If you told me I didn’t have to get on I-70 to ski amazing terrain and enjoy an idyllic ski town in Colorado, I would have said no way. Enter Crested Butte. This small town is nestled at the end of a beautiful valley surrounded by spectacular peaks, each one more amazing the next, the crowning jewel being Mount Crested Butte itself. And let me tell you, this place has something for everyone.
From kids to beginners to adults it has it all. The last several years we happy been enjoying CB SnowHappy family style with some of our most favorite SnowHappy families, by renting a big ol’ house and piling in for long weekends of snow, fireside chats and big family dinners (are you sensing a pattern here?).
SnowHappy Daddy likes to tell the story about how when we discovered CB in 2009, it was the first time he ever stood at a cornice and was scared to make that first turn. On the other hand, there are plenty of greens and blue groomers to satisfy the most beginner of skiers. SnowHappy bro and sis can’t get enough of the cross and terrain parks. And, I just have to make a plug for their ski school. We have done lessons multiple places and they have been great, but this place takes the cake. The kids come back all grins with tales about how they conquered the day and learned something new.
Aside from the laid-back awesomeness of the mountain and the skiing, the town itself it just a gem. There is great food. (And we will try some of it once our kids stop demanding pizza at the Secret Stash. Ok, let’s stay on this for a quick sec. The pizza is bomber. I’d strongly recommend taking the leftovers home and making breakfast pizza in the morning. Fry an egg over easy, heat pizza, add egg on top, season with S&P. You’re welcome.) Check out the fun shops and galleries, too. Amazing local art and quirky gifts abound. This time around SnowHappy bro and sis wanted to hit the ice for some skating and the local rink did not disappoint. It is located downtown at the Nordic Center. It is a covered rink, but outdoors so make sure you dress warm. The Nordic Center rents skates and also has a place to change and warm up. They also rent Nordic gear and I am jonesing to get out there on the extensive trail system. Oh, and did I mention all the fat bikes around town? And the skis attached any which way ON the fat bike to commute to said extensive trail system? So many ways to be SnowHappy!
If you are headed to Crested Butte from Denver, I highlight recommend breaking up the 4-5 hour drive with a stop at Mount Princeton Hot Springs, just outside of Buena Vista. It has been on my list for years and we finally included a visit there on our trip home. After chilly days on the mountain, we were met with 45 degrees and sunny, which felt like spring! I loved the combination of pools for swimming, an exercise pool and natural springs in the river. There really was something for everyone. We definitely plan on a separate trip back for an overnight stay at the cabins or more hotel style lodge.
Check it out, it won’t disappoint. Crested Butte is on the Epic Pass. If you aren’t a passholder, go with an Epic Pass friend and use a buddy pass! It is worth the gorgeous non-I70 drive (we still love you, I-70 resorts). Promise. Find your SnowHappy, friends!