The Community

Alpenglow Concert Crested Butte

The Last Great Colorado Ski Town

This is a cool town! People in casual clothes meander the sidewalks, commute on mountain bikes and revel in the Colorado sunshine. A genuine sense of hospitality comes from such simple pleasures as wildflower hikes and bicycling through amazing scenery. Walk around our rustic and friendly town with its Victorian ambiance and reflections of turn-of-the-century mining life. Crested Butte or “the Butte”, is known as “The Last Great Colorado Ski Town.” The downtown business district is like a western movie set come to life. Colorful buildings, shops, movies, and local watering holes make for a terrific Old West welcome. Crested Butte is designated a National Historic District.

We are easy to get to, just 28 miles from Gunnison Crested Butte Airport at the north end of the Gunnison Valley in the midst of the Elk Mountains. Drivers from Denver arrive in about four hours and Crested Butte is a must stop when driving through the Rocky Mountains. And once you’re here, our dependable shuttle service between town and Mt. Crested Butte eliminates the need for an automobile. There are three miles between the towns and shuttle pick-up points are conveniently located and clearly marked.

A former coal mining hub, Crested Butte is now a destination for skiing, mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. The Colorado state legislature has designated Crested Butte the wildflower capital of Colorado.

The East River Valley where Crested Butte is located was once used as a summer residence by Ute Native Americans. However, they were quickly displaced when white explorers first entered the area. The first Caucasians to explore the valley were beaver trappers, followed by surveyors. Captain John Gunnison, after whom Gunnison County is named was one of the early explorers to enter the area. In the 1860s and 1870s coal and silver mines began to open in the surrounding area and many little mining towns formed. However, when silver mining hit on hard times, many of these towns failed. Crested Butte was in a better position to survive because it served as a supply town to the surrounding areas. The other industry that supported Crested Butte was ranching. When the coal mines closed, the town began to shrink, and eventually the local high school was closed. Students had to travel to Gunnison to go to high school. The town did not revive until a ski area was built on Crested Butte Mountain in the 1960s. In 1993 the Crested Butte Academy opened in Crested Butte, bringing a private high school into town. In 1997, the Crested Butte Community School was opened, and Crested Butte finally had a public high school again. In 2004, Tim and Diane Mueller purchased Crested Butte Mountain Resort and a new era was started!

Activities – Winter

Primary winter activities in Crested Butte include skiing or snowboarding at nearby Crested Butte Mountain Resort and nowmobiling in the surrounding drainages is some of the best in Colorado. Mount Crested Butte rises to 12,162 feet above sea level. The ski area base is at 9,375 feet. 14 lifts serve 1,058 acres of terrain. 448 acres of the terrain are double black runs. The large amount of extreme skiing terrain at Crested Butte has attracted the US Extreme Skiing Championships and ESPN’s Winter X Games. The longest run on Mount Crested Butte is 2.6 miles long. The town of Crested Butte itself has a great Nordic Center which has an ice skating rink as well as many kilometers of well-maintained, groomed cross country skiing trails.

Activities – Summer

Crested Butte is one of the locations where mountain biking is claimed to have started and in fact, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame is located in Crested Butte. Our singletrack trails are some of the best on the planet. Bikers come from all around to test their mettle on trails like “401” and “Teocalli Ridge”. Other popular summer activities in Crested Butte include hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, and fishing.

Crested Butte hosts a number of summer festivals, including an Arts Festival, a Wildflower Festival, and a Rubber Ducky Race. During the heart of the summer season, Crested Butte host’s the Alpenglow Music series with free concerts in the Center for the Arts park every Monday night.

Links to Crested Butte Community Information

Local Maps for Crested Butte
Attractions, Parks & Recreation in Crested Butte
Census Data, Statistics, Facts & Figures for Crested Butte
Schools & Educational Resources near Crested Butte
Community Organizations in Crested Butte
Entertainment in Crested Butte
Environment & Science
Government information for Gunnison County
News & Media for Crested Butte, CO