Crested Butte, Colorado

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Crested Butte, Colorado often referred to as ‘The Last Great Ski Town’ is a wonderful, small mountain town tucked away in the Elk Mountains. The downtown area, ‘Elk Ave’ showcases a nice selection of bars, restaurants and gift shops that accommodate visitors and locals alike. The funky, bright colored shops that line the streets of Crested Butte give the town it’s own unique and laid back vibe with no traffic lights or chain restaurants. No need to worry about driving since the free local bus system makes stops throughout the town, at the resort and in outlying areas. I recently visited this hidden gem of a town and below I will to share some highlights of my trip, and my impressions of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

Downtown Crested Butte

Downtown Crested Butte
Downtown Crested Butte

Surrounded by beautiful peaks and breathtaking valleys, Crested Butte is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town has only 1,654 residents which adds to Crested Buttes’ Charm and pleasant atmosphere. Due to Crested Buttes altitude (8,885 ft), the town is known to be very cold; however, on this trip, it was quite warm for Colorado standards. The downtown area is filled with a variety of restaurants offering everything from pizza to upscale fine dining. One of my favorite spots was the Secret Stash, known for their unique and creative pizzas. The place was much larger than I anticipated, we had no problem getting a table without a reservation and the pizza was delicious. I also recommend checking out Talk of The Town bar where you can mingle with locals, or the Montanya Distillery for amazing cocktails.

Secret Stash
Secret Stash Pizzeria — Photo: Travis Furnari

One of the things that makes Crested Butte stand out is the genuine hospitality of its residents. The locals of Crested Butte are super friendly and you’ll often find them striking up conversations with visitors, and sharing stories and recommendations about the area. In the summer, Crested Buttes’ landscape produces an abundance of wildflowers, thus their summer title — “The Wildflower Capital of Colorado”. Of course, we had to find an upscale place to eat on our final night in the Butte and it was highly recommended we check out the ‘Wooden Nickel. The restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere and elevated comfort food. The prices were ‘reasonable’ and the ribeye was out of this world.

Wooden Nickel
Wooden Nickel ribeye and Cobb salad. Photo: Travis Furnari

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

As a lifelong skier and boarder, I couldn’t wait to hit the slopes at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. With 1,547 acres of skiable terrain and 121 trails, there’s plenty of variety for skiers of all abilities. Crested Butte Mountain Resort has some of the most insane inbounds terrain in the country. I was impressed with how steep and technical some of the runs are. The Peak trail will defiantly challenge any advanced skier and if you feel up to it, give Rambo a look (steepest trail in the lower 48).

I was also surprised at the number of green and blue runs the resort offered. For those of you who are thinking about a family ski vacation with the little ones, I highly recommend the terrain off of the Prospect and Golden Link lifts. The runs are short but gently sloped and the skier traffic is light. The Umbrella bar sits in-between the two lifts and this circular bar features a large umbrella-shaped roof, making it the perfect spot to soak in the sun while enjoying a cold beer or hot cocoa. The Butte 66 Road House and Grille is another popular hangout spot at the base of the resort which offers typical pub food and an extensive drink menu. Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers diverse terrain and a family-friendly atmosphere making it truly a one of a kind experience.

Mach 1 Trail
Mach 1 Trail

Final Thoughts

The town of Crested Butte is truly a hidden gem and one of the unique aspects of this mountain community is its remote location, which adds to the towns laid back atmosphere. It also doesn’t draw the crowds Vail or Telluride is known for and, in my option, that’s what makes this ski resort special. Downtown Crested Butte offers vibrant nightlife and the unique architecture, bars, restaurants and quaint shops showcase the towns creativity. If you’re looking for a unique and authentic vacation destination that offers a true escape from the ordinary, take a hard look at Crested Butte, Colorado.

Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.

Travis is a Senior Editor at Miles Junkie. An avid outdoorsman, you'll see him shredding the slopes of Colorado in the winter and cutting rounds to heat his home in the national forests during the summer. He lives with his wife and three dogs in southwest Colorado.

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