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

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.

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
Very Good!

4 / 5

Nov 22, 2012
SStev
we have gone to cb on spring brak for over 8 years now.........love it
Superb!

5 / 5

Sep 14, 2012
TTerri
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 / 5

Jul 05, 2012
RRobert
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 / 5

May 03, 2012
PPatricia
please have more early booking specials...we would travel the 11 hours..if there were more incentives
Very Good!

4 / 5

Apr 25, 2011
SSteve
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 / 5

Apr 17, 2011
RRick
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 / 5

Sep 20, 2010
MMartha
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 / 5

Aug 04, 2010
SSandy
it is small enough that the kids can get around by themselves, but big enough to have great skiing (and boarding for them)..it feels very family safe there
Superb!

5 / 5

Jun 02, 2010
RRyan
It is absolutely beautiful, the snow is wonderful, and it has something for everyone.
Superb!

5 / 5

Apr 24, 2010
RRyan
Everyone at CB is very hospitable and courteous, the skiing is excellent, more of an advanced mountain, and everything is easily accessible from wherever you stay.
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
5% 48% 47%
Steamboat
14% 42% 44%
Telluride
23% 36% 41%
Vail
18% 29% 53%
Winter Park Resort
24% 37% 39%
Wolf Creek
20% 35% 45%