Discover Crested Butte In May!
Crested Butte comes to life in May! Trails begin to dry out for trekking, restaurants open their freshly cleaned doors, residents return from far off destinations, and life becomes lively once again on Elk Avenue and beyond. If you are lucky enough to visit Crested Butte in May make sure to check out these do not miss experiences.
Trails have already began to melt and dry out. Although the major mountain trails are not open, there are plenty of amazing finds with great views and challenges.
The Caves Trail: The Caves Trail is located in Crested Butte South along Cement Creek Road and offers a one-way or loop hike. Experience challenging elevation gain, beautiful views and awesome rock formations. The trail is a little over 1.6 miles and can be extended to almost 5 miles when you connect with the Walrod Trail down to Cement Creek and back to the parking lot.
Tony’s Loop: Tony’s Loop features great views and a full valley experience. There are several spots in Crested Butte that you can jump on the loop and several shorter hikes within the loop that will fit any adventure. Access the trail at the end of Elk Ave (going towards Crested Butte Mountain Resort), in the Riverbend or Skyland neighborhood or on your way to the mountain. The full loop is 7.1 miles.
Mountain biking or trail running at Hartman Rocks: Just outside Gunnison, which a short 30 mile jaunt down valley, sits one of the best mountain biking, hiking, trail running and rock climbing areas in the valley. Usually the first spot to melt out during the spring, this is the best option for valley-bound locals and visitors to get their mountain biking fix. While there’s still sections that don’t melt out (and you need to pay attention to closed trails by researching online before you go, or watching for signs), it’s a perfect place to get your sunshine and dirt fix. And to get into shape for the boundless summer activities that are only a couple months away.
Road Biking: As soon as the mercury is above freezing, it seems like the road bikers in the valley come out of hibernation, taking in the beautiful landscapes this place is known for. This is also a great time of year to road bike between Crested Butte and Gunnison, as the car traffic is at a minimum.
Before hitting the trails make sure to check out the Trail Report on the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association website (CBMBA). They are always up to date throughout the spring with trail openings.
While many anglers have already been out fly fishing this season, as the spring runoff starts, fishing can become less optimal. It’s always a good idea to check with local outfitters for fishing reports (Dragonfly Anglers has a good one) before you head out. The rainbow trout are beginning to spawn and it’s a great time for nymphing.
A local tip: to avoid the dramatic river changes during the spring runoff, head up Taylor River outside of Almont. The Taylor River is fed through the dam of the Taylor Reservoir, which minimizes the effects of heavy spring runoff flows.
The Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery also has several fishing ponds, paths, picnic tables and gorgeous views to enjoy a morning, afternoon or entire day.
While the resort is quiet there are plenty of places to grab breakfast, lunch and dinner in Crested Butte!
The Last Steep: With plenty of outdoor seating and great service, this is a great place to hang out when the sun is shining—and it’s a bit more sheltered, so if it’s breezy and cool, you’ll stay warm. Not to mention they do the best Bloody Mary bar on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm!
The Brick Oven: Arguably the biggest outdoor patio in Crested Butte, when it’s warm they’ll open up the outdoor bar, which is full service.
Pita’s in Paradise: With its prime Elk Avenue location, you can sip happy hour drinks (3pm-6pm) while watching folks mosey along the street in the sunshine.
Montanya Distillery: Montanya’s is open for delicious craft cocktails made out of the finest ingredients and rums along with a globally inspired menu. You can kick off your cocktail sipping, make sure to do the distillery tour and sample all of their rums so you can make an educated, (and exciting) drink choice off their menu!
Teocalli Tamale: Featuring delicious Mexican cuisine this fun counter-serve joint doles out burritos, tacos & tamales and margaritas.
Camp 4 Coffee: Serving up delicious coffee and breakfast at two locations in Crested Butte and Crested Butte South! They are open every day from 6:30 am -5:30 pm in CB and from 5:00 – 11:00 am in CB South.
McGills’: This is a great spot for a filling and delicious breakfast or lunch! They have everything for a filling and delicious breakfast and lunch!
Keep your eyes open as you explore! A number of restaurants reopen in May!
A majority of the shopping in town is open, including Townie Books, the Little Sparrow and more, and are ready for you to discover a one of a kind treasure. If you have a specific store in mind, it is a good idea to call ahead in case the hours are different during the spring time.
A Movie at the Majestic Movie Theatre
Featuring blockbuster hits, cult classics and everything in between the Majestic Theater in Crested Butte is the perfect way to spend an evening. With a full bar for 21+, and plenty of snacks for your movie watching, you’ll have everything you need from the comfort of the theater.
Crested Butte Center for the Arts
From films to art classes to paint your own pottery to gluten free baking, there is at least one awesome event or class each week during May. Check out crestedbuttearts.org for an event calendar!