Trip Planning

Welcome to Crested Butte!

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

What To Do

One of the benefits of visiting Crested Butte Nordic is that you can choose your accommodations to fit your needs. Our Lodging Partners offer a variety of wonderful rooms and rentals at a wide-range of price points.

The Old Town Inn offers a convenient, affordable stay a short walk from the Nordic Center. They welcome families and have dog-friendly rooms.

The Pioneer Guest Cabins is a great way to get away from it all, with quaint, comfortable cabins tucked into the woods about 8 miles south of the town of Crested Butte.

Crested Butte Lodging & Property Management is your go-to place for renting a condo so you can stay with the whole family.

The Elevation Hotel & Spa offers luxury accommodations at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The Elk Mountain Lodge is a true bed and breakfast experience, and is located right in the heart of downtown Crested Butte. It is a great romantic getaway and just steps from the Alley Loop start and finish.

The Cristiana Guesthaus is a European style bed and breakfast with simple rooms, a hearty breakfast, and a welcoming family atmosphere.

Bigger Piece of Sky is every nordic skier’s dream mountain getaway. It provides ski-in, ski-out access to the nordic ski trail right in its backyard.

Crested Butte has a variety of dining establishments, everything ranging from fine French cuisine to street tacos. Two of our favorites are the Brick Oven Pizzeria and The Last Steep. Both establishments have something for everyone and are great for families.

The Brick Oven is known for its pizza (duh) and its extensive craft beer selection. This is the go-to place for apres-ski beers.

Montanya Distillers is a rum distillery, but don’t let that deter you. Most people who say they don’t like rum end up loving Montanya’s signature cocktails. They also make a delicious mocktail to help re-hydrate you after you ski, and don’t miss the food on their seasonal menu. Sweet potato fries loaded with bulgogi beef and spices? Tater tot nachos? Yes, please.

The Last Steep has a wide-range of dishes, everything from great burgers to great vegetarian bowls. This is the go-to place to watch the game.

Be sure to tell them the folks over at CB Nordic sent you!

Crested Butte is an outdoor recreation paradise. There is the downhill skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, of course, but there is so much more to do in winter, as well.

Crested Butte Nordic rents snowshoes and cross-country skis so you can get out on your own, but we also lead guided snowshoe and ski tours. We can show you our trail system, or take you off the beaten path on a backcountry tour. Tours are private and tailored to your ability and goals.

Want to see the trails from a different vantage point? Rent a fat bike from The Alpineer and try fat biking up the Rec Path or out to Skyland. Fat bikes are great because you can ride straight from wherever your staying; they do well on the roads and the groomed trails.

The Magic Meadows Yurt is perched on the nordic trails in the heart of the Magic Meadows. Ski or snowshoe there for a picnic on the deck, and then play in the snow for awhile before returning to the trailhead.

Looking for a day off the snow? Enjoy a slow amble up Elk Avenue. Start at the 4-way stop, perusing the outdoor gear and clothes at The Alpineer. On the 400 block, be sure to stop into The Little Sparrow, where they have kids toys and clothes downstairs and women’s consignment upstairs. This is the go-to place if your child forgot her mittens your want to rent a sled. Stop for lunch at the Brick Oven, then go a few doors down to check out the clothing at The Mountain Store.

 

Recommended Itineraries

  • Family Friendly

    Day 1 – Settle In:

    When you arrive in Crested Butte, check in at the Old Town Inn before walking downtown for dinner at The Brick Oven Pizzeria. Enjoy some ice cream from Third Bowl for dessert! Get a good night’s rest. You’ve got a big day tomorrow!

    Day 2 – Get Skiing:

    Enjoy the in-house breakfast at The Old Town Inn before heading to the Nordic Center. Pick up sandwiches from Frank’s Deli on your way for a brown bag lunch. At the Nordic Center, you’ll meet an instructor for your family’s cross-country ski lesson.

    After the lesson, bring your family over to the Gronk trailhead on Peanut Lake Road. If you have a car, it’s easiest to drive so you can spend your energy on skiing! From there, you can ski out to the Magic Meadows Yurt. Enjoy your picnic lunch on the deck and some well-earned time playing in the snow. If you’ve still got energy, head past the yurt and explore Mike’s Mile trail. If you’re feeling pretty tired, head on back to the trailhead.

    After you return your gear to the Nordic Center, get settled at the Old Town Inn for some downtime, perhaps enjoying a soak in their hot tub. When you’re ready for dinner, head up to The Last Steep for a hearty meal.

    Day 3 – Adventure:

    Now that you’ve seen downtown and the nordic trails, it’s time to check out some of the offerings further afield via a backcountry snowshoe tour. Meet your guide at the Nordic Center, and they’ll shuttle you out to a remote area. Don’t worry, the guide will work with you to pick a destination and route that suits your fitness level and goals. The tour will wrap up midday, so you have time for lunch on Elk Avenue. We recommend Pitas in Paradise for family-friendly gyros, soups, and salads. Be sure to swing by The Little Sparrow to rent a sled for an afternoon of sledding with the kids. Dinner choices abound, but Ryce is a local’s favorite for your last meal in town.

    Travel home safely!

  • New to Nordic

    Day 1 – Arrival:

    When you arrive in Crested Butte, check in at the Elk Mountain Lodge. Built in 1919 as a miner’s hotel, the lodge has a touch of the past with modern conveniences. You’ll enjoy it’s bed and breakfast feel, and it’s just two blocks from downtown Crested Butte. We recommend you walk downtown and peruse the shops on Elk Avenue before stopping at Montanya Distillers for cocktails and dinner. Their seasonal menu is sure to surprise you with something unique and delicious. Don’t drink too much, though–at 9,000 feet that alcohol will sneak up on you and you have a big day tomorrow!

    Day 2 – Learn to Ski:

    Enjoy the in-house breakfast at the Elk Mountain Lodge before heading to the Nordic Center. At the Nordic Center, you’ll meet an instructor for your private cross-country ski lesson. We recommend you start with a classic ski lesson.

    After the lesson, take a break and treat yourself to a cup of coffee at the iconic Camp 4 Coffee Shop on 4th street. Then head on over to the Town Ranch trails behind the school. This loop is a great loop for beginners to practice on since it’s flat and wide. Ski as long as your energy allows, even practicing without poles for a bit.

    Once you’re tuckered out, head back to the Nordic Center to return your gear. If it’s still early in the day, we  recommend you grab lunch at the Brick Oven Pizzeria and then take a walk around town, admiring the quaint Victorian architecture on the side streets. Enjoy some downtime before heading to Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle for dinner.

    Day 3 – Go Explore:

    If you’re getting the hang of skiing, we recommend you rent skis again and head out to the West Side trails. The jewel of our trail system, the Magic Meadows loop features rolling terrain and gorgeous views of both Mt. Crested Butte and Paradise Divide. Swing by Frank’s Deli before you head out to grab sandwiches for a brown-bag lunch. Ski out to the Magic Meadows Yurt and have your picnic lunch there.

    If one day of skiing was enough for you, try renting snowshoes instead. The snowshoe-only trail through the Magic Meadows will still give you the same spectacular views and the chance to lunch at the Yurt.

    If you’re still not tuckered out after your ski or snowshoe adventure, rent skates when you return your ski/snowshoe gear. A few laps on the Big Mine Ice Rink will make you feel like a kid again! Round out the weekend with dinner at Ryce, and be sure to circle back to any favorite shops for your souvenirs before you head home.

    Travel home safely!

  • Avid Nordic Skiers

    Day 1 – Arrival:

    Book your stay at Bigger Piece of Sky mountain getaway so you can have ski-in, ski-out access all weekend! Just outside of town, Bigger Piece of Sky offers incredible views of town and unparalleled access to the nordic trails. On your way through Crested Butte, stop and do a couple errands so you’re stocked up for the weekend. Swing by Clark’s Market for groceries and the Nordic Center to grab your day passes. The advantage of Bigger Piece of Sky is that you can make your own breakfasts and lunches, while still enjoying CB’s restaurants for dinner. After you get settled in your accommodations, save yourself the trouble of cooking dinner and hop into town for a hearty meal at Ryce.

    Day 2 – the East Side:

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in your Air BNB and, when you’re ready, head straight out the door onto the Nordic Trail system. Be sure to put on your trail pass you picked up the day before. The East Side offers 20+ kilometers  of groomed trails, so bring some food and water with you to explore each corner of them. You can even cross Highway 135  and ski straight to the Nordic Center if you forgot any wax, gloves, or other nordic essentials.

    Once you’ve skied to your heart’s content, head back to your rental to enjoy a hot tub soak before heading into town for happy hour. Peruse the shops on Elk Avenue before stopping at Montanya Distillers for cocktails and dinner. Their seasonal menu is sure to surprise you with something unique and delicious. Don’t drink too much, though–at 9,000 feet that alcohol will sneak up on you and you have another big day tomorrow!

    Day 3 – Go Explore:

    For your second full day of skiing, be sure to check out the West Side trails. This will require a short drive to the trailhead at Peanut Lake Road, but from there you have access to another 20 kilometers of pristine trails with new views of Mt. CB and Paradise Divide. Bring a lunch with so you can stop on the bench by the river out Mike’s Mile and enjoy a trail-side picnic.

    You can ski for several hours on the West Side quite contentedly, but if you want to really wring out every minute of your CB experience, we recommend you swap out your race skis for fish scales or backcountry skis in the afternoon. You can rent BC skis at the Nordic Center if need be, or try out some Alpine Touring Skis from The Alpineer. The drainages around CB afford great backcountry nordic skiing and a totally different experience than the groomed trails. Head up Washington Gulch or Slate River for a beautiful out-and-back tour. Be sure to download the CBG Trails app so you know where you are! There are multiple users out there, including snowshoers and snowmobiles, but the stunning scenery makes it worth it.

    Enjoy your last night in town with a dinner at home admiring the stars, or head back to town for a fine dining experience at Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle. Their cream cake is to die for and worth every calorie.

    Travel home safely!

  • Pooch's Paradise

    Day 1 – Arrival:

    The Elevation Hotel doesn’t just have pet-friendly rooms, they also welcome your pooch with a goodie bag and its own bedding (if need be)! Check in and then head down to the on-site restaurant, 9380, where you can sit with your pet around the giant fire pit while enjoying happy hour beverages and dinner.

    Day 2 – Ski the Nordic Trails:

    Enjoy breakfast at the Elevation before driving to the Nordic Center. Pick up any rentals you may need or day passes for both you and your dog. Head over to the trails on the West Side and park at the first parking lot on Peanut Lake Road. From here, you can get on the Pooch’s Paradise Trail that will take you to the Mike’s Mile trail. Skied together, you’ll get more than 10 km. of skiing in with your dog. Still not skied out? You can add on the Beaver Trail on your way back for a few more kilometers.

    Grab lunch in town, and then head over to the Town Ranch. Park behind the school, and then you can either ski with your dog or simply throw a tennis ball for it. Be sure to return your skis to the Nordic Center if you borrowed them.

    At this point, you and the dog are both probably pretty tuckered out. Go back to the Elevation for a rest and a hot tub soak before coming back to town for dinner. We recommend pizza and craft beer at the Brick Oven Pizzeria. Given out cold climate, you’ll want to leave your dog in the room for this one.

    Day 3 – Explore:

    Today you’re going to head off-piste for a little exploring. We recommend backcountry nordic skis or snowshoes for today’s outing. We also highly encourage you to download the CBG Trails app so you know where you are!

    As you drive through CB, stop by Frank’s Deli to pick up sandwiches for a picnic lunch. We specially recommend the Lemon Bars as a treat.

    Drive South out of town to Brush Creek Road (County Road 738). Keep going a couple miles out Brush Creek Road to where you’ll find the Brush Creek Trailhead. You can park in this parking lot, and then walk down the main road just a bit further to where the winter plowing stops. From here, ski or snowshoe out as far as you and your dog desire. Enjoy spectacular views of Teocalli Mountain and the East River Drainage. Find a sunny spot along the way to pack out a snow-seat for your picnic lunch. You can explore on Strand Hill if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, and when you’re ready just turn around and head back to your car.

    Head back to the Elevation to give you and your pup a much-deserved rest, but be sure to leave some time for walking Elk Avenue before dinner. CB’s collection of small businesses, from boutiques to galleries, makes for some interesting window-shopping and souvenirs. Be sure to stop by Chopwood Mercantile to check out their cool trucker caps and axes. We recommend Montanya Distillers for cocktails and dinner. Their Animal Fries are to die for, and the ramen is pretty good, too. They have set up some outdoor dining “bubbles” so call ahead to see if one’s available; you just may be able to bring your pup with for dinner.

    Travel home safely!

  • Non-Ski Fun

    Day 1 – Arrival:

    As much as we love nordic skiing, we know sliding on snow isn’t for everyone. If you’re in that category of folks, never fear! There are still a variety of fun activities to do in and around Crested Butte. For the perfect mountain getaway, book your lodging at Three Rivers Resort in Almont. Positioned between Gunnison and CB on the Taylor River, Three Rivers Resort offers a unique mountain setting where you can relax. Choose from riverfront cabins with private hot tubs, vacation homes and hotel-style lodge rooms. It’s the perfect place to curl up with a book, soak in the hot tub by the river, or head out in a variety of directions to explore.

    Day 2 – Snowshoeing:

    Hop on the free bus or drive up to Crested Butte for the day. Get online ahead of your visit to book a snowshoe tour with one of our knowledgeable guides. Then, when you get to town, check in at the Nordic Center where you’ll get connected with your guide. Together, you’ll plan a day of snowshoeing that meets your goals, whether you’re looking for a workout, a leisurely stroll, or scenic vistas for the perfect Christmas card photo. A snowshoe tour is a terrific way to safely explore the more remote terrain around Crested Butte.

    Tours can be booked for a half-day or full-day, so this may take up your whole day! If not, head over to Elk Avenue and explore the shops and restaurants that make CB unique. Stop by Chopwood Mercantile for unique souvenirs, the Mountain Store for any warm clothes you may have forgotten, or Little Sparrow to find that perfect gift for the little people in your life. Grab lunch at the Brick Oven or happy hour cocktails at Montanya Distillers before heading back to Three Rivers for a relaxing soak in the hot tub.

    Day 3 – Unique Experiences:

    If you enjoyed your snowshoeing adventure, rent snowshoes today from the Nordic Center and head out on your own to explore our trail system.

    If you’re ready for a change of pace, try winter fly fishing through the guides at Three Rivers Resort. Fly Fishing in winter can be a bit trickier than summer, but some folks fish all year round. Reach out to them to see about booking a lesson. If that’s not up your alley, try a dog sledding tour for a truly unique winter experience.

    Whatever your day brings, be sure to build in some time for relaxing by the river at your cabin. There’s nothing more magical than the burbling of the water beneath the snow-covered pines. Be sure to soak it in!

    Travel home safely!