Things to Do in Winter in Crested Butte Even If You Don't Ski

If you don't ski or need a break from the slopes, check out these fun winter activities in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Posted on February 5, 2024

Exterior of Butte 66 at Crested Butte
Skiing and snowboarding are not for everyone, but there's no reason to limit your activity to sitting by a crackling fire, reading a book, and enjoying the view. Head outdoors to participate in other snowsports more to your liking or discover the many things to do in Crested Butte in winter. 

For the Foodie 

Crested Butte's rugged terrain beckons to those with an appetite for challenge, and its restaurants are ready to sate your palate even when you're not on the slopes. 

Dine with views of the butte at Butte 66. Celebrate Tappy Hour Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m., listen to live music, and warm up with a bowl of hot soup or an order of their famous nachos.  

Enjoy hand-tossed pizzas at Highlife Crust and Crafts. Conveniently located in the Grand Lodge Hotel, this is a great Après spot. And in the mornings, you’ll find a hot breakfast and espresso. 

For the Outdoor Enthusiast 

If you want to stay active and enjoy the snowy landscape, there are many options to explore Gunnison National Forest's scenic beauty surrounding CB. Check these out. 

Crested Butte Dog Sledding 

Explore the serene beauty of this historic town when you find things to do in Crested Butte in winter near the resort. Delve deep into the heart of Gunnison National Forest with a dog sled tour by Cosmic Cruisers Sled Dog Tours. Learn to guide a team of four to five experienced huskies on a 40 to 60-minute tour. If you have more time, the full-day tour takes you to 11,000 feet in the forest, includes lunch, and returns between 3 and 4 p.m. in time for apres-ski. 

Winter Hikes in Crested Butte 

You might find that one of your favorite things to do in Crested Butte in winter is taking a snowshoe tour with Crested Butte Nordic. The 2.5-hour tours leave twice daily. Get an early start at 9 a.m., linger between the sheets, and head for the noon tour. If you're up for a calorie-burning challenge, book the full-day (5-hour) tour. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks along to refuel your body. Don't worry, though. Each tour is private and geared toward your activity level. 

Ride a Sled 

Head to Ace Hardware on 6th Street and select a sled or tube, one of the best local things to do in Crested Butte in winter. Then venture to one of CB's snow hills and spend the day sliding and giggling your way down a snowy hill. The Snodgrass Trailhead offers the longest and tallest sliding hill around CB, but there are suitable slopes at Crested Butte Community School and the hill on Pyramid Avenue. 

Snowmobiling in Crested Butte 

There are many fun things to do in Crested Butte in winter. Take a guided snowmobile tour or rent one and explore with Action Adventures. More than 90 percent of visitors prefer a guided tour to find those secret stashes of powder for snow play, get pointers on riding better for more enjoyment, and discover the fastest, most adventurous trails for their riding ability. Choose from guided tours on groomed forest service roads or twisting mountain trails.  

Crested Butte Sleigh Rides 

Truly find out what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh when you book a 30-minute sleigh ride with Fantasy Ranch. This is one of the many fun things to do in Crested Butte in winter. Share the ride with up to three other people and listen to your host fill you in on local lore and fascinating facts. Or head into Gunnison National Forest on horseback on a two-hour horseback ride from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Indoor Winter Activities in Crested Butte 

Staying indoors doesn't mean you have to be inactive to enjoy things to do in Crested Butte in winter. Check these out if you want to be cozy and snug in a climate-controlled environment. 

Get Your Golf On 

Just because the ground outside is covered in snow doesn't mean that you can't try for a hole-in-one. Head to Birdie's Golf Bar on Elk Avenue and rent the simulated game room by the hour to play a round at your choice of more than 100 of the best courses from around the world. You can bring your clubs (make sure the club faces are clean before play, though) but leave your golf shoes behind — you're welcome to play in sneakers, gym shoes, or even your cozy cabin socks.  

Do a Dance 

Book a single dance class or more at Crested Butte School of Dance. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to try aerial or African dance? Those are just two of many dance styles offered for adults at the studio. The company also has weekend workshops and classes for children as young as five, which are suitable for the entire family. 

Savor the Artistry 

Crested Butte's Creative District is the place to get inspired through its dedication to the visual and performing arts. A collaboration between the Center for the Arts and the Town of Crested Butte, this certified creative district is a not-to-be-missed compendium of vibrant galleries, public art displays, and spaces to enjoy innovative performances. 

Meander through galleries that showcase artistry ranging from photography to fine art and about anything imaginable. If you're short on time, you can still get a feel for the funky local vibe at Paragon Art Gallery, a collaboration between fourteen local artists. You'll find found object art, pyrography, fused glass, fiber art, and more all under one roof at the picturesque historic building.  

When you're looking for things to do in Crested Butte in winter that will keep you cozy, check out performances at Crested Butte Mountain Theater and the Center for the Arts in Crested Butte that range from visiting dance and theater troupes to local productions. Informative classes cover drawing, knitting, wine tasting, and more.  

Go hands-on and learn to sculpt or pot at Crested Butte Clay Studio. The clay studio hosts classes for children and adults. Learn to make butter dishes, garden art, or tea sets, or take a Friday night one-time wheel class.  

You'll find plenty to keep you busy both on and off the resort if you're looking for more things to do in Crested Butte in winter.