Crested Butte has aptly earned the title of “the last great Colorado ski town”. Locals have created a strong, inviting community with an old charm feel that is rarely captured in other large resort towns today. Unlike travelling to ski resorts along the I-70 corridor, you’ll rarely face traffic getting to Crested Butte and lift lines are scarce. The ski mountain itself has 121 trails ranging from long, wide-open runs to incredible glades amid aspen groves to heaps of double-black diamond terrain. With 542 of the 1,547 acres rated as extreme terrain, it’s no surprise that Crested Butte has been home to the US Extreme Freeskiing Championships since 1992.

“After a grueling one week spring break course, I was dying to get up to the mountains and pack my last few days of break full of ski runs. It had been 10 years since I had last skied at Crested Butte, and I was in for a treat. For my first run of the day, I found myself at the top of the High Lift T-bar with my skis pointed down on the rockiest, most exposed terrain I had ever seen. As a collegiate athlete, the first thought that came to my mind was “Coach would absolutely kill me if he knew I was doing this.” A couple minutes later, quads burning and smiling from ear to ear I looked up at the beast I had just conquered. Moral of the story: As long a no one gets hurt, what coach doesn’t know won’t kill him. Right? Right.”

Pro Tips

  • Looking to save a few bucks on lodging? If you are willing to drive the extra 30 minutes, hotel prices are much cheaper closer to Gunnison.
  • Come spring, keep your eyes peeled for the notorious rock exposure in the ungroomed, inbound extreme terrain areas.
  • If you want bragging rights for skiing or boarding down North America’s steepest cut trail (at just over 50 degrees of inclination), head down Rambo.
  • For the best cup of joe in town, stop by First Ascent before hitting the slopes.
  • Recommended season(s): December to March.

    —Alyssa Wendt


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