Guide to ATV and 4x4 Off Road Tours in Crested Butte

Guided and self-guided ATV and 4x4 tours in Crested Butte offer an unforgettable adventure in the backcountry.

Posted on August 10, 2023

Wildflowers Blooming on Larkspur during a 4x4 Mountain Tour in Beaver Creek, CO

One of the top reasons for vacationing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is the spectacular scenery. Glorious forested slopes, high alpine valleys, pristine lakes, creeks, and waterfalls surround you, turning every glance into a photogenic panorama. The inspiring wilderness calls many visitors to get away from the town and resort (delightful though they are) and explore.  

Off-roading adventures, including ATV and 4x4 tours in the Crested Butte area, offer a fantastic way to get into the backcountry. Your options include guided 4x4 tours near Crested Butte as well as self-guided tours with ATV or 4x4 rentals. Whichever off road tour option you prefer, it will be a highlight of your summer vacation in Crested Butte.  

About Crested Butte’s Off-Roading Adventures 

The Gunnison Valley, including Crested Butte Mountain Resort, is a superb destination for off-roading. The area features thousands of miles of off-road trails, with countless loops and routes available for all experience and difficulty levels.  

Miners and ranchers created many routes over a century ago, and you can often explore ghost towns and find relics. ATV and 4x4 tours near Crested Butte can take you around unusual rock formations; through forests of aspen, pine, and fir; and through rugged creeks and canyons. Some trails even lead to waterfalls. Spotting wildlife is a thrilling experience during an off-roading trip. Keep an eye out for elk, moose, mule deer, coyotes, and many bird species.  

Rentals come with a full safety briefing and instruction session, and expert staff will advise you on suitable trails. The season for off-roading is generally mid-May to mid-October. The weather can change rapidly in the region, so dress in layers, bring sun and rain protection, and wear closed-toe shoes.  


Guided Tours with JJ’S Jeeps 

A guided off-roading tour has the benefit of an expert driver and guide. While masterfully handling trails from easy to extreme, your guide will share their knowledge of the history and ecology of the Gunnison Valley. 
Guided Crested Butte 4x4 tours with JJ’S Jeeps are fully customized for private groups of up to six. Routes, thrill levels, and themes, such as photography tours, geology, or wildlife spotting, are possible thanks to custom itineraries. Choose half-day (morning or afternoon) tours lasting three to four hours or full-day tours for a six- to eight-hour adventure.

The Gunnison-based outfitter is the only area off-highway vehicle (OHV) guide service permitted to offer guided tours in Gunnison National Forest. They also have permits for guided tours on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties. Pickup from local hotels is included with these Crested Butte guided 4x4 tours.  

Some locations available for 4x4 tours near Crested Butte include Hartman Rocks, a BLM recreation area known for its stunning granite formations, and Taylor Park, a high alpine valley with the Collegiate Peaks as its backdrop.  

For a moderate-level half-day tour, consider the Washington Gulch to Slate River loop, which starts in Crested Butte. The itinerary takes you past wildflower meadows, aspen and spruce groves, the historic mining town of Elkton, and up to the 11,250-foot top of Paradise Divide. On the way back to Crested Butte, follow the winding course of the Slate River, where you might spot beavers, moose, and great blue herons amid the wetlands.  

Self-Guided Crested Butte 4x4 Tours 

With locations in Crested Butte and Gunnison, Alpenglow Rentals is a convenient option for self-guided Jeep tours in Colorado. The company offers rentals of two-door and four-door Jeeps for one to six days or longer upon request. Vehicle delivery to your hotel in Crested Butte can be arranged.  

Rentals are available year-round, and you may drive the vehicles on any road or off-road trail in the Crested Butte and Gunnison Valley Area. The only exception is the Devil's Punch Bowl on the west side of Schofield Pass Road, which is off-limits. Maps come with your rental, along with expert advice and suggestions for custom off road tours near Crested Butte. Alpenglow Rentals also offers video cameras with interior/exterior mounts to capture your off-roading adventure.  

Another local outfitter, Colorado Adventure Rentals, offers 4x4 and ATV rentals in Taylor Park, just under an hour from Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Drivers must be 25 or older and have a valid U.S. driver’s license and proof of full-coverage insurance. Half-day, full-day, and two-day rentals are available. Taylor Park has an extensive, popular network of off-roading trails, but you can drive your rented vehicle outside the park as well. 

Self-Guided Crested Butte ATV Tours 

For an independent off-roading adventure, choose one of several local outfitters specializing in ATV/OHV rentals in Crested Butte. Rental packages generally include everything you need, along with a thorough orientation session.  

Local rental companies have their pickups close to trailheads, so you can embark on your Crested Butte ATV tour immediately. Transporting an ATV from the rental office to any local trail is possible if you have your own trailer, but it’s much more typical to rent at the same location where you’ll be off-roading.  

CB Motorsports is located just south of Crested Butte, 5.5 miles from the resort. The company offers two-seater and four-seater side-by-sides for four-hour or six-hour rental periods. Gas and maps are included.  

Colorado Adventure Rentals offers ATV rentals in Taylor Park, where you can ride directly from the pickup into the backcountry. Three-hour, four-hour, and full-day rentals are available. Choose from a variety of vehicle options for two, four, or six people. Select vehicles have a roof, which is a good option when the weather is wet or windy. Renters and drivers must be 25 or older and have a valid driver’s license. Ask for easy-to-moderate trail recommendations after the included orientation.  

Another company offering rentals for self-guided Crested Butte ATV tours is K10 Colorado Adventures. They have two locations available: Taylor Park and Hartman Rocks, both under an hour from Crested Butte Mountain Resort. These are park-and-ride locations where you can hit the trails immediately after orientation. You are also welcome to haul rented vehicles to any legal off-road trailhead if you have your own trailer. Two-seat and four-seat side-by-sides are available for full-day, half-day, and sunset (6 to 9 p.m.) rentals.  

Ready for an Adventure in Crested Butte?  

It’s best to book in advance for guided 4x4 tours in Crested Butte as well as ATV rentals. While you’re planning your summer vacation, check out all the other fun activities, plus lodging and dining options, at Crested Butte Mountain Resort