10 Winter Activities For Non-Skiers

We get it.  Downhill skiing and snowboarding isn’t for everyone.  Whether you have achy knees, are an expecting mother, or just not a fan, you can still enjoy your time in paradise this winter. Crested Butte was named America’s Best Ski Town because there’s also a ridiculous amount of fun to be had off the mountain. So when you’re done with this article, put the phone down and go play.

Need a place to stay? Take 40% off lodging at the Nordic Inn with promo code: WIN40

Calorie Burning Options

Classic & Skate Skiing (non-downhill skiers)

Explore 55 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails all around Crested Butte and the surrounding valleys.  The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing and can accommodate any ability level from beginner to advanced. Renting your gear is easy at the Crested Butte Nordic Center, plus they’re happy to point you in the right direction for the trail that best fits your needs.  Kids 15 & under rent free!

Snowshoeing

For those who love hiking, snowshoeing is your winter counterpart.  Go practically anywhere from groomed trails to pristine back country wilderness.  Anyone who can walk, can snowshoe and there are plenty of guides to show you the best trails Crested Butte has to offer. For rentals, information, and suggestions visit the Crested Butte Nordic Center.

Ice Skating

The open air Big Mine Ice Arena is free to the public and located right next to the Nordic Center at 620 2nd Street.  If you need to rent some skates, just pop in to the Nordic Shop where they are only $9 for adults ($7 for kids/seniors).  Call the rink hotline (970) 349-0974 for the daily schedule.

Fat Biking

Fat biking is a fun winter activity that has recently been introduced in the Crested Butte area. This new activity is a great alternative to skiing in the winter. It’s easier on your body and you still get to see the surrounding mountains in an active way. You can give fat biking a try and get a sweet deal on lodging with the Fat Bike Experience package at the Nordic Inn–what’s not to love?

Less Sweat, More Fun

Dog Sledding

Looking for a unique experience to tell your friends about?  Try being pulled by a team of dogs through the snow filled wilderness of the Colorado Rockies.  Both kids and adults are welcome on the sleds with tours lasting around  2 hours.  Prices start from $150 for kids and $165 for adults.  Check out Lucky Cat Dog Farms for more info or call (970) 641-1636 between 6:00 and 8:30 pm MST.

Live Music

The Center for the Arts has a killer lineup of music, all season long. You can’t go wrong with a day of exploring, and night of music. Check out their event schedule, and plan your trip!

Snowmobiling

With many roads and passes closing for the winter, snowmobiling represents a fast and fun way to get into the backcountry.  There’s an extensive trail system and local rental companies offer both guided and unguided rentals.  Guided tours start at $94 per person and range from a few hours to all day.

Horseback/Sleigh Ride

Transport yourself back to the Old West with an hour-long ride on horseback or on a pulled sleigh.  Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures offers winter rides in nearby Almont, where  half-way through the ride you can warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.  For reservations call (888) 688-3488 or (970) 349-5425.

Snowcat Driving

(Photo/Crested Butte Mountain Resort/Alex Fenlon)

Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers the Snowcat Driving Experience, where you can learn the basics of driving snowcats, grooming, pushing snow, and experience one of the best ski resort jobs on a closed course. These one-on-oneClasses run twice daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday during the ski season. To book your Snowcat Driving Experience call (970) 349-4554 or visit the Adventure Center in Mountaineer Square.

Shopping

Elk Ave 12/12

Take a leisurely stroll down Elk avenue and visit Crested Butte’s numerous retail shops, specialty stores, and galleries.  You won’t find any corporate chains here, just some truly unique gifts, styles, and hidden gems not found elsewhere. For an extra special curated selection of adventure apparel and gear, swing through Chopwood Mercantile on Elk Ave. You’re guaranteed to find favorites like Patagonia and Icebreaker, along with hard-to-find gems from brans line Iron & Resin. Also, check out these stores for clothing, jewelry, & giftsart galleries, and sporting goods.

Bonus: Don’t miss history in the making

The third annual Fat Bike World Championships is January 24 – 28, 2018, and this event is as iconic as the town that started it. With exciting race courses, plenty of beer (21+), food, live music and vendors, Fat Bike Worlds is as much fun to watch as it is to race in.

Featured Lodging

Nordic Inn

  • Hot tub • WiFi • Pet friendly
  • Continental Breakfast • Free Mountain Parking

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14 Treasury Rd, Mt. CB
(970) 349-5542Map


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The Nordic Inn at Mt. Crested Butte is the perfect base camp for any activity. Whatever experience or time frame you’re working with, they can help assist in planning your adventure. Enjoy comfortable accommodations including breakfast, outdoor hot tub, and friendly staff.