Prior to my recent trip, I have been to Crested Butte twice in the past. Once as a day trip from Aspen and the other to spend the night before hiking from Crested Butte to Aspen. The town is located in Southwest Colorado, 28 miles north of the City of Gunnison. I find it to be a very quiet, charming town with great Victorian architecture. Most of the buildings are from the late 1800’s when it was a bustling coal mining town. It is the eighth largest historic district in the state of Colorado.
Situated at an elevation of 8,885 feet, it is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. The population is 1,550. From Aspen you drive over the McClure Pass to the Kebler Pass. You drive through one of the largest stands of Aspen trees in the country which is really spectacular. In late September when all of the Aspens are a brilliant yellow, it is considered one of Colorado’s Best Fall Drives.
Local residents and visitors enjoy skiing, hiking, biking and an array of outdoor activities. The ski area resort is in Mt. Crested Butte, three miles north of town. In addition, there are numerous events and festivals such as the Wildflower Festival since it is considered the wildflower capital of Colorado and Winter Carnival. In addition there is a fun New Year’s Eve celebration, Winter Carnival in January, Mardi Gras celebration, Slushuck or the wacky Spring ski celebration, the Fourth of July Parade and the zany town festival known as Flaushink where people Burn the Grump along with the bad things they want to rid themselves of.
Other annual events in town include:
Cattlemen’s Days, in July, with parades, concerts, dancing, a horse show, rodeo events, horse races and cowboy poetry.
Mt. Crested Butte Chili & Beer Festival in September.
Art Studio of the Center for The Arts for classes and workshops in painting, jewelry, drawing and ceramics
Mountain High Music Festival
Many residents of Aspen enjoy hiking from Maroon Bells to Crested Butte, from Crested Butte to Maroon Bells or both ways. It was a wonderful day hike of about six hours with spectacular scenery.
Crested Butte is a vibrant, colorful and fun-loving place to visit year round. Locals and visitors join together in any excuse to celebrate nature and life! Check out my recommendations for hotels and restaurants while there.