a romantic four-course meal.

For a small mountain, Crested Butte has a charm that relies on the friendliness of the regulars and holidaymakers who frequent the bars, pubs and breweries. Princess Wine Bar opens daily at 5pm and has a wide selection of award-winning wines, cognacs and single malt scotches and often has live entertainment in the evenings. Talk of the Town offers a variety of bar games, such as foosball, pinball, pool and video games, and of course a happy hour every afternoon, while the Crested Butte Brewery is a popular microbrewery with live music and dancing on weekends.

There are many popular activities for the whole family, including tubing, sleigh rides and dog sled tours. The Nordic centre offers 25 miles (35km) of groomed trails for skating, snow-shoeing and sledding. Worth visiting is the historic town or the heritage museum to find out about Crested Butte's colourful past. During summer months, mountain biking is extremely popular and it is even rumoured to have started here where the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame has been created. Also available in summer is hiking, camping, fishing and whitewater rafting.


Crested Butte is farther out than other popular Colorado resorts and some 250 miles (400km) from Denver International Airport.