Winter in the Gunnison Valley means skiing! For the alpine skier who craves adventure, the steep terrain at Crested Butte Mountain Resort delivers some of the best downhill skiing in Colorado. The Nordic skier who is looking for a true wilderness experience will find it in the dozens of miles of cross-country ski trails in the national forest surrounding Crested Butte and Gunnison.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is the only ski area in the Gunnison Valley. It is located in Mt. Crested Butte, just a few miles north of the town of Crested Butte. While CBMR is known for its extreme terrain, skiers and snowboarders of any ability level will find runs suited to their style and skills. The ski area holds 1,527 skiable acres and accumulates an average of 234” of snow each year. With a summit elevation of 12,162 feet and a base area elevation of 9,380, the resort is made accessible by 15 chairlifts serving 121 trails. It’s the kind of place you can ride all week and still find new areas to explore.
32% of the terrain at Crested Butte Mountain is classified as expert. This famous double-black terrain usually opens in January. Adventurous skiers and snowboarders will enjoy exploring the steep glades and rocky bowls on the southeast end of the resort. Most of the extreme terrain is accessible via the North Face lift and High lift, which are both T-bars. More of Crested Butte’s double-black runs are accessible on the front side of the resort off the Silver Queen lift.
In addition to skiing, you’ll find an assortment of restaurants, shopping and year-round recreation surrounding Crested Butte Mountain Resort. In the summer, drop in to the CBMR bike park (formerly known as Evolution Bike Park) for a thrilling adventure. In the winter, there are nordic and fat bike trails to discover.
In summer, Crested Butte Mountain Resort operates the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Park, which is a lift-served bike park. Riders can access more than 30 miles of bike trails from the Red Lady chairlift. Trails range from beginner (green) to expert (double black). The Silver Queen lift offers scenic lift rides for hikers and sightseers.
Crested Butte Nordic grooms more than 30 miles of pristine cross-country ski trails around Crested Butte. The trails, which are also open to snowshoers (and some to fat bikes), are accessible from right from town but still provide a quiet wilderness experience in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Scenic views are boundless, from the blue waters of the Slate River to the white peaks of the Elk Mountains. See why USA Today readers rated CB Nordic one of the 10 best cross-country ski resorts in the world.
Several other areas in the Gunnison Valley allow free access for cross-country skiing and fat biking. Cement Creek Road and Brush Creek Road are often groomed. Gunnison Nordic grooms dozens of miles of roads and trails at Hartman Rocks for nordic skiing and fat biking. The South Rim Road at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is another beautiful place to go cross-country skiing.