23 Crested Butte Winter Activities for Non-Skiers

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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.

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Classic & Skate Skiing (non-downhill skiers)

Explore 55 kilometers of manicured cross-country ski trails all around Crested Butte. The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing and can accommodate all ability levels 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 to improve your skills and backcountry tours for an unforgettable experience. For more info on lessons and tours: Click Here

Sled or Tube

This one is family-friendly, free, and good for some exercise too. There are multiple spots in the area including a popular one for the kiddos just past downtown Crested Butte off of Hwy 135 and Pyramid Ave (on the right side as you head up toward the mountain). For the full tubing and sledding guide: Click Here


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!

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 $25 for adults ($15 for kids). Call the rink hotline (970) 349-0974 for the daily schedule or click here. There's also a couple of outdoor rinks that are free in Crested Butte South if you've got your own skates.

Art Walk

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. For a full list of galleries: Click Here

Fat Biking

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 a few shops on the mountain or 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

A vibrant wellness community filled with massage therapists, yogis, holistic practitioners, and teachers await those who are in need of a body, mind, or spiritual tune-up: Spa & Massage Guide

Yoga or Gym

It's always good to stay fit no matter the season. There are a couple of yoga studios in town and a bunch of gyms to choose as well. Click Here for the full list.

Sit by the Fire

Outdoor fire pits are the perfect place to warm up with a hot beverage of your choice. There's a couple in the ski base area including right in front of the Coffee Lab and on the patio of Elevation Hotel next to the lifts, or if you're staying at the Nordic Inn there's a couple there too!

Indoor Golf at Birdies

Birdies Golf Bar is located right off Elk Ave, attached to Pitas in Paradise. Bring friends and family to enjoy all kinds of virtual games including golf, soccer, football, zombie dodgeball and many others! There is a full service bar right by the gaming area for customers to order from at their leisure.

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. Cosmic Cruisers Sled Dogs Tours and Lucky Cat Dog Farm run tours that will make your Crested Butte visit one you'll be remembering for years. Call ahead for reservations and Click Here for more info. 

Aprés All Day at A Bar Above

Even if you're not into hitting the slopes you can always aprés all day with the best selection of cocktails, wine, beer, and spirits at A Bar Above. Located in the ski base area right next to the bus stop, they've also got live music EVERY NIGHT and a great food menu.

Live Music

Our winter concert calendar 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 the event schedule, and plan your trip!


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 around $100 per person and range from a few hours to all day.

Theater: Movie or Live

If you're looking for local 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 novel experience! If  your prefer to take in the latest film, swing by The Majestic Theatre next to Clark's supermarket.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing in the Gunnison Valley is a great winter activity for anglers of any skill level! Professional guides at 3 Rivers Resort will provide all the equipment needed for a productive and safe trip on the ice, including ice augers, ice huts, heaters, fish finders, rods, reels, and all terminal tackle.


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.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

The best dessert shop has not one, but two locations for your to enjoy the tastiest treats in the Butte. In the ski base area on the mountain and right off of Elk Ave in town you'll find Tin Cup Desserts & Ice Cream. Taste some truly unique flavors of ice cream, try one of a dozen different milkshakes, or many other different sweet treats!

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.


If you're lucky enough to stay at a place with a jacuzzi like the Nordic Inn below, you can enjoy some rest and relaxation even as the snowflakes fall. If you're more into the cold plunge lifestyle, the Slate River can remain unfrozen in parts (this one is definitely at your own risk!)

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.

Looking to Buy or Sell Property in CB?

One winter of skiing was the plan, but, as often happens once one experiences the magic of the Gunnison Valley, that “one winter” evolved into a lifetime of mountain living. With over 20 years of local real estate experience, Maggie’s relatability pairs with her reliability and consistent results as a top Crested Butte realtor. What drives Maggie to do her best are her clients. As a knowledgeable advocate for both buyers and sellers, Maggie’s top priority is developing strong relationships where her clients feel fully supported.