We get it. Downhill skiing and snowboarding isn’t for everyone. Whether you have achy knees, 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? The Nordic Inn has it all with free parking, an outdoor hot tub, and friendly staff.
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Classic & Skate Skiing (non-downhill skiers)
Explore 55 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails all around Crested Butte. 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 and affordable. Reserve it in advance online and you can pick up with at Crested Butte Nordic Center along with any trail passes you might need. You can also schedule lessons or jump in clinics to improve your skills and experience.
Sled or Tube
This one is family-friendly and good for some exercise too. There are two main spots around town: next to the Big Mine ice rink in town, and just outside of town off of Hwy 135 and Pyramid Ave (on the right side as you head up toward the mountain).
If the family is not up for a day of skiing, you can still head to the mountain for the Adventure Park! There lies a place of endless fun, including bungee jump trampolines, a rock wall pinnacle, and miniature golf.
Unfortunately, due to Covid the Adventure Park will not be open for the Winter 20/21 Season.
Check out some exhibits at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum! Detailing a rich history of Crested Butte, the museum offers a wide range of events, displays, and other services that paint the picture of how CB came to be.
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 beautiful trails Crested Butte has to offer. For rentals and additional suggestions visit the Crested Butte Nordic Center website and make reservations or purchase trail passes in advance.
Coffee & Some Reading
Pay a visit to Rumors Coffee and Tea House for some espresso, tea, and other specialty beverages. Once you have a hot drink in hand, scan the wide selection of books in the cozy, neighborhood bookstore Townie Books adjacent to Rumors. Get your buzz on, grab a book, browse the web, or enjoy some live music and local art!
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 $15 for adults ($7 for kids). Call the rink hotline (970) 349-0974 for the daily schedule.
Grab a map and stroll through Crested Butte’s galleries, experience the diverse artistic expressions of local artists, and be inspired by these special ArtWalk evenings (TBD). Strolling is free; art is available for purchase. Swing by Redline Gallery on the corner of 5th and Elk for more info.
Fat biking is a fun, low impact winter activity that is a great alternative to skiing in the winter. You can get fat bike rentals at the Alpineer in town or bring your own and ride CBMBA’s groomed trails. It’s easier on your body and you still get to see the surrounding mountains in an active way.
Stroll Around Town
There’s plenty of interesting and historic buildings to check out along Elk Avenue, but by exploring the side streets around town, you’ll likely come upon some beautiful and quite colorful houses. Whether you wander around town on a bluebird day or walk amongst the soft snowfall, you’ll be surprised how each building is so unique from the other.
Spa & Massage
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. Cosmic Cruisers Sled Dogs Tours run every day of the week from November to April. We recommend you and your party call ahead for reservations at 970-641-0529 or visit online at Gunnison Sled Dogs
Aprés Ski at the Avy
Making the adjustment to 9,000 feet altitude isn’t easy! An IV treatment at The Fountain can help battle the symptoms of altitude sickness so you can get back to the fun. There’s even free oxygen therapy with their ‘Altitude Adjuster’ package.
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.
Theater at the Mallardi
If you’re looking for entertainment, be sure to stay updated with what’s happening at the Crested Butte Mountain Theater. From live shows to events, the theater is sure to give you a fun, theatrical experience!
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.
If you’re really looking for something wild, check out the aerial conditioning and dance classes offered through the Crested Butte School of Dance and Crested Butte Dance Collective. Classes take place at the Center for the Arts and are sure to provide you with a fun, fitness challenge!
Build a Snowman
Head on over to Rainbow Park or any open field and work with what we’ve got in abundance here. Carrot and coal not included … but you should be able to find them in local stores. Bonus points for any bigger than a car.
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.