- 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
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.
January to Early March
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
Crested Butte (2-3 mi)
- Town - 10 minutes drive from resort
- Large range of dining and shopping options
- Cheaper accommodation than base
Gunnison (27-30 mi)
- Town - 40 minute drive from resort
- Cheaper lodging than the resort and Crested Butte
- Variety of dining options
Almont (17-20 mi)
- Small historic town
- Slightly closer to the resort than Gunnison
- Limited range of accommodation
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!
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!
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!
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.
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||Arapahoe Basin|
|beginner||26 %||10 %|
|intermediate||57 %||30 %|
|advanced||14 %||37 %|
|expert||3 %||23 %|
|child lift ticket||Free||Free|
|adult lift ticket||$120||$100|
|value for money|
|average total snowfall||136″||179″|