For decades Crested Butte locals have been trying to keep their quaint mining town and legendary steeps under wraps in hopes of preserving CB’s unique and funky spirit. But the cat’s out of the bag, and skiers far and wide are discovering that Crested Butte may actually be America’s last great ski town. CB’s downfall is also its advantage: it’s not easy to get to, but that’s what keeps the crowds away. Those willing to make the trek are rewarded with some of the best in-bounds, lift-accessed extremes in the country.
It takes heaps of snow to cover CB’s rocky steeps, meaning in low snow years some of the most-prized terrain (Teo Bowls, Spellbound, Third Bowl) may not open until late season—if at all. If that’s the case, get out the carving skis and cruise the fun groomers, or hop on the shuttle to town and drown your sorrows at Montanya Distillers or Kochevar’s (a legendary watering hole since Butch Cassidy stopped in for a drink in 1902). Wherever you land, you’ll find the restaurants and shops of colorful Elk Avenue oozing with character. Now that Vail Resorts has snapped up CB, it remains to be seen if the resort’s spirit will prevail. We sure hope so. – Jenny Wiegand
Crested Butte Stats
Crested Butte Pass
Crested Butte is on the Epic Pass. Both Epic Pass and Epic Local pass holders get unlimited access to the slopes.
A charming and quirky town anchors this southwestern Colorado resort with challenging terrain, beautiful scenery, and a hopping nightlife scene.
You didn’t hear it from us, but at 3 p.m. the Bakery starts slinging slices of its ridiculously cheesy and delectable pizza for $1/slice until supplies last. If it’s 2:55 p.m. on a powder day, you’ll have one tough call to make.
Intermediates and up, start your ski day on the backside of the resort, which gets early morning sun. Then move over to the front and the Silver Queen when lunch crowds start bottlenecking at Paradise Warming House.
CBMR’s extreme terrain opens up a whole new world of skiing to experts, but it’s smart to opt for a guide. One option: Sign up for the resort’s Steeps Guide group tour.
Locals and visitors alike keep coming back to The Slogar for the comforting family-style fried chicken dinner and authentic Western saloon ambiance.
Download the CB Extremes app and pick your poison.
Head to The Secret Stash for delicious pizza and experience CB in all its eccentric glory.
Avalanche Bar & Grill slings cold beers and big portions of American comfort food just steps from the hill.
Hop the North Face T-Bar and kick off the sticks for a short hike into Spellbound Bowl. Riddled with opportunities for big air and deep turns, this extraordinary zone holds snow well and is rarely crowded. Transfer into Phoenix Bowl to keep the stoke going.
Try Uley’s Cabin for an upscale on-mountain lunch or an afternoon drink at the ice bar.
Third Bowl’s homemade ice cream is divine. The flavors are ever-changing, but be adventurous. We promise you won’t be disappointed.