There is no doubt that Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte are the places to be when it comes to hitting the slopes. Residents and visitors alike can access extensive Alpine and Nordic skiing trails, backcountry skiing, extreme ski terrain, hockey, ice skating, snowboarding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, to name a few of the winter sports to be enjoyed. But the area is also a great destination in the summertime, drawing in people from all over to fish the region’s more than 3,900 miles of streams and lakes and take advantage of great opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, boating, canoeing and rafting. There are also opportunities to participate in widely popular hockey and softball leagues, as well as competitions and events such as the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, Fat Tire Bike Week, the annual Slush Huck and much more.
This breathtaking mountain region is complete with a number of national forests and parks, which beckon people to enjoy the serene environment of Southwest Colorado. Notable are the Gunnison National Forest, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Hartman Rocks Recreation Area and the Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest body of water in the state. These gorgeous surroundings can be experienced by taking a scenic drive along U.S. Highway 50, Colorado Highway 149, Colorado Highway 92 and the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway.
Golfers also travel to the Crested Butte area to take advantage of the local courses. The Club at Crested Butte is a splendid Robert Trent Jones-designed course that has been recognized as one of the country’s top golf courses and was rated the “Best Mountain Golf Course” in the state by Mountain Golf Magazine. The 18-hole championship course stretches over 7,200 yards of play. Golfers can also visit the nearby Dos Rios Golf Club in Gunnison, feature a challenging 18-hole, 6,566-yard course.
For those in need of some retail therapy, historic Downtown Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte’s charming slope-side stores welcome shoppers to browse through a selection of unique items. Shoppers can enjoy the mountain backdrop while perusing the storefronts of quaint antique shops, art galleries, clothing stores, jewelers, home stores, sporting goods shops and many other boutiques.
In between the various retailers are a number of local eateries, featuring a dining selection that is just as diverse as the options for shopping. Charming coffeehouses and cafés are fused with family-friendly restaurants, fine dining establishments, local dives and popular watering holes serving up the best in foods, spirits and customer service.
The selection is impressive and has been noted by Michael Carlton of the Denver Post, who wrote, “Crested Butte has more fine restaurants per capita than any other town in the U.S.”
GETTING HERE, GETTING AROUND
Crested Butte is easily accessible through several modes of transportation. Drivers traveling from Denver will reach the town in approximately four hours via U.S. 285 South.
The town is just 28 miles from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, which offers daily connections on United Airlines via Denver International Airport and winter flights on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
The Mountain Express service is available to provide convenient, year-round, free transportation between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. There is also a free bus to Gunnison and bus service to Denver. Locals and visitors alike are regularly seen traveling the streets of Crested Butte on colorful vintage townie bicycles. Most locals own a townie or two, and there are rental shops for guests.