Crested Butte Colorado
Crested Butte in Colorado is a real beaut of a ski resort and ski town! Whether you call it “Crusty Butt” or Crested Butte, this is a place of extremes. It’s well known for the extreme ski and snowboard terrain, the extreme friendliness, and the extremely laid back culture.
Crested Butte is pretty close to Aspen Colorado
as the crow flies, but in the glitz and glamour stakes, Crested Butte is far away. CB has no major aspirations to be like Aspen or other upscale ski towns. Crested Butte prides itself on being “real” and down to earth; the sort of place where a ski bum could get very comfortable.
The charming town of Crested Butte is located 3 miles from Mt Crested Butte (ie the ski resort). The historic Victorian town has a population of only 1,700 people, and the colourful buildings look like they’re from a western movie set. The town is sometimes labelled as the last real Colorado ski town. It’s a reminder of what some of the other Colorado ski towns used to be like before the developers arrived.
Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The size of the skiable area at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is 1,167 acres (472 hectares). This is well below average for a Colorado or U.S. ski resort, but once you get into the off-piste and extreme areas, the ski resort feels much larger than the statistic. The vertical drop is 846 metres (2,775 feet), or when you include the hike-to-terrain it extends to 933 metres (3,062 feet).
The terrain statistics are 23% beginner, 57% intermediate, and 20% advanced, however this doesn’t paint the true picture of Crested Butte. In reality there isn’t an abundance of intermediate terrain, and the stats don’t portray the many double black diamond slopes that are Crested Butte’s signature.
The upper parts of the mountain are steep and rocky and offer a diversity of terrain including bowls, chutes, glades, and mandatory cliff jumps. This is some of the gnarliest terrain to be found at a North American ski resort. It’s for good reason that Crested Butte hosts various extreme freeskiing championships!
The only potential limitation of this expert terrain is that it needs decent snow cover. Crested Butte ski resort receives a very respectable 300 inches (7.6 metres) of snow on average per season, but sometimes the snowfall can be a little iffy. Thankfully the mountain has high elevation and a mainly northerly aspect, and during relatively dry seasons, CB can rely on their manmade snow in the main parts of the ski resort.
Where is Crested Butte Mountain Resort?
Crested Butte ski resort is located in the Colorado Rockies Elk Mountain Range. The historic town is a few miles from the ski resort, 28 miles north of Gunnison, and 229 miles southwest of Denver.
The drive from the Denver International Airport takes about 5 hours depending on road and weather conditions. The other gateway airport is the Crested Butte/Gunnison airport which is a 30 minute drive from Crested Butte. The airport is serviced by shuttles, and once in Crested Butte a car is not necessary.
Crested Butte Lodging
Crested Butte lodging
is available either in the town of Crested Butte or at the ski resort base area known as Mount Crested Butte. A free shuttle bus system connects the two areas.
The Mt Crested Butte accommodations are largely condominiums and hotels, some of which are rather ritzy. The Elevation Hotel and Spa
falls into this category and has the superb convenience of being ski-in ski-out.
Lodging in town includes hotels, lodges, and B&Bs. Whilst not as convenient to the slopes, some skiers choose to stay in town because it’s more economical, they enjoy the “realness” of the town, and there is more nightlife.
Crested Butte Accommodations Listings
Ski Resort Facilities
Crested Butte Mountain Resort provides excellent facilities and services for skiers and snowboarders, and it’s very family friendly. The base area of the ski resort (Mount Crested Butte) has been refurbished and further development continues at CB.
Other Winter Activities
CB has a trio of delights for powderhounds. Of course there’s the downhill skiing and snowboarding at the resort, but Crested Butte is also known as a phenomenal backcountry skiing haven and Crested Butte Mountain Guides can show you the goods. And powderhounds that are super keen for fresh powder can go cat skiing at nearby Irwin.
Other things to do in Crested Butte
during winter include cross country skiing on the impressive 55km of groomed trails, or snowmobiling, tubing, horse riding, snowshoeing, and ice skating.
More Reasons to Ski or Snowboard at Crested Butte
Crested Butte may be a little light on for nightlife, but that’s because there’s a lack of visitors to this little piece of paradise. If you want pumping nightlife and crowds, go visit one of the ski resorts on the I-70 corridor. Crested Butte is somewhat remote relative to most other Colorado ski resorts
, but this is a major drawcard because of the associated lack of crowds. Other than the die-hard locals, there are no day trippers to steal your fresh lines on those delightfully steep slopes!
Crested Butte used to be renowned for free lift passes early in the season, but unfortunately a free lift ticket is now only available on opening day. The end of the season at Crested Butte used to be famous for skiing in the nuddy, but that too is no longer thanks to lots of naked crusty butts involved in a melee and inappropriate behavior! However if you want to celebrate the end of the season (or any part of the season) by skiing in a bikini, you can go for it!
Tours That Include Crested Butte