Authentic, open and free of crowds, Crested Butte is a quaint 1880s mining town, a Registered National Historic District — and the celebrated wildflower capital of Colorado.
In summer, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte are the place to enjoy all of Colorado’s outdoor recreational activities: epic mountain biking (there’s more than 750 miles of trails to choose from!), hiking in alpine and aspen forests, fishing in pristine rivers, lakes and streams, and whitewater rafting and kayaking in class II–IV rapids. Camping is also available in the Gunnison National Forest, which provides a variety of amenities — from primitive to full-service. Enjoy boating and all water sports on Colorado’s largest lake, the Blue Mesa, part of Curecanti National Recreation Area. Horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains is one of the best ways to take in the spectacular scenery.
In winter, Mt. Crested Butte, known as "Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town," is a place where skiers and snowboarders revel on Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s thousand plus acres of terrain ranging from beginner and intermediate groomers to extreme glades and steeps. Fourteen chairlifts service 2,700 vertical feet of pure paradise. The terrain parks and incredible half-pipes offer innovative options for aspiring and experienced free-style riders. In the summer month, Crested Butte Mountain Resort turns into a mountain-bike and hiking destination. Ride the chairlift up, and bike or hike down and experience the Adventure Center's miniature golf, climbing wall and bungee jumping.
Build your trip around one of Crested Butte’s one-of-a-kind events to experience everything the mountain hamlet has to offer. The new Blue Mesa Beach Bash in August is a gathering at the spacious reservior for stand-up paddleboarders of all ages, while the long-loved Crested Butte Wildflower Fest pays tribute to the area’s annual parade of colorful wildflowers with workshops, photography classes, garden tours and hikes.
Avid athletes have a wide array of happenings to choose from, including the Gore-Tex Grand Traverse, which hosts a backcountry ski mountaineering race in March and biking and running race in September between Aspen and Crested Butte; Crested Butte Pole, Pedal, Paddle, a multi-sport endurance race in April; and Crested Butte Bike Week, the world’s oldest mountain-biking festival.
In 2008, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Crested Butte one of its "Dozen Distinctive Destinations," which recognizes places that shed light on the nation’s historic past. Stroll downtown Crested Butte, where locally owned shops and restaurants are housed in beautiful late-1800s-era storefronts, and stop by the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum to learn more about the area’s past. And find out why the Crested Butte Creative District was recently designated a Certified Colorado Creative District.
Check out our Field Guide itineraries: 5 Days of Mountain Biking from Gunnision to Crested Butte and Crested Butte Winter with No Lifts.