Discover adventure off the beaten path
By Kristin Miller
Whether you’re a native or newcomer, Coloradoans are undoubtedly familiar with the highly publicized personas of our state’s popular mountain towns. Depending on your lifestyle, you may delight in the glitz and glam of the alpine villages of Vail and Aspen, or find solace in the subtle charm of a slightly quieter mountain environment. If the latter is more your speed, then Crested Butte should be on your radar.
You had better appreciate snow if you visit Crested Butte in the winter. With approximately 300 inches of average snowfall each year, locals and visitors do not let frigid temperatures keep them indoors. In addition to equally popular Alpine and Nordic skiing, a Crested Butte winter presents opportunities for snowshoeing, guided snowmobile tours, winter horseback trail rides and snowcat driving. Those visiting during the summer should prepare themselves for an explosion of color in the form of Lupines, Blue Flax and Columbines, as Crested Butte is hailed as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” Summer also encourages hiking, mountain biking, zipline tours, fishing and festivals galore. See our Summer Don’t Miss List for a rundown of DLM’s favorite summer events.
Where to Stay
Accommodations range from boutique B&Bs in historic downtown Crested Butte to luxurious slope-side lodging at the base of Mt. Crested Butte. The Grand Lodge Crested Butte is a full-service hotel—located 200 yards from the ski base area—offering a variety of rooms and suites, many with kitchenettes. The hotel’s Wildflower Spa is a peaceful retreat ideal for a post-ski or post-hike massage. The Lodge at Mountaineer Square, also mere steps from the ski lifts, is a wonderful option for families due to its combination of spacious hotel and condominium accommodations. It’s conveniently located around the Mountaineer Square Courtyard where guests will find many dining and shopping options. Additionally, the pet-friendly Elevation Hotel & Spa offers a modern mountain experience with ski-in/ski-out convenience, an 11,000-square-foot spa, contemporary fine dining at its 9380
Prime restaurant and spacious rooms with granite kitchenettes.
Dine & Drink
For a must-do, on-mountain dining experience, Uley’s Cabin is a rustic-yet- elegant cabin tucked in the woods and serving exquisite lunches daily during the ski season. Located mid-mountain at the base of the Twister Lift, Uley’s is named after local historical figure and bootlegger, Uley Scheer, a reclusive mountain man known for providing both food and moonshine to the local community. In the winter, skiers enjoy a signature drink outside at its legendary Ice Bar or a starlit sleigh ride and five-course gourmet dinner. Bringing a little urban edge to the mountains, d’jangos, located in the courtyard of Mountaineer Square, pleases patrons with its award-winning small plates reflecting Spanish and south European flavors as well as seasonal local ingredients. Enjoy a casual slope-side breakfast, lunch or après beverage on the sundeck at 9380 Prime, located at the Elevation Hotel & Spa. Downtown Crested Butte offers several dining options including East Side Bistro, which specializes in seasonal, globally influenced American cuisine.
At Home in the Wild West
If, like many have before, you visit Crested Butte and fall in love with the area, real estate options abound. A rare opportunity can be found approximately 30 minutes south of Crested Butte. Wilder on the Taylor is a preservation-oriented ranch community and a nature lover’s haven. Surrounded by Gunnison National Forest and nestled along the banks of the legendary, trout-abundant Taylor River, the 2,100-acre community is an angler’s paradise staking claim to more than two miles of private tailwater fishing. Featuring a full-time, on-site ranch manager, this historic community— comprised of 26 home-sites, each on a minimum of 35 acres—is as visually appealing as it is recreationally rich. For those seeking a quiet, undisturbed natural setting to call home, Wilder on the Taylor encapsulates the ranching traditions, history and culture of the American West. For more information about land ownership in this exclusive community, visit wildercolorado.com