Skiing & Snowboarding

Downhill skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Crested Butte is home to some of the best downhill skiing in Colorado. The legendary steep terrain at Crested Butte Mountain Resort draws visitors from all over the country and the world. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. In addition to info about Crested Butte Mountain Resort, this page will also fill you in on backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing and tips for a successful ski trip. 


What is Crested Butte known for?

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is known for having some of the steepest in-bounds ski terrain in Colorado. If you have enjoyed a trip to Telluride, Jackson Hole or Big Sky, you’ll fall in love with Crested Butte too. Advanced and expert skiers will have a blast exploring Crested Butte’s extreme terrain and back bowls. Beginner and intermediate skiers have plenty of mellower terrain to choose from, too. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is now on the Epic Pass. If you don’t own an Epic Pass, you can buy a day pass. Be sure to purchase day passes ahead of time, since limited day passes are available. To buy a pass, view the trail map and learn more about the mountain, visit Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s website.  

Colorado’s coolest mountain towns

Crested Butte is more than just an epic Colorado skiing destination. The Gunnison Valley’s unique mountain towns are a great place to hang out when you’re not on the slopes. Explore the quirky, artistic scene on Elk Avenue in Crested Butte or the laid-back college town of Gunnison after lifts close.

    More skiing near Crested Butte and Gunnison

    Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley are a good basecamp for more than just Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Staying in the valley will put you in the perfect location to hit up a handful of other great skiing options, from snowcat tours to a local community hill. When you stay in Gunnison, Almont, Mt. Crested Butte or Crested Butte, you have easy access to Cranor Hill and the local backcountry. There are also several companies that offer guided ski trips, including near Irwin. 

    Crested Butte Adaptive Sports Center

    Skiing and snowboarding for people with disabilities

    The Adaptive Sports Center (ASC) is also located at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. ASC enhances the quality of life of people with disabilities through exceptional winter and summer outdoor activities. Winter programs include skiing and snowboarding on resort at CBMR. 


    Ski Touring in Crested Butte

    Two million acres of public lands are accessible from Gunnison County. This huge amount of open space makes Crested Butte one of the most scenic and wild places to go backcountry skiing in Colorado. Backcountry terrain can be accessed via skis or snowmobile. Many maps and guidebooks to popular ski touring spots are available in print and online. The Crested Butte Avalanche Center (CBAC) offers a daily weather and avalanche report during the winter ski season. 


    With so much backcountry terrain, Crested Butte is a great place to learn about safe winter backcountry travel. It doesn’t matter if you travel via skis, a splitboard, a snowmobile or Nordic skis, avalanche education is imperative for safe travel in the winter. If you’re planning on venturing into the backcountry, consider taking an avalanche safety course before or during your visit. For resources, check out this list of avalanche education resources from CBAC.

    Guided Snowcat Skiing in Crested Butte

    Cat skiing allows skiers and snowboarders to experience the feel of backcountry skiing without needing avalanche education. Irwin Guides offers daily guided cat skiing tours near Irwin, 10 miles northwest of the town of Crested Butte. Slopes are controlled for avalanches, and highly trained guides show you where to ski. Tours begin conveniently in downtown Crested Butte.

    Photo courtesy of Eleven Experience, Irwin Guides and Dave Kozlowski Photography.

    Cat skiing through Irwin Guides in Crested Butte, Colorado.

    Cross-country skiing

    Cross-country skiing can be a refreshing addition to your downhill skiing vacation in Crested Butte. The Gunnison Valley is home to some of the most scenic cross-country skiing in Colorado, including dozens of miles of groomed trails at Crested Butte Nordic. Visit our cross-country skiing page to learn more.


    Looking for a place to stay during your ski trip? There are cozy cabins and dreamy inns dotted around the valley that will make you feel like you’re in a snow globe.

    The towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte are filled with condos, lodges and beautiful bed-and-breakfasts. Ski-in, ski-out hotels in Mt. Crested Butte are the closest lodging to the ski area. The town of Crested Butte is connected to the mountain via a free, five-minute bus ride. 

    Gunnison offers a more mellow experience with a fantastic price point for a ski vacation. 


    While you’re here check out Crested Butte and Gunnison’s other winter activities—fat biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, dog sledding and sleigh riding!


    Crested Butte and Gunnison have many outdoor gear shops staffed by knowledgable people who love skiing as much as you do. Many local gear shops feature both biking and skiing equipment and make the swap seasonally. Visit a ski shop before hitting the slopes to rent equipment or buy your own. If you own your own ski gear, be sure to get your skis tuned and waxed before heading out to the mountain.


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