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


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
Superb!5 / 5Apr 15, 2013
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 / 5Jan 17, 2013
I've never been there when the snow conditions were less than great - even when the locals are complaining!
Very Good!4 / 5Nov 22, 2012
we have gone to cb on spring brak for over 8 years it
Superb!5 / 5Sep 14, 2012
My family has been going to Crested Butte for 7 years and like the small resort atmosphere, the people, everything. We also like the fact that it is not as
Superb!5 / 5Jul 05, 2012
This is a voice from the past, as when I stayed at the Forest Inn in 1979, the price for bed [in couble decker bunks in bunkroom] plus excellent breakfast was $10 a night. I know I'll never find that bargain again! But I am still happy with simpler, close to the slopes accoommodations.
Very Good!4 / 5May 03, 2012
please have more early booking specials...we would travel the 11 hours..if there were more incentives
Very Good!4 / 5Apr 25, 2011
Crested Butte has the perfect balance between challenging terrain, convenient lodging and great night life. This is a great destination for skiers with different abilities and even for groups with non-skiers. The night life is much more authentic than larger resorts.
Superb!5 / 5Apr 17, 2011
It's a resort that's for skiers and not for people wanting to see the rich and famous. The trails and ski conditions are the best in Colorado
Superb!5 / 5Sep 20, 2010
Crested Butte probably doesn't have quite as much snow as Telluride, but it's a little closer to where we live in Fort Collins. Luckily we visited it after a 3 foot snow fall, so skiing was terrific. We stayed at a small, reasonably priced lodge with special lift prices and measl. And speaking of meals, Crested Butte definitely had a LOT of... More
Superb!5 / 5Aug 04, 2010
it is small enough that the kids can get around by themselves, but big enough to have great skiing (and boarding for them) feels very family safe there

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