Feel like taking a day off from the slopes? No problem. There are tons of ways to enjoy the serene beauty of Crested Butte.
With an average annual snowfall of 240 inches and state-of-the-art snowmaking on most of its trails, Crested Butte is one of the best kept secrets in the Colorado skiing scene. With 1,434 acres of skiable terrain, nearly half of which is expert territory, Crested Butte has made a name for itself as a haven for extreme skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
The first ski resort in the U.S. to launch an extreme skiing contest, Crested Butte marks fourteen years of freeskiing competition this season with the Annual Saab U.S. Extreme Free Skiing Championship. Competitors from all over the nation vie for the largest cash purse on the freeskiing circuit and excellent prizes from all the sponsors. A skiercross kicks off the event followed by three days of big mountain/extreme competition.
The Extreme Telemark Championships, now in its 10th year, brings more than 100 free-heelers to the slopes to compete. The two-day big mountain event attracts the biggest names in the telemark industry and is unique to Crested Butte. Free telemark demos and specialty clinics also take place during this telemark celebration culminating with the legendary Al Johnson Uphill Downhill Race.
Even off the ski slopes, Crested Butte offers a number of winter adventures. Fifty-five miles of groomed trails at the Kebler Pass System allow snowmobilers to wind through rugged back country terrain. Forty miles of cross country trails at the Crested Butte Nordic Center offer skiers and snowshoers the chance to explore.
Adrenaline junkies can try ice climbing, dog sledding, backcountry skiing, hot air ballooning, and other guided adventure tours. Families can enjoy horsedrawn sleigh rides or fun afternoons of ice skating, sledding, and tubing.
Top Winter Activities in Crested Butte:
Skiing and Snowboarding
Crested Butte has made a name for itself as an extreme skiing and riding town, but Nordic skiing enthusiasts will also find miles of world-class terrain here. A number of skiing and boarding events, including the Annual Saab U.S. Extreme Free Skiing Championship, attract pros and fans from all over the world each winter.
Snowmobiling – Unguided
Snowmobile enthusiasts love Crested Butte’s groomed trails at the Kebler Pass System, which wind and zig zag for 55 miles through the Gunnison National Forest. Crested Butte has played host to the SnoCross, a World Snowmobile Association (WSA) Regional Race for the Colorado Sport Race Circuit (CSRC). The course is similar to that of ESPN’s X-Games event, with lots of bumps, jumps, dips and turns.
Guided Winter Adventure Tours
Guided winter tours offer visitors a safe and exciting way to explore Crested Butte’s rugged wilderness. For high octane thrills, there’s snowmobiling, ice climbing, and back country ski tours. For low-key adventure, guided snowshoe, dogsled, and horse-drawn sleigh tours allow visitors to soak in the winter scenery at a leisurely pace. Visit the snowmobile central reservations site or call (970) 349-5909 for more information.
More Winter Activities in Crested Butte:
Crested Butte’s outdoor skating rink brings locals and visitors together to test their skills on ice. Visit the Crested Butte Nordic Center website for skating times and rates.
Snowshoeing is the easiest way to explore Crested Butte in the winter. Snowshoe rentals are available to rent at the Crested Butte Nordic Center with access to its’ trail network or at Crested Butte Mountain Resort with access to uphill travel on Crested Butte Mountain.
Sledding and tubing hills in Crested Butte offer all-ages fun and excitement! The Nordic Center offers a free sledding hill. Located east of the Crested Butte Nordic Center, across from Mikey’s Pizza at 611 3rd St, Crested Butte, CO 81224.
Crested Butte’s Nordic Center offers 40 kilometers of groomed trails ideal for skate skiing and classical cross country fun. The terrain varies from easy flats to more stimulating ascents, suitable and enjoyable for all skill levels. Snowshoeing excursions allow visitors to trek through hundreds of acres of backcountry scenery. The center also offers free Ice Skating, a sledding hill, and daily gear rentals. Located at 620 2nd Street in Crested Butte. Visit the Crested Butte Nordic Center website or call (970) 349-1707 for more information.
Action Adventures Snowmobile Rentals
Action Adventures offers sleds with electric start, heated hand warmers, and deluxe two-up seating. One-hour tours are great for first timers, and wind through the Rockies past abandoned mining towns. Sunset dinner tours allow riders to enjoy the splendor of the Gunnison National Forest, followed by a romantic dinner. The company also offers unguided rentals, so that visitors can explore the backcountry of Crested Butte on their own. Visit the snowmobile central reservations site or call (970) 349-5909 for more information.
Trailhead Children’s Museum
The Trailhead Children’s Museum is located in the Outpost Building next to the Mt. Crested Butte base area. Great for all ages! The Trailhead offers an engaging and dynamic environment that inspires children and families to explore, create and learn together through discovery and play. Kids love pretend play in the Farm to Table Pizza Kitchen and Restaurant, dressing up as a pirate or fairy, exploring color and light in the Dark Room, & finding their inner Picasso in the Art Bar. Dad’s and kids alike get creative building large structures in the Blue Block Area and creating in the Lego Exhibit.
Check out the website for more info on Winter Drop Off Programs, Movie Night at The Museum, School Break Camps & After School Programs.
Crested Butte Mountain Guides
Crested Butte Mountain Guides Co. offers a full range of guided tours, from backcountry skiing and boarding, ice climbing and Nordic tours to snowshoeing excursions, avalanche courses, and guide training classes. A fifteen-year veteran of the Crested Butte mountain outfitting scene, the company boasts a highly experienced crew of guides to ensure that every trip is a fun and safe one. Visit the Crested Butte Mountain Guides website or call (970) 349-5430 for more information.
Fantasy Ranch Outfitters
The Fantasy Ranch’s popular dinner sleigh rides include a stop for a gourmet meal. In the warmer months of the year, the ranch offers a variety of horseback trail rides and overnight pack trips. Their most spectacular ride from Crested Butte to Aspen via East Maroon Pass, has been written about and suggested as a don’t miss by the New York Times and The Rocky Mountain News. Visit the Fantasy Ranch Outfitters website or call (970) 349-5425 for more information.
Lucky Cat-Dog Farm Dogsled Adventures
The Iditarod-style dogsleds at the Lucky Cat-Dog Farm allow aspiring mushers to explore Crested Butte’s backcountry. Adventures include morning rides, and lunch rides complete with hearty soup and home-baked bread. Visit the Lucky Cat-Dog Farm Dogsled Adventure website or call (970) 641-1636 for additional information.