The history of Crested Butte, Colorado has a familiar ring to it: Miners find gold/silver, boom town springs from the valley, good times roll, mine runs dry, people move away. Then, somebody decides to strap a couple boards to the feet and let gravity do it’s thing.

The Crested Butte ski resort is a bit off the beaten path, but the skiers who make this their ski vacation destination know that the isolation is part of this town’s charm.

Crested Butte is a Ski Vacation Destination

Hidden away in central Colorado’s Gunnison County, Crested Butte is seemingly caught in a bit of a time-warp. The chain stores of corporate America have found a No Vacancy sign at the city limits, and the only stop lights are the sun, moon and stars. But, this town of less than 2,000 residents seems to revel in the sweet isolation. Local businessmen operate shops and boutiques from buildings that date to the 1800s, and more than 30 bars can slake the mightiest mountain man’s thirst.

Of course, folks on holiday need something to do. For that, all they have to do is look up.

Skiing at Crested Butte

At more than 9,000 feet above sea level, a fair amount of snow tends to fall on Crested Butte; more than 25 feet per year, if anyone’s counting. This makes for some prime skiing conditions at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The mountain has around 1,100 skiable acres, which is not huge. But, the 16 lifts scatter skiers across the 120+ trails, so waiting in line is usually reserved for the restaurants in town. Crested Butte is a very well designed mountain, with little mixing of skiing difficulty levels in any one area. Some areas are almost exclusively for beginners, while intermediate skiers can have parts of the mountain all to themselves.

For another attraction of Crested Butte, take a look at the top of the trail map. (Left, right or center, it doesn’t matter) All those black diamonds mean one thing: Danger! Actually, Crested Butte is known for having some of the nastiest steeps in the Rockies, and anyone with below expert level skills has surely got the good sense to avoid these areas.

Crested Butte Lodging Options

As with most other ski resorts, Crested Butte lodging can take many forms. Crested Butte hotels, condos, and townhouse style lodging is available in a variety of price ranges, and some of these places allow a bunch of powder hounds to cram into the facility, which eases the debit card burden.

Another fantastic opportunity is ski-in, ski-out lodging. And entire section of Crested Butte Mountain is designed to be a ski-in, ski-out community, which allows it’s lucky occupants to essentially live on the mountain. Imagine, having the Crested Butte Ski Resort right out the back door! This is also a convenient arrangement for Crested Butte summer activities.

Crested Butte Vacation Competition

As is the case with the southwest Colorado town of Telluride, and another popular Colorado ski town in Summit County, Breckenridge, the competition for every ski vacation dollar is tough. Some of the larger ski resorts offer much more skiable terrain and ultra-chic gondola rides. Crested Butte has carved it’s niche in the market by offering the experience of skiing a wide variety of terrain, and enjoying the ambiance of a place that bills itself as “Colorado’s last great ski town.”

Besides, gold mining sounds like work.