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

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Family Friendliness
Superb!5 / 5Jun 02, 2010
It is absolutely beautiful, the snow is wonderful, and it has something for everyone.
Superb!5 / 5Apr 24, 2010
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.
Very Good!4 / 5Oct 23, 2009
I loved CB b/c the lift was not too crowded so the lines were not too long and the skiing condition was wonderful!
Superb!5 / 5Jun 15, 2009
Ski resort has all types of skill levels and mountain is most beautiful of all
Superb!5 / 5Aug 19, 2008
Its just really beautiful. This was our first time skiing and it was a great experience.
Very Good!4 / 5Apr 08, 2008
Just a fantastic spot; loved the on-mountain dining choices. Big mountain skiing with a small mountain feel.
Very Good!4 / 5Feb 28, 2008
This place affords our family a condo situation, Eagle Ridge, and so for many years that was the place to be. altho compact it offers tremendous opportunity to families, young people and older as well. From dining, to georgeous air ballooning excursions, Crested butte offers something for everyone.
Superb!5 / 5Nov 13, 2006
It is where skiers go to ski, not to walk around in furs and be seen.
Very Good!4 / 5Aug 02, 2006
Loved the ski in and ski out lodging. The local atmosphere was extremely nice.
Superb!5 / 5Apr 09, 2005
When in Crested Butte I had the best time ever. The snow was perfect, not ice or man made like at many other resorts. It snowed every day so it was always fresh powder.

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