Crested Butte Snowboard Area Description:
Located well off the beaten path in the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte, a tiny town of less than 2000 without so much as a traffic light, embodies the spirit of a true American ski (ahem, I mean snowboard) town. Surrounded by towering peaks and populated by outdoors-lovers, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more authentic ski experience anywhere in the country.
Crested Butte Ski Area covers 1500, making it relatively small compared to other mega resorts in the state, but it's the biggest-feeling 1500 acres of any snowboard area you're likely to visit. Although the hill has several parks and a superpipe, the real draw of Crested Butte is the big mountain terrain. The hill's website officially lists only 16% expert terrain, which is misleading. That only includes "developed" terrain. Just a quick glance at the swathes of black and double-black diamond runs that cover the north face and and upper mountain indicate otherwise. If you love extreme steeps, chutes, and cliffs, you'll have the time of your life.
Crested Butte is somewhat remote -- driving Denver takes 4 to 5 hours and from Colorado Springs is about the same -- but that adds to it's charm. If it were near a major centre, Crested Butte's name would likely appear alongside the likes of Aspen and Vail on must-visit snowboard area lists. Since it's not as heavily trafficked, the rewards it holds are reserved for those willing to make the trip.
Crested Butte Snowboard Area Location/Directions:
The easiest way to get to Crested Butte is most definitely by flying into the Gunnison Airport via either Dallas, Houston, or Denver, and then either drive a rental car or take the Alpine Express the final 30 miles to Crested Butte. It's worth noting that Crested Butte has an excellent free local shuttle service called the Mountain Express so a vehicle really isn't necessary.
Those flying into Denver or Colorado Springs who don't want to rent a vehicle also have the option of hopping on an Alpine Express shuttle.
- Driving Directions to Crested Butte
- Colorado Department of Transportation Road Reports and Webcams
- For road report updates call: (301) 639-1111, (877) 315-76223, or in-state call 511
Crested Butte Snowboard Area Statistics:
- Trails: 121
- Beginner Terrain: 27%
- Intermediate Terrain: 57%
- Expert Terrain: 16%
- Longest Run: 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometres)
- Lifts: 15
- Uphill Capacity: 20,310 people per hour
- Acres: 1,547
- Mountains: 1
- Snowmaking Coverage: 297 acres
- Summit Elevation: 12,162 feet (3,707 meters)
- Base Elevation: 9,375 feet (2,856 meters)
- Vertical Drop: 3,062 feet (933 meters)
- Superpipe: Yes
- Terrain Parks: 3
- Average Snowfall: 300 inches (762 centimeters)
- Night Snowboarding: No
Crested Butte Snowboard Area Reservations:
Crested Butte offers all of the usual lift ticket options and offers military discounts. Tickets can be purchased on their website.
Crested Butte also works with online discount lift ticket vendor Liftopia. You can see available tickets on their website.
Crested Butte Area Accommodations:
Crested Butte has a large variety of hotels and condos located near the ski area base. A full list of properties can be viewed here.
The Elevation Hotel and Spa is an one of the more luxurious ski-to-your-door options on the hill.
Crested Butte Area Alternative Activities:
For a small town, Crested Butte has a large variety of off-hill activities for visitors.
The resort offers numerous activities for both children and adults such as ziplining and snowshoe tours.
Each spring there is a large music festival called FestEVOL. The Butte 66 Roadhouse holds a regular comedy night. Those seeking relaxation will find it in one of the local spas and the town has several artesian shops and art galleries.