Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Crested Butte

Crested Butte is a year-round Colorado vacation destination. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, you’ll find cool places to go and exciting things to do on your Colorado trip. If you plan to visit you might have some questions. What kid-friendly activities are available? What is Crested Butte like? What are summer and winter activities in Crested Butte? We have answers to your most frequently asked questions! Keep reading to learn more about visiting Crested Butte.

a snowy mountain peak with a sunset

What is Crested Butte like?

Crested Butte is a mining town turned quirky mountain town. Many of the colorful buildings downtown are original. You won’t find many chains here. Most events also double as costume parties. The Gunnison Valley has over 2 million acres of public lands and many of them can be accessed from Crested Butte. The town is nestled among high mountain peaks; there’s not a bad view to be had.


What can you do in Crested Butte?

Most people’s favorite thing to do in Crested Butte is enjoy the outdoors. Depending on the season, you can mountain bike, hike, Nordic ski, fat bike, downhill ski, snowshoe, gravel bike, e-bike and more. You can also visit art galleries and take classes at the arts center, see live music, visit museums to learn about the area, shop and eat.


What is winter like in Crested Butte?

Mt. Crested Butte is three miles up the road from Crested Butte and is home to the steep skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR). The Crested Butte Nordic Center grooms a network of 50 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing. Some of them can also be fat biked and snowshoed. There are many ungroomed trails available for cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing in Crested Butte as well. There is also backcountry skiing in Crested Butte. If you plan to travel in avalanche terrain, please make sure you possess the necessary skills, knowledge and equipment to stay safe. If you’re looking for a chill day in town, check out winter town activities in Crested Butte. You can also find a winter event to attend.

A mountain biker rides on a trail through purple flowers with mountain peaks in the background

What is summer like in Crested Butte?

Crested Butte is the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” Every summer the wildflowers in Crested Butte bloom in great abundance. Hiking and mountain biking allow you to get up close to the wildflowers (please don’t pick them!). Summer is usually mild with warm temperatures during the day that cool off at night. You can also ride horses, OHV, e-bike and gravel bike on many trails. Due to its remote location and dark skies, the stargazing in Crested Butte is usually spectacular. Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers lift-serviced mountain biking in the summer. On the 4th of July, Elk Avenue shuts down for a parade, and there are fireworks after dark. You can also attend outdoor concerts in town and at the base area of CBMR, along with other summer events. Summer also brings monsoon season. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoon, often followed by vibrant rainbows.


What are kid-friendly activities in Crested Butte?

Families with kids can enjoy easy trails, camps and activities with the children’s museum, live music, and more. Trails for beginners and kids include Lower Loop, Three Lakes Loop and Judd Falls. You could also ride the Silver Queen chairlift at Crested Butte Mountain Resort to see the view from the top of Crested Butte Mountain without having to hike. If you have kiddos learning to ski you can enroll them in the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School.

Purple wildflowers along a trail with mountain peaks in the background

What are dog-friendly activities in Crested Butte?

The Gunnison Valley is full of pups and people who love pups. Most trails are dog-friendly. Some hotels and vacation rentals and restaurant patios also allow dogs. Please make sure any place you plan to bring your pup is dog-friendly ahead of time.


Where can I stay in Crested Butte?

Lodging in Crested Butte includes boutique inns, hotels and vacation home rentals. Mt. Crested Butte is three miles up the road from Crested Butte. Mt. Crested Butte is home to Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Mt. Crested Butte has more vacation home rentals, condos and large resort lodging options.


Where can I eat and shop in Crested Butte?

Elk Avenue in Crested Butte is the main drag in town. Most restaurants and shops are here. Those looking for a meal in Crested Butte can find pizza, sushi, burritos, American fare and even fried chicken among a variety of options. The shops in Crested Butte carry outdoor gear, local art, housewares, clothing, books and more.

a person skis down a steep chute with snowy peaks in the background

What is skiing like in Crested Butte?

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is known for steep and extreme skiing. 36.6% of the terrain at Crested Butte is rated expert. There is terrain for skiers of all abilities though: 14% of the runs are beginner, 24.6% intermediate and 24.8% advanced. Expert skiers will find many double-black runs to challenge themselves on. Intermediate skiers have many blue runs to make turns on as well. Some have moguls, some are groomed and some remain ungroomed, giving skiers lots of options. Brand new skiers can take lessons with the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School.


What is biking like in Crested Butte?

The Gunnison Valley has over 800 miles of singletrack. Most Crested Butte trails are high alpine, often going through alpine meadows full of wildflowers and stands of aspens that turn gold in the fall. Some of the hundreds of miles of mountain biking trails in Crested Butte can be reached right from town. Other trails can be reached via Gunnison National Forest roads. Some include Cement Creek Road, Slate River Road, Gothic Road and Washington Gulch Road. There are trails to ride for mountain bikers of varying skill levels. Check out these little-known advanced trails.

A vista of mountain peaks, trees and meadows with a biker on a trail

Are there guide services in Crested Butte?

There are guides for fishing, rock climbing, ice fishing, hunting, mountain biking, rafting and backcountry skiing. Guides will teach you, provide most of the gear and help keep you safe on your activity. Guides are ideal for beginners, those who don’t want to pack and travel with their own gear or anyone looking for an easy day where everything is taken care of.


How do I get to Crested Butte and Gunnison?

The easiest way to get to Gunnison and Crested Butte is flying. Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is in Gunnison 30 miles from Crested Butte. The airport has recently been remodeled. Along with being constructed to improve the traveler’s experience, its art and designs embody the area. If you’re worried about not having a car there a few car rental companies at the airport. You can also hire a shuttle to take you to your hotel or vacation rental. There is a free bus system that runs from Gunnison to Mt. Crested Butte. There is also a town shuttle in Crested Butte. Both make a stop at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. You can also drive to Gunnison Valley. To get to Crested Butte from Denver you can avoid I-70. Take U.S. Highway 285 S to State Highway 306 and then County Road 209 to County Road 742 and finally State Highway 135 N. Another option for avoiding I-70 is I-25 S to State Highway 115 S to U.S. Highway 50 W to State Highway 135 N.


Where can I find the Crested Butte visitor center?

Crested Butte’s visitor center is at 601 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224. The visitor center can help you find things to do and provide travel resources and information about the area.


Planning Your Trip to Crested Butte and Gunnison

Now that you know more about visiting Crested Butte, start planning your trip! Book flights for getting here, check weather conditions, find events to attend, consider things to do and find a place to stay with the direct booking tool on our website. Filter hotels and vacation rentals by amenities, location, price, number in your group and more.

"*" indicates required fields

Sign Up To Receive Our Emails

Want to stay connected with Gunnison Crested Butte? Our free newsletters keep you in the know about everything Gunnison Valley.

General Newsletter
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Site developed by Agency Tourism Marketing