From skiing to fat biking and snowshoeing to snowmobiling, we know Gunnison Crested Butte is a great winter destination. But did you know there are other ways to enjoy winter, too? With a few ice rinks, dog sled guides, sledding hills, winter events and more there are many ways to experience winter.
Ice skating is a quintessential winter activity that can be fun for the whole family. There are a few places to ice skate around Gunnison and Crested Butte. Jorgensen Ice Rink in Gunnison has an indoor and outdoor ice rink. The property also has an outdoor frozen pond dedicated to skating for the public. The park has a few cross-country skiing trails as well. Big Mine Ice Arena in Crested Butte is a covered outdoor ice rink. Big Mine doesn’t use any refrigeration for its ice, so you get the experience of skating on natural ice. It’s located adjacent to Crested Butte Nordic Center. Blue Mesa Reservoir west of Gunnison is the largest reservoir in Colorado. When it freezes over in winter it becomes a popular ice-skating spot. If you plan to lake skate, please ensure you have the proper skills, equipment and knowledge to stay safe.
For a truly unique experience that highlights one of Crested Butte’s best features, attend a yurt dinner or brunch at the Crested Butte Nordic Center. Crested Butte has an expansive groomed Nordic skiing trail system. Many of these trails can be accessed right from town, but after just a short ski you’ll find yourself in a quiet and remote area. Located off one of these trails is the Magic Meadows Yurt. The yurt is only open in the winter and is used as a warming hut when a meal isn’t being hosted in it. To get to the yurt you must ski or snowshoe down a groomed one-mile trail. A trail pass from Crested Butte Nordic is required to take the trail to the yurt. The trail is easy and well-marked. If you attend a dinner, it will be lit for your ski back. If you attend a brunch, you can check out more trails after your meal!
Want to bring your pup? The Gunnison Valley is very dog-friendly. Learn more about what you can do with your dog in Gunnison and Crested Butte below.
Winter brings several beloved annual events in Gunnison and Crested Butte. These events let you experience unique aspects of the Gunnison Valley. There are tree lightings, intense backcountry ski races, a quirky costume party that doubles as cross-country ski race, ice fishing competitions and more. Plan your winter trip around a specific event or see if one is happening when you’ll be here!
Sledding is another classic winter activity. There are a few places to sled in Gunnison and Crested Butte. The practice field at Western Colorado University is a popular sledding hill in Gunnison. Crested Butte has a sledding hill just outside of town heading north to Mt. Crested Butte.
The Gunnison Valley is a well-known summer and fall fishing destination. Many places you can fish in warmer weather you can also ice fish in winter! Blue Mesa Reservoir and Taylor Park Reservoir are two popular ice fishing spots in the Gunnison Valley. There are a handful of small lakes and ponds that can be ice fished on as well. If you’re learning how to ice fish or don’t want to worry about getting all your own gear, consider going with a guide. Guides often provide all the necessary technical gear and will show you how to use it. Plus, they know where the fish are!
If you’re a dog person dog sledding might be the perfect winter activity for you! Dog sledding is a unique way to get outside and experience winter in Crested Butte and Gunnison. There are a few dog sled outfitters in Gunnison Valley. They’ll take you on scenic trails reminiscent of a winter wonderland through the public lands in the area. You can either kickback and relax while your guide leads the team or learn how to mush yourself. You’ll have opportunities to spend time with the dogs and take photos. Most full day outings also include a lunch.
While you’re here check out Crested Butte and Gunnison’s other winter activities: skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, Nordic skiing, and fat biking!
Whether you’re looking for a cabin or a condo, a hostel or a traditional hotel, we’ve got you covered for a vacation rental. Visit our Lodging page to learn more!