Crested Butte

Heather Burke
SnowPak Local Insider
Heather Burke
  • Exceptional in-bounds skiing for experts
  • Remote location keep crowds to a minimum
  • Avoids the notorious traffic of the I-70
  • Charming town and local mountain feel
  • Ample accommodation options
  • Far from Denver (4 hours drive)
  • Resort gets less snow than other Colorado resorts, steep expert slopes can take a while to open
  • Limited nightlife
  • Small size, skiable terrain might feel limited for non-experts

Crested Butte Ski Packages

Lodging + Lift Tickets Discount Price
The Inn at Crested Butte
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
49% off $424
Lichenhearth, A Destination Residence
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
30% off $2,062
The Stonebridge Inn, A Destination Hotel
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
27% off $2,880

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Unlike the some of the more corporate ski resorts in Colorado, Crested Butte offers up a local mountain atmosphere and some gnarly terrain to go with it. That's not to say there's nothing here for beginners and intermediates; the wide long greens and fast blues here are sure to please as well. Located in the southwestern Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte is a far 4-hour drive from Denver although this keeps crowds to a minimum.

16/17 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

January to Early March

The best months to visit are January to Early March. During January, Crested Butte peaks with snowfall and conditions are still good even if it hasn’t snowed for a couple days. Near the start of March, however, you are more likely to catch a bluebird day just before Spring Break crowds come in!


Denver International Airport


Crested Butte (4.5 hours)

Base of Crested Butte (Walk)

  • Ski-in/ski-out lodging available
  • Wide range of affordable to luxury accommodation
  • Great package deals available

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Crested Butte (2-3 mi)

  • Town - 10 minutes drive from resort
  • Large range of dining and shopping options
  • Cheaper accommodation than base

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Gunnison (27-30 mi)

  • Town - 40 minute drive from resort
  • Cheaper lodging than the resort and Crested Butte
  • Variety of dining options

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Almont (17-20 mi)

  • Small historic town
  • Slightly closer to the resort than Gunnison
  • Limited range of accommodation

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For beginners

Despite being well known for its expert terrain, Crested Butte serves up a number of wide long beginner trails off the top of Red Lady Express Lift! With mostly green runs here beginners can ski from the top to the base without having to worry about more experienced skiers speeding past. Our favorite long runs Houston or Lower Keystone to Warming House Hill!

For intermediates

Crested Butte serves up long and fast blue runs, some of which might be considered more like a black at other resorts. There are a handful of scenic blues at the top of the Gold Link Lift and Paradise Express Lift but Paradise Bowl is our ultimate favorite. It has a variety of terrain from groomed GS type turns to moguls! Step it up on the steeper Upper Forest Queen!

For experts

With 542 ac of terrain rated as double black diamonds and a minimum pitch of 50 degrees, Crested Butte is an expert's dream. If you've seen Warren Miller's films, you can expect to see the same type of extreme terrain here at the top of North Face and The High T-Bars like Teocalli Bowl and Headwall. Otherwise, International and its surrounding runs are fast advanced trails!

Find freshies

Given Crested Butte's remote location and uncrowdedness, fresh snow doesn't get tracked out quickly! The runs off the North Face lift are quite difficult so not many skiers go here which means the snow lingers for longer! The runs off the East River Express is also an unsuspecting area that gets overlooked for freshies since it's not high up the mountain.

Ditch the crowds

Crested Butte is generally uncrowded though the Paradise Express lift can get quite busy as it's one of the main lifts that give access to the most popular intermediate and expert terrain. Hop on just before lunch hour to dodge the queues! Alternatively, ski quieter terrain off the Gold Link lift, the East River Express lift, and Prospect lift.

Non skiers

Crested Butte offers a range of fun things to do for non-skiers including flyfishing, dogsledding and horseback rides! Best of all Crested Butte is home to some of the most scenic fat-biking and snowshoeing trails! Crested Butte also has its own little winter adventure park with miniature golf and bungee trampolines.


Crested Butte is great for families with fantastic slopes and everything they need at the base. Beginner-level families have the entire lower mountain around Red Lady Express Lift all to themselves and its close proximity to the base makes it easy to take a break and warm up in the lodge.

Crested Butte

Crested ButteArapahoe Basin
beginner26 %10 %
intermediate57 %30 %
advanced14 %37 %
expert3 %23 %
total runs121 109
ski area1,547ac 960ac
summit elevation12,162ft 13,050ft
total lifts11 8
child lift ticketFree Free
adult lift ticket$120 $100
back country
value for money
average total snowfall136″ 180″

Save up to 37% when you book a Crested Butte package!

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Crested Butte Reviews

Fabulous 4.5 / 5
based on 47 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsColin C.
expert skier
One of the best destinations in the US. Great funky town with a wild nightlife, steep challenging terrain that is unrivaled in colorado, and enough groomer to make your wife and kids happy.... More
Superb!4.6 / 5Jul 01, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsChris M.
intermediate skier
Crested butte has always been a family atmosphere, good folks, clean lodging & great skiing. I hope the new owners coming in will treat it the same way & not as a corporate ski town. Take care of Crested Butte so all us family will return for future trips. Coming soon to Crested Butte for the 2018-2019 season, it can’t get here soon enough!... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsJustin S.
advanced skier
Created Butte is an absolute dream. It’s not the largest mountain in Colorado, but the terrain is diverse and challenging, and more than enough for a solid week of skiing. The powder is more than reliable, and you rarely have to fight any crowds. Not only is the skiing fantastic, but the town is far and away my favorite ski town. It provides a... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsRyder M.
intermediate snowboarder
When it comes to awesome skiing/snowboarding,friendly people, amazing food and ambiance there’s nothing else like crested butte. Things tons of outdoor things to do here for everyone in the family. Beautiful sights to see and beautiful people to meet. Crested butte is hands down a #1 choice for a family vacation destination.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsRyder M.
intermediate snowboarder
I’ve skied crested butte for years from learning how to advancing up to back country terrain, crested butte has something to offer for every experience level. A huge mountain to explor and tons of snow! Come to crested butte for a family friendly skiing/snoawboarding experience! Top notch dining in town and fantastic ambiance.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsRyder M.
intermediate snowboarder
Crested butte is rated the second most extreme mountain to ski in the northern hemisphere. So for the die hards, this is the town to be in. Even though you can access cliffs and shoots, there are slopes for every level of skiing/riding. There’s a bus from that runs from town to the mountain every 15 mins so no need to drive in the snow. The food... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Feb 18, 2019
Crested Butte ReviewsRobert B.
advanced skier
I have been taking my family and friends for the last 30 years and we love it! I ski all over the west and Crested Butte is my favorite. I highly recommend!... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Feb 18, 2019
DADavid A.
advanced skier
Best Thanksgiving opening in the 15 years I’ve been coming to Crested Butte! Usually just man made type skiing this early in the season, but the snow gods have blessed the Butte! Not only the front of the mountain, but the Paradise lift and bowl open were open. It was like I was skiing at Christmas. I love the short lift lines,even on a holiday... More
Superb!4.5 / 5Nov 24, 2017
DJDaniel J.
expert snowboarder
Crested Butte is the place to go if you're looking for the full Colorado mountain town experience. It has it all. Awesome views, killer food and bars, and really for what you get the prices on just about everything can't be beat. Look for the ski and on mountain lodging deals, so affordable. If you're looking for a challenge get to the top of the... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Nov 23, 2017
NFNate F.
expert skier
Created Bitte was as good as I could have hoped for. The snow was amazing from the day we arrived to the day we left. Powder, powder, powder was the name of the game and when the powder was gone the terrain offered plenty of interesting options to explore and enjoy. I would say Colorado over a Utah any day! Get out here and enjoy. ... More

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