It’s Time to Explore Crested Butte, Colorado!
If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience this summer, then it’s time for you to think about making the trip to Crested Butte, Colorado. Unlike many other tourist towns, you have to intentionally be headed to Crested Butte, it isn’t just a stop along the way, which makes it all the more fun. I hope you’re ready for beautiful mountain views, green valleys with blossoming wildflowers, and some of the cleanest mountain air you’ve ever breathed. Are you ready to explore Crested Butte? Let’s go!
Crested Butte History
Founded in 1878, Crested Butte started its life as a coal-mining town tucked in the Elk Mountains of northern Gunnison County. The town lies just north of Gunnison and about the same distance south of Aspen. Sitting at about 9,000 feet of elevation and surrounded by mountains, it’s pretty common in the winter to experience frigid temperatures and several feet of annual snowfall.
The small mountain town was initially created as a supply camp for local silver mines in the 1870s but eventually evolved into one of the most productive coal towns in Colorado during the 1880s. It continued to be a coal-mining town until about the mid-twentieth century. At that time, the mines closed, and a ski resort opened on Crested Butte Mountain, the towering 12,000-foot peak from which the town got its name. In 1974 a historic district of about twenty properties in Crested Butte was added to the National Register of Historic Places, then in 2002 the district was expanded to include 313 historic buildings and other structures.
Things to Do in Crested Butte
It’s time to bust our your planner and start taking notes of all the amazing things to do in and around Crested Butte!
Attend an Event
Cattlemen’s Days 2021
Earning itself the title, the “Granddaddy of Colorado Rodeos,” The Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo is ready to put on a show that is sure to “wow!” its audience as it celebrates their western heritage with three thrilling PRCA rodeo performances occurring July 15th, 16th, and 17th! While the rodeo has been making a splash since the 1900s when they used to run the cattle right into town, Gunnison’s weeklong rodeo celebration each July is what has put Cattlemen’s Days on the map. Then leading up to the PRCA rodeo performances, the Cattlemen’s Days rodeo celebration includes everything from 4-H shows, a local carnival, and so much more! While the real show is delivered in the rodeo arena and family fun is provided all week long, what makes Cattlemen’s Days stand out is its dedication to awareness and fundraising for one of the rodeo world’s most well-known organizations: Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Learn more here!
Crested Butte Farmers Market
The Crested Butte Farmer’s Market is held at 2nd and Elk Avenue every Sunday. Stroll down the street and enjoy a variety of locally sourced foods, drinks, and other goods, all while supporting local farmers and businesses.
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
Come to Crested Butte to enjoy the beautiful scenery and don’t forget to bring your camera or paint brush! Throughout the week, there will be an array of activities to please everyone. You can choose from 4×4 & van tours, hikes, art classes, birding & butterflies, botany & medicinal lectures, edibles, garden tours, walks, photography classes, and much more! View program guide here.
Explore the Scenery
Summer and Fall activities also include camping, fishing, golf, hiking, horseback riding and much more. Take in the wildflowers with a stroll on more than a dozen nearby trails. Feeling a bit more ambitious? Hike up to the summit of Mt. Crested Butte for a birds eye view of the town and valley. The trout fishing in Gunnison county is some of the best found in world with cold, clear water flowing from the high mountains.
Starting in May and going through October, the hiking season is a great time to explore the surrounding mountains of Crested Butte. Known as the wildflower capital of Colorado, CB is an incredible place to experience summer flowers in incredible mountain landscapes. Beyond summer, golden aspens shine in late September and October. The Gunnison National Forest, which includes five wilderness areas, ensures pristine conditions and memorable experiences.
There are hundreds of miles of dirt and pavement worth exploring around Crested Butte and the surrounding mountains. Keep in mind it may be worth it to rent a mountain bike, just to see what all the fuss is about. Local bike shops, can also be a tremendous help for discovering some hidden gems. This is after all, one of the best, if not the most scenic mountain bike areas in the country. With options for all types of riders, there is sure to be a route that is best for you. Crested Butte offers mountain biking, road biking, downhill biking and fat bike rentals.
Take a step back into the old west by experiencing horseback riding like you’ve never seen. Horseback riding in Crested Butte offers an escape from the daily routine and will take you places that are not accessible by motorized vehicles. See Crested Butte in a whole new light while on the back of your trail partner. Check out one of dude ranches local to Crested Butte for more information.
With options like rafting, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and much more, it’s hard to find a reason to not hit the water this summer in Crested Butte. If you’re looking for something to cool you down, then check out one of their many water recreation shops. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and bring your sunscreen!
What cute mountain is complete without a trendy downtown? Crested Butte is everything that a picturesque mountain town should be. You truly get the best of both worlds, the ski town vibe plus the historic Victorian era buildings that are home to shops of all kinds. Everything from boutiques, to coffee shops and great restaurants. For more on what to do downtown, make sure to check out everything their website has to offer.
This article was brought to you by Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days and TETWP. For more information on their upcoming event, please visit their website and social media links below. Don’t forget to buy your tickets for their upcoming event!