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Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Where Is Crested Butte Ski Resort


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Katharyn Koo



Welcome to Crested Butte Ski Resort, a winter wonderland nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With its breathtaking natural beauty and world-class skiing opportunities, Crested Butte has become a sought-after destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.


Located in Colorado, United States, Crested Butte Ski Resort offers a unique and unforgettable experience for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. With its pristine slopes, abundant powder, and picturesque surroundings, it’s no wonder why Crested Butte is often referred to as the “Last Great Ski Town.”


Whether you’re a beginner looking to take your first turns on the mountain or an expert seeking a challenge, Crested Butte has something for everyone. The resort features over 1,500 acres of skiable terrain, including groomed runs, steep chutes, and backcountry trails. With an average annual snowfall of 300 inches, you’ll never be short on fresh powder to carve through.


But Crested Butte is not just about skiing and snowboarding. The resort offers a wide range of winter activities to cater to all interests. From snowshoeing and ice skating to snowmobiling and sleigh rides, there is plenty to do off the slopes.


When you’re not enjoying the exhilarating winter sports, take time to appreciate the stunning beauty of Crested Butte and its surroundings. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks, explore the pristine forests, or simply breathe in the crisp mountain air.


Furthermore, Crested Butte is not just a winter destination. During the warmer months, the resort transforms into a hub for outdoor recreation. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and rafting, there are endless opportunities to explore the natural wonders of this stunning region.


So whether you’re a seasoned skier, an adventure enthusiast, or simply someone looking to escape into nature, Crested Butte Ski Resort is the perfect destination to experience the best of what the Rocky Mountains have to offer.


Location of Crested Butte Ski Resort

Crested Butte Ski Resort is located in Gunnison County, Colorado, approximately 30 miles north of the town of Gunnison. It is tucked away in the scenic Elk Mountains, surrounded by towering peaks and pristine wilderness.


Getting to Crested Butte Ski Resort is a part of the adventure itself. The nearest major airport is Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, just a short 30-minute drive away. Several airlines offer direct flights from major cities such as Denver, Dallas, and Houston. From the airport, you can easily arrange ground transportation to the resort.


If you prefer to drive, Crested Butte is accessible via well-maintained roads. From Denver, it’s about a 4.5-hour drive southwest on Highway 285 and then west on Highway 50. The scenic drive offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding landscapes.


Once you arrive at the resort, you’ll find that Crested Butte Ski Resort itself is divided into two main areas: Mount Crested Butte and the town of Crested Butte. Mount Crested Butte is where the base area and most of the accommodations are located, while the town of Crested Butte is a charming, historic community with a vibrant downtown area.


From Mount Crested Butte, you can easily access the ski slopes via the Silver Queen Express Lift. The resort offers a variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders, including beginner-friendly runs and challenging expert terrain.


One of the unique aspects of Crested Butte Ski Resort is its remote location, which adds to its charm and seclusion. Surrounded by national forests and wilderness areas, the resort offers a true escape into nature.


While Crested Butte may be a bit off the beaten path, it’s worth the journey. The stunning natural beauty, world-class skiing, and genuine mountain town atmosphere make Crested Butte Ski Resort a truly special destination for winter adventure seekers.


Getting to Crested Butte Ski Resort

Traveling to Crested Butte Ski Resort is an exciting endeavor, offering various transportation options to suit every traveler’s needs. Here are some ways to get to this winter paradise:

  • By Air: The nearest major airport to Crested Butte Ski Resort is Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC), located about 30 miles south of the resort. Several airlines offer direct flights to Gunnison-Crested Butte from major cities like Denver, Dallas, and Houston. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a shuttle, or arrange for private transportation to reach the resort.
  • By Car: If you prefer a road trip, driving to Crested Butte is a popular option. From Denver, it’s approximately a 4.5-hour drive. Take I-70 West to Exit 205, then head south on Highway 285. Continue through Poncha Springs and follow signs for Gunnison via Highway 50. Once in Gunnison, follow signs for Crested Butte. The scenic drive offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding landscapes.
  • By Shuttle: Another convenient option is taking a shuttle service from Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport or other nearby locations. Several shuttle companies offer door-to-door service, making it easy to reach the resort without the hassle of driving.
  • By Bus: If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, there are bus services available from Denver to Crested Butte. These services typically operate during the winter season and offer comfortable transportation with experienced drivers.

Once you arrive at Crested Butte Ski Resort, you’ll find that getting around is a breeze. The resort offers complimentary shuttle services between the base area, the town of Crested Butte, and various accommodations. Additionally, many accommodations are within walking distance of the ski lifts, allowing for easy access to the slopes.


It’s worth noting that Crested Butte is a destination where a car is not always necessary. The town of Crested Butte is a charming and walkable community, with shops, restaurants, and amenities all within proximity. If you plan on exploring the surrounding areas or making day trips, having a car can be beneficial, but it’s not essential for enjoying the resort itself.


Whether you choose to fly in, drive, or take a shuttle, the journey to Crested Butte Ski Resort is an adventure filled with anticipation. The transportation options available make it convenient for travelers of all preferences, allowing you to focus on the excitement of hitting the slopes and immersing yourself in the beauty of this Rocky Mountain gem.


Accommodation Options near Crested Butte Ski Resort

When it comes to accommodation near Crested Butte Ski Resort, you’ll find a variety of options to suit every preference and budget. Whether you’re looking for slope-side luxury or cozy mountain charm, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the accommodation options available:

  • Ski-in/Ski-out Resorts: For the ultimate convenience, consider staying in one of the ski-in/ski-out resorts located at the base of the mountain. These resorts offer direct access to the slopes, allowing you to easily hit the slopes right from your doorstep. Many of these resorts also feature luxurious amenities such as outdoor hot tubs, restaurants, and spa facilities.
  • Hotels and Lodges: There are several hotels and lodges in the Mount Crested Butte area and the town of Crested Butte that offer comfortable and convenient accommodations. Whether you prefer a full-service hotel with all the amenities or a cozy lodge with a rustic ambiance, you’ll find options to suit your needs. Some hotels and lodges even offer complimentary shuttle services to the ski resort.
  • Vacation Rentals: If you’re traveling with a group or looking for more space and privacy, vacation rentals can be an excellent option. There are numerous rental properties available in the area, ranging from spacious condos and townhouses to private mountain homes. Vacation rentals often come equipped with full kitchens, living areas, and amenities like hot tubs or fireplaces, making them a great choice for families or groups of friends.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: For a charming and personalized experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast in Crested Butte or the surrounding areas. These accommodations offer cozy rooms, delicious breakfasts, and the opportunity to connect with friendly hosts and fellow travelers. Bed and breakfasts are often located in historic buildings, adding a touch of character to your stay.
  • Hostels and Budget Accommodations: If you’re traveling on a budget or looking for a more social atmosphere, there are also hostels and budget accommodations available in the Crested Butte area. These options provide a cost-effective way to experience the mountain lifestyle and meet fellow travelers.

It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak ski season, to ensure availability and secure the best rates. Many accommodations offer ski packages that include lift tickets and other amenities, allowing you to enjoy a hassle-free vacation.


No matter where you choose to stay, the accommodations near Crested Butte Ski Resort provide a cozy and convenient home base for your winter adventure. From luxurious resorts to charming bed and breakfasts, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest and recharge after exhilarating days on the slopes.


Skiing and Snowboarding at Crested Butte Ski Resort

Crested Butte Ski Resort offers a world-class skiing and snowboarding experience that caters to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts. With over 1,500 acres of skiable terrain, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


One of the highlights of skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte is the incredible variety of terrain. The resort boasts everything from wide-open groomed runs to challenging steep chutes and thrilling backcountry trails. The mountain offers a vertical drop of 3,062 feet, ensuring plenty of exciting descents for adrenaline junkies.


For beginners or those looking to improve their skills, Crested Butte offers dedicated learning areas and gentle slopes. The resort’s ski and snowboard school provides lessons for all ages and abilities, ensuring that everyone can feel comfortable and confident on the mountain.


Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will find a wide range of options to explore. The resort has numerous blue runs that offer a perfect balance of challenge and enjoyment. Take a scenic cruise down trails like Paradise, Painter Boy, or Ruby Chief for breathtaking views and a fun-filled ride.


For the advanced and expert riders, Crested Butte truly shines. The resort is renowned for its challenging and diverse terrain. Thrill seekers can test their skills on steep couloirs, ungroomed powder fields, and expert-only runs. Crested Butte embraces the spirit of adventure, making it a favorite destination for those seeking a true mountain experience.


Aside from the outstanding terrain, Crested Butte offers exceptional snow quality. With an average annual snowfall of 300 inches, the resort enjoys a reputation for top-notch powder conditions. This makes for incredible off-piste skiing and snowboarding opportunities for those wanting to venture into the backcountry.


When you need a break from the slopes, take advantage of the resort’s other amenities. Relax and refuel at one of the on-mountain dining options, or enjoy a thrilling ride on the resort’s tubing hill. Families can also take advantage of the Kids’ Adventure Park, where children can engage in snow-based activities and fun-filled adventures.


Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert rider, Crested Butte Ski Resort offers an unforgettable skiing and snowboarding experience. With its diverse terrain, abundant snowfall, and an array of amenities, this ski resort is a must-visit destination for winter sports enthusiasts.


Other Activities and Attractions near Crested Butte Ski Resort

While skiing and snowboarding are the main draws of Crested Butte Ski Resort, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to explore during your visit. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, here are some of the highlights:

  • Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: If you’re looking for a different way to enjoy the winter wonderland, strap on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis. Crested Butte offers scenic trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding forests and meadows at a slower pace.
  • Snowmobiling: Get your adrenaline pumping by embarking on a snowmobile adventure. Explore the backcountry and take in breathtaking views as you zip through snowy landscapes. Guided tours are available for all experience levels, making it a thrilling activity for the whole family.
  • Sleigh Rides: Experience a touch of nostalgia with a peaceful sleigh ride through the snow-covered countryside. Snuggle up under warm blankets as you glide through the picturesque landscapes. These magical rides are perfect for couples or families looking for a relaxing and romantic outing.
  • Ice Skating: Lace up your skates and hit the ice at one of the area’s outdoor skating rinks. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, ice skating is a fun-filled activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. Don’t forget to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa afterwards.
  • Spa and Wellness: After a day on the slopes, indulge in some well-deserved relaxation and pampering. Take advantage of the resort’s spa facilities or visit one of the local spas in Crested Butte for a rejuvenating massage, facial, or other spa treatments.
  • Art and Culture: Explore the vibrant art scene and rich cultural heritage of Crested Butte. Browse the numerous art galleries showcasing local talent, or catch a live performance at the Center for the Arts. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the town’s unique mountain culture.
  • Winter Wildlife Viewing: Crested Butte is home to an array of wildlife, and winter provides a unique opportunity to spot them in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for elk, mule deer, bald eagles, and even moose as you explore the area’s trails and open spaces.
  • Scenic Drives: Take a break from the slopes and embark on a scenic drive through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Crested Butte. From the breathtaking Kebler Pass to the stunning views along the West Elk Loop, there are plenty of scenic routes to explore.

No matter what your interests may be, Crested Butte Ski Resort and its surrounding areas offer a diverse range of activities and attractions to keep you entertained off the slopes. Whether you prefer thrilling adventures or more relaxed pursuits, you’re sure to find something to complement your ski vacation.


Dining and Nightlife at Crested Butte Ski Resort

When it comes to dining and nightlife, Crested Butte Ski Resort offers a vibrant and diverse scene that will satisfy every palate and mood. From cozy mountain cafes to lively pubs and upscale dining establishments, there’s something for everyone to enjoy after a day on the slopes.


For a quick and casual meal, the resort offers a range of dining options. Grab a bite at one of the mountain’s cafeterias, where you’ll find a variety of delicious and convenient options such as burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and more. These casual dining spots are perfect for refueling and getting back on the slopes quickly.


If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Crested Butte has a selection of fine restaurants offering delectable cuisine. Indulge in a gourmet meal featuring locally sourced ingredients and inventive flavors. From steak and seafood to global cuisine, the resort’s fine dining establishments deliver a memorable culinary experience.


But dining is just the beginning of the evening entertainment at Crested Butte Ski Resort. As the sun dips below the peaks, the resort’s lively nightlife scene comes alive, offering a variety of options for post-ski socializing and relaxation.


After a day on the slopes, unwind with a refreshing beverage at one of the resort’s bars or pubs. Enjoy a locally brewed craft beer, sip on a specialty cocktail, or sample a fine selection of wines. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere of these establishments provides the perfect setting to swap stories about epic runs and plan for the next day’s adventures.


If you’re in the mood for some live music or entertainment, Crested Butte has you covered. Check out one of the local venues or bars hosting live performances by talented musicians and bands. From rock and folk to jazz and bluegrass, you’ll find a diverse range of genres to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene and let the melodies carry you into the night.


Crested Butte also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the winter season. From après-ski parties to themed nights and special events, there’s always something happening to keep you entertained. Check the resort’s event calendar for the latest information on upcoming festivities.


Whether you’re seeking a relaxed evening or a lively night out, Crested Butte Ski Resort has the dining and nightlife options to suit your style. From casual eats to sophisticated dining experiences, and from intimate pubs to energetic bars with live music, you’ll find the perfect venue to unwind and create lasting memories after your exhilarating day on the slopes.


Tips for Visiting Crested Butte Ski Resort

Planning a trip to Crested Butte Ski Resort? Here are some helpful tips to ensure you make the most of your visit:

  • Check the Weather: Before you hit the slopes, check the weather conditions and forecast. Dress appropriately in layers and be prepared for changing weather. Bring sunscreen and goggles to protect yourself from the sun’s rays and the glare of the snow.
  • Buy Lift Tickets in Advance: To save time and potentially get better deals, consider purchasing your lift tickets online in advance. This will allow you to skip the ticket lines and head straight to the lifts.
  • Take Advantage of Lessons: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier or snowboarder, taking lessons can help improve your skills and enhance your overall experience. The resort offers lessons for all ages and abilities, so consider booking a session with a qualified instructor.
  • Explore the Terrain: Crested Butte Ski Resort is known for its diverse terrain. Take the time to explore different areas of the mountain and search for your favorite runs. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and try new trails.
  • Visit During the Week: To avoid crowds, consider planning your visit to Crested Butte Ski Resort during the weekdays. Weekends and holidays tend to be busier, so if you prefer quieter slopes, opt for a weekday visit.
  • Try Other Winter Activities: While skiing and snowboarding may be the main focus, don’t miss out on the other winter activities available in the area. Explore snowshoeing trails, go ice skating, or embark on a sleigh ride to experience the full winter wonderland of Crested Butte.
  • Enjoy the Local Dining Scene: Crested Butte is home to a variety of fantastic restaurants and cafes. Take the time to explore the local dining scene and indulge in some culinary delights. Don’t forget to try some local specialties and support the local businesses.
  • Stay Hydrated: The high altitude can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and avoid altitude sickness. Consider carrying a water bottle with you or taking breaks to warm up and refuel at one of the on-mountain lodges.
  • Take Breaks and Rest: Skiing and snowboarding can be physically demanding. Take breaks and listen to your body. Pace yourself and rest when needed to avoid exhaustion and prevent injuries. Take advantage of the scenic mountain views and enjoy moments of tranquility amidst the exhilarating activities.
  • Respect the Mountain and Environment: Crested Butte is known for its pristine natural beauty. Respect the mountain environment by following the resort’s guidelines, staying on designated trails, and disposing of trash properly. Leave no trace and help preserve the beauty of Crested Butte for future generations.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to Crested Butte Ski Resort. Whether it’s your first time on the slopes or you’re a seasoned skier, this winter paradise has something for everyone to enjoy.



Crested Butte Ski Resort is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of breathtaking natural beauty, exhilarating outdoor adventures, and a vibrant mountain town atmosphere. Whether you’re a ski enthusiast, a lover of winter activities, or someone seeking a serene escape into nature, Crested Butte has something for everyone.


The resort’s vast and diverse terrain caters to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts, providing a memorable skiing and snowboarding experience. With its abundant snowfall, stunning views, and a variety of off-piste opportunities, Crested Butte truly lives up to its reputation as the “Last Great Ski Town.”


But Crested Butte is much more than just a ski resort. The surrounding areas offer a myriad of winter activities, ranging from snowshoeing and ice skating to snowmobiling and sleigh rides. There’s no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and create lasting memories.


When it comes to dining and nightlife, Crested Butte boasts a vibrant scene. From casual mountain cafes to fine dining establishments, and from cozy pubs to lively bars with live music, there are options for every taste and mood. Whether you’re savoring a gourmet meal or socializing with friends, the dining and nightlife options will add an extra layer of enjoyment to your experience.


To make the most of your visit, remember to plan ahead, check the weather, and take advantage of lessons and rentals. Explore the diverse terrain, try other winter activities, and immerse yourself in the local dining and cultural scenes. Respect the environment and take time to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, Crested Butte Ski Resort offers an idyllic winter escape. It’s a place where you can challenge yourself on the slopes, indulge in unforgettable experiences, and create cherished memories with family and friends.


So pack your skis, bundle up, and prepare for an unforgettable winter journey to Crested Butte. Discover the magic and charm of this hidden gem in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Crested Butte Ski Resort awaits, ready to fulfill your winter dreams and leave you with a lasting love for the mountains.