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 world. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Learn about backcountry and Nordic skiing and get tips for a successful ski trip. 

A skier in a red jacket glides through some powder


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 enjoyed skiing at 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 as well. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is on the Epic Pass. If you don’t own an Epic Pass, you can buy a day pass. 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. Crested Butte is a quirky ski town. Gunnison is a laid-back college town.

    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 Gunnison or Crested Butte 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.

    Find a skiing guide

    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. 

    a skier faces snowy mountain peaks on top of a snowy ridge


    Ski Touring in Crested Butte

    There are over 2 million acres of public lands in the Gunnison Valley. 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. There are many maps and guidebooks for popular ski touring spots available in print and online. The Crested Butte Avalanche Center (CBAC) offers a daily weather and avalanche report during ski season. If you plan to travel through avalanche terrain please ensure you have the necessary skills, knowledge and equipment to stay safe.


    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. 

    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 trip to 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. 


    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 these things to do: fat biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and other winter activities!


    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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