Crested Butte Ski Resort

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Crested Butte Colorado (Photo credit: Nathan Billow / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte Colorado (Photo credit: Nathan Billow / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
The beautiful historical town of Crested Butte
The beautiful historical town of Crested Butte
Mt Crested Butte Village (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Mt Crested Butte Village (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Mt Crested Butte Lodging (Photo credit: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Mt Crested Butte Lodging (Photo credit: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte Powder (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte Powder (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
The town of Crested Butte is a lovely place to hang-out
The town of Crested Butte is a lovely place to hang-out
There is a shuttle bus from the town of Crested Butte to the ski area
There is a shuttle bus from the town of Crested Butte to the ski area
Crested Butte has some lovely cozy cafes
Crested Butte has some lovely cozy cafes
Smashing the POW @ Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Smashing the POW @ Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
The resort village has a nice friendly vibe
The resort village has a nice friendly vibe
Crested Butte Colorado packs a lot of terrain for a relatively small ski area
Crested Butte Colorado packs a lot of terrain for a relatively small ski area
There are plenty of nice shops in Crested Butte Colorado
There are plenty of nice shops in Crested Butte Colorado
Crested Butte Ski Resort is great for families (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte Ski Resort is great for families (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte downtown main street (Photo: Jessie Van der Linden / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte downtown main street (Photo: Jessie Van der Linden / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Uleys dining at Crested Butte (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Uleys dining at Crested Butte (Photo credit: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte ski terrain (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte ski terrain (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Aerial shot of Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Aerial shot of Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte sunshine & powder (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte sunshine & powder (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte family friendly (Photo: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte family friendly (Photo: Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Steep & deep @ Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Steep & deep @ Crested Butte (Photo: Dave Kozlowski / Crested Butte Mountain Resort)

Crested Butte Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Crested Butte

Crested Butte4/512
Crested Butte4 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
    92%
  • Would Revisit
    92%

Crested Butte Ski Resort

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. The Crested Butte Ski Resort is well known for the extreme ski and snowboard terrain, the extreme friendliness, and the extremely laid back culture.

Crested Butte Colorado is pretty close to Aspen 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 vibrant wooden facades of the 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.

Pros & Cons of Crested Butte Colorado

Pros 
  • The town of Crested Butte is a genuine and charming mountain town that’s not pretentious. We rate it as the #1 Colorado ski town (see the best ski resorts in Colorado awards).
  • CB has some very impressive expert and extreme terrain in-bounds.
  • The Crested Butte Ski Resort is quite family friendly.
  • Crested Butte, CO, offers a good range of winter activities and fabulous cross country skiing.
Cons
  • Crested Butte Ski Resort doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of terrain for advanced riders.
  • Snow volumes are below average for a Colorado ski resort and the seasons are rather inconsistent.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The steeps are phenomenal. The only downside is that the snow can be hit or miss and a lot of cover is required to tackle the steeps.
  • Crested Butte Ski Resort has been fully Epicized which results in a great value season pass, but it’s brought significantly more people to the resort and prices for food and other supporting services have risen.
  • It’s not as close to Denver as the I70 resorts, so it takes a little more effort to get there, but at least with the absence of day trippers there’s less traffic on the roads and the slopes.

Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The size of the skiable area at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is 1,547 acres. This is below average for a Colorado ski resort, and if the extreme zone is closed due to a lack of snow or avalanche risk, it shrinks the ski area by a third. The vertical drop is 2,775 feet, or when you include the hike-to-terrain it extends to 3,062 feet.

The terrain statistics are 18% beginner, 29% intermediate, 21% advanced & 32% expert, which accurately depicts that Crested Butte’s signature terrain is its double black diamond slopes.

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 has hosted various extreme freeskiing championships.

Crested Butte Snow

The only potential limitation of this expert terrain is that it needs decent snow cover. Crested Butte ski resort receives 234 inches (5.9 metres) of snow on average per season, and sometimes the snow cover 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 Colorado?

Crested Butte ski resort is located in the Colorado Rockies Elk Mountain Range. The historic town of Crested Butte 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.

Mt Crested Butte Accommodations Listings

Lodging in town includes hotels, lodges, and B&Bs. Whilst not as convenient to the slopes, some skiers and snowboarders choose to stay in town because it’s more economical, they enjoy the vibe of the town, and there is more nightlife.

Crested Butte Accommodations Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

Crested Butte Ski 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 powder hounds. 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 powder hounds 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 50km of groomed trails, or snowmobiling, horse riding, snowshoeing, and ice skating.
Tours In/Near Crested Butte

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

SW Colorado Powder Tour
GUIDED PROGRESSION SAFARI
11 Nights | 9 Days Skiing | 5 Resorts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Get off the beaten path in South West Colorado away from the crowds where you can have the powder all to yourself. Resorts visited include Telluride, Purgatory, Crested Butte, Silverton & Monarch Mountain.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,798
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Crested Butte here
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