Crested Butte

Closed
Crested butte
Heather Burke
SnowPak Local Insider
Heather Burke

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Overall

5

Crested Butte, located in Colorado's south western Rocky Mountains, offers up a real cowboy town and some kick butt terrain - in fact, CB has hosted the annual Extreme Skiing World Championships for 22 years, but there is also lots of cruisers and modern lifts for families at the Butte too.

17/18 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!
Airplane

FLY TO

Denver International Airport

Car

DRIVE/SHUTTLE TO

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

Find accommodations around here

Crested Butte (2-3 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

Gunnison (27-30 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

Almont (17-20 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

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.

Families

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 vs
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
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall136″ 179″

Crested Butte Reviews

Fabulous

4.5 / 5

based on 39 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

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

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

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

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

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

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Have your say on Crested Butte
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Nov 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 / 5

Oct 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 / 5

Oct 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 / 5

Oct 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 / 5

Oct 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 / 5

Nov 11, 2013
KKim
Ski-in Ski-out resort at the base of the mountain is just wonderful (Crested Mountain)
Superb!

5 / 5

Sep 19, 2013
GGeorge
Stayed at another property right at the bottom of the ski slopes. Could watch the skiers from the hot tub.
Superb!

5 / 5

Apr 21, 2013
LLesia
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.
Superb!

5 / 5

Apr 15, 2013
CCurt
I never had a bad stay at Crested Butte. I wish I could afford to fly every year. Long drive from Clebune Texas. I know the mountain without a map. I hope to bring my extended family soon. Its just hard planning a trip for 20 people and all thoses schedules to work around.
Superb!

5 / 5

Jan 17, 2013
LLynne
I've never been there when the snow conditions were less than great - even when the locals are complaining!
Other ski resorts in

Colorado

Arapahoe Basin
10% 30% 60%
Aspen Highlands
0% 23% 77%
Aspen Mountain
0% 48% 52%
Beaver Creek
19% 42% 39%
Breckenridge
11% 31% 58%
Buttermilk
35% 39% 26%
Copper Mountain
21% 25% 54%
Crested Butte
26% 57% 17%
Echo Mountain
10% 75% 15%
Eldora
18% 43% 39%
Keystone
14% 29% 57%
Loveland
13% 41% 46%
Monarch Mountain
23% 28% 49%
Powderhorn
20% 50% 30%
Purgatory
20% 45% 35%
Snowmass
10% 43% 47%
Steamboat
14% 42% 44%
Telluride
14% 29% 57%
Vail
18% 29% 53%
Winter Park Resort
24% 37% 39%
Wolf Creek
20% 35% 45%