Best Mountain Town Resort: Crested Butte

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Friday, March 12th, 2010

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A scenic Rocky Mountain shot from the town of Crested Butte. Photo by Audrey Sykes

Crested Butte is a classic and historic mountain town famous for its rustic vibe and preserved remains of the adventurous West. Ski Crested Butte when looking for spectacular backcountry and a fairly priced mountain, but explore the town’s community and lifestyle for the real deal on Crested Butte.

The Wild West look

Humble mining shacks mix with bright houses amongst a breathtaking backdrop of Rocky Mountains and Gunnison National Forest. Crested Butte lodging couldn’t be more cozy – a number of old houses are now bed and breakfasts, and even basic hotels carry a cabin vibe.

Old saloons on Elk Avenue that were once hangouts of Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy stay intact and house poker games against a decor of mounted buffalo heads and soggy wooden bar fixtures. The Crested Butte Town Hall, built in 1883 and like most of the town structures, still has its original look preserved in a clean and tidy fashion. The look is a gorgeous blend of historic attraction for those in search of leftovers from the Wild West era.

The mountain and snow life

Crested Butte mountain offers 1,167 skiable acres catering mostly for the advanced intermediate and experts. Locals are addicted to the Teocalli Bowl for its steep trees and narrow chutes. World-class backcountry spots like Red Lady Bowl and Coney’s Ridge are nearby secret spots ideal for powder days. Freestyle specialists from DC have built a superpipe and park piled high with jumps, rails and jibs. Even beginners and intermediates enjoy the base groomers.

Off the mountain, locals get around by cross-country skis, whether it’s to and from work or when walking their dogs. Sledding, ice climbing, ice fishing and snowshoeing are all winter activities ready and available via guides and tour companies in town.

The laidback mountain-town feel

Crested Butte is known as “Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town” for a reason. The locals are nature lovers who crave the athletic outdoors but know how to relax with good company. Get into the vibe by grabbing a micro brew and a fresh pizza at Brick Oven Pizzeria, or settle for a ginger martini and mouth-watering pan-Asian cuisine at the Ginger Café. Teocalli Tamale is hot for Mexican food and margaritas, and no morning is complete without a Camp 4 Coffe cup of joe.

Locals are proud to draw in tourist type looking for adventure and the true mountain-town feeling. It’s an oasis of pristine wildlife worth a visit for anyone seeking a glimpse of the Colorado Rocky way of life.

Places to stay in Crested Butte:

The Ruby of Crested Butte: A gorgeous ruby red historic house with an amazing bed and breakfast, the friendly staff offer afternoon wine gatherings and many other extras to create an enjoyable customer experience. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit The Ruby of Crested Butte.

Lodge at Mountaineer Square: Located right next to the ski lifts, The Lodge covers all its bases. A full fitness center, indoor pool and spa, coffee cafe, restaurant and bar and more in a fabulous location. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit Lodge at Mountaineer Square.

The Grand Lodge Crested Butte: Walking distance to the ski lifts, The Grand Lodge is a warm and cozy classic ski lodge perfect for families and couples. Clean, comfortable and covered with extras. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit The Grand Lodge Crested Butte.

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