The Ultimate Crested Butte Winter Vacation Bucket List

Posted on Oct. 19, 2023
Welcome to the end of the road, where the pitches are steep, the passion is strong, and the quirky characters are abundant. Now that you’re here, make the most of your time in Crested Butte by taking advantage of all the town and mountain have to offer. Read on for our ultimate Crested Butte winter vacation bucket list.
Friends enjoy a freshly groomed trail in Crested Butte, CO.

1. Find your stepping stone to the steeps

With 561 acres of double-black-diamond terrain, Crested Butte is known as the North American birthplace of inbounds extreme skiing and riding. It's an expert's paradise, but that doesn’t mean it’s an experts-only spot! With the Peachtree lift servicing beginner terrain, and the Gold Link and Prospect lifts providing access to beautifully groomed intermediate trails, skiers and riders of all skill levels can feel inspired to choose their challenge and find their stepping stone to the steeps.

Whether you’re brand new to the sport or an expert skier looking for the best spots, our world-class instructors are here to help. We offer private and group lessons for every skill level, and the CB Steeps Guide program is designed specifically for advanced skiers and riders who are ready to take their next step into the famed extremes. We even have a Ski with an Olympian program that helps intermediates master terrain alongside Olympian and two-time World Extreme Freeskiing Champion Wendy Fisher! Find out which lesson is right for you, and then make sure to sign up online.

2. Dine with a view

Crested Butte has unmatched views, and nothing goes better with breathtaking natural beauty than a meal and a beverage. Take a mid-mountain lunch break at Paradise Warming House and sit on the patio while watching skiers make their way down -- or relax with a beverage at The Umbrella Bar and take in the 360-degree mountain views. Butte 66 is the perfect après spot at the end of a long day of skiing, with stellar views of the peak from the deck. 

3. Explore Elk Ave.

No visit to Crested Butte Mountain Resort is complete without checking out the Town of Crested Butte. Located approximately two miles from the resort, Elk Avenue is filled with great bars and restaurants, museums and art galleries, local boutiques, coffee shops and more. The downtown strip is lined with vibrant buildings that are as colorful as the people inside them, inviting visitors to experience the magic that this true ski town has to offer. Free bus systems operate regularly throughout the winter to take guests from Mt. Crested Butte to the Town of Crested Butte, providing easy access from the mountain to town.

4. Pick up a pair of Romp Skis

You’ll see them all over the mountain when you ski at CBMR, and you can get a pair for yourself! Romp skis are handcrafted right here in Crested Butte. Founded by two brothers in 2010, Romp has skis for every type of mountain adventurer. They even make custom skis! Check out their shop in town during your visit for a factory tour or to demo some skis – although, be warned: they “open at noon on deep powder days” (directly quoted from their website)!

5. Check out the Nordic Center

The 31-mile Crested Butte Nordic trail system is easily accessible from town, making it a convenient stop on your trip. They offer lessons for people who are new to cross-country skiing, as well as equipment rental packages. Choose between half-day and full-day options and explore the area on your own or enjoy a guided tour!

While you’re at it, rent a pair of skates and head next door to the Big Mine Ice Arena. This 26,000 square foot covered outdoor ice-skating rink is a popular spot for local hockey players, figure skaters and recreational users alike.

6. Try a sled dog tour

Adventure through the Gunnison Valley via the cutest transportation imaginable! Cosmic Cruisers offers sled dog tours and just added some new members to the fleet in winter 2022/23! Guests can adventure all day or choose a short tour, beginning just minutes from Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Sit back and enjoy the scenery or take the reins yourself – the adventure is yours.

See if you can check all of these great options off on your next trip! Remember to lock in your 2023/24 Epic Pass and we'll see you this winter.