Crested Butte

Heather Burke
SnowPak Local Insider
Heather Burke

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  • 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


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How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Poor!1.3 / 5Nov 11, 2017
JGJay G.
advanced skier
Loved the laid back vibe, definitely one of my favorite mountains. First class skiing and even better festivities!! Can't wait to go back to the Dogwood for the best cocktails in CO!... More
Superb!4.5 / 5Nov 06, 2017
expert skier
Had a great time. The locals showed me some great spots of the upper toe. Super friendly people and an awesome town! Try the breakfast sandwich place on the way up.... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Nov 05, 2017
BTABryan Thomas A.
expert skier
I have a bias opinion, I lived there for 8 years, the only reason I moved was I had a really bad wreck on August 22,2016 where I almost died ... More
Superb!5 / 5Oct 30, 2017
JBJonathan B.
The resort and spa was a phenomenal places to stay at just seconds from the slopes. All the ski lift operators are so friendly and nice and helpful. There's a great variety of different levels of skiing and the ski cat are phenomenal
Average!3 / 5Oct 23, 2017
BABryan A.
I love this place, I used to live here, and skied all over, Jackson and Tahoe included. I love the real snow. Far better than the man made stuff on the east coast
Very Good!4 / 5Oct 16, 2017
JWJake W.
Reasonable prices, low crowds, and amazing terrain. It's about 4 hours from Denver but if you can make a weekend trip out of it, it's definitely worth it. CB doesn't have the big resort feel that other big Colorado resorts have and the terrain is world class.
Superb!5 / 5Oct 05, 2017
DEDaniel E.
Steep and fun, great vibe in town. Not a Vail/Aspen vibe a more low key Texas vibe. Ask the bartender at the Avalanche what's skiing there snarky fellow, knows his shit though. That's all that matters.
Superb!5 / 5Nov 11, 2013
Ski-in Ski-out resort at the base of the mountain is just wonderful (Crested Mountain)
Superb!5 / 5Sep 19, 2013
Stayed at another property right at the bottom of the ski slopes. Could watch the skiers from the hot tub.
Superb!5 / 5Apr 21, 2013
This is by far the prettiest ski area we have been to. The town is perfect,quaint,and packed with excellent dining. Not the easiest place to get to, so it is not as crowded. The drive from Colorado Springs was fun and scenic. It is the kids favorite ski resort,too.

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