Crested Butte is comprised of a tight-knit, local community, and because that community happens to be both very alternative and very outdoorsy, visitors have a slew of winter activities that they won’t get to experience just anywhere. Here’s a roundup of distinct Crested Butte activities that you don’t want to miss on your next trip.
Fat biking trails
Crested Butte has long been renowned as one of the top mountain-biking meccas of North America, and now it’s quickly becoming one of the world’s top places to go winter fat biking. In case your new to this sport, fat bikes were invented in 2009 and feature 3.5-inch-plus tires and extra wide rims. Because of the extra surface area on fat bike tires, these funny-looking bikes are very lofty in the snow.
Crested Butte offers seasoned and newbie fat bikers alike a slew of trail options—10 trails, in fact—from easy, groomed 4×4 roads to actual single-track trails along the famed summer trails of Slate River Road and Washington Gulch Road.
Note: one lucky winner (and their companion of choice) will enjoy one-day fat bike rentals. Enter now>>>
Learn to drive a snowcat
Ever wonder how those joy-inducing ridges, aka corduroy, are made on your favorites slopes? In Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (CBMR) Snowcat Driving Experience, the only ski resort in the world that offers a program like it, you can! Sign up for this two-hour lesson and you’ll learn everything from the fundamentals of grooming and safety tips to how to actually operate a snowcat from real Crested Butte groomers. You even get to drive a Prinoth 275 Snow Cat on a closed course. The CBMR grooming instructors have a deeo passion for their trade, so you’ll likely get regaled with great grooming tales, too.
“Earn your turns.” If you’ve been to any major ski resorts in the past three years or so, you’ve probably heard this term. For the uninitiated, it simply means hiking up a mountain or ridge to enjoy some downhill turns. As you can imagine this is a major component of the backcountry skiing movement. However, in recent years, thanks in part to an influx in lightweight “touring” or uphill-centric equipment technology, resorts are also embracing this sort of skiing and CBMR has been among the resorts at the forefront. However, the major difference between uphilling on the resort and touring in the backcountry is that resort participants are in search of a good workout vs. an out-of-bounds ski adventure.
To support this uphill movement, CBMR created a route map, as well as policies and guidelines. In addition, the resort is now hosting on-mountain, full-moon parties at Ten Peaks, which are only accessible by uphill skiers and riders. A buffet dinner is available in the new Umbrella Bar and features fondue, salad, soup or chili, dessert and one complimentary glass of beer or wine (be sure to bring your ID). Uphill equipment rentals are available and include AT ski boots, which are generally lighter and have special divots in the toe piece, AT bindings, which allow the heel to lift much like telemark bindings and feature heel lifts, and skins—sticky, removable fabric, which is placed on the bottom of the skis to provide uphill traction.
Note: one lucky winner (and their companion of choice) will enjoy one-day uphill ski rentals. Enter now >>>
Winter Trail Rides
When you think of horseback riding in the mountains, you generally think of summer, but Crested Butte offers winter trail rides, too. Exploring Crested Butte’s surrounding backcountry, blanketed in snow on horseback is a truly unique way to take in the area’s spectacular natural beauty. Plus, if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, it’s the best way to potentially see elk, deer, bighorn sheep or even bald eagles without disturbing them.
Photo: Crested Butte Nordic Council
Crested Butte isn’t called the “Nordic Ski Capital of Colorado” for nothing. The Crested Butte Nordic Council offers 55 kilometers (34 miles) of groomed Nordic trails to around the town of Crested Butte, along the scenic Slate River Road and off of Gothic Road above the Crested Butte Mountain Resort base area. First-timers to competitive Nordic skiers have options in Crested Butte, and you can even combine this activity with a dinner at the Magic Meadows Yurt. Complete ski and snowshoe rentals packages, as well as private lessons, clinics and tours are available.
Winter Adventure Park
At Crested Butte, outdoor, kid-friendly fun is much more than skiing and riding in the winter. Kids and kids at heart can enjoy Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s year-round Adventure Park, which features a covered mini golf course, bungee trampolines, which rocket daring ducklings 30 feet in the air, and a climbing wall, which features a 28-foot, six-route tower with auto belay.
Note: one lucky winner (and their companion of choice) will enjoy one-day Adventure Park passes. Enter now>>>
Ready to experience these activities distinct to Crested Butte? Our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free, custom quote.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.