970.349.6653 \\ 401 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte

Area Information and History

For Crested Butte, Colorado

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Crested Butte, Colorado

This is a real town–more than a town, a treasure–with an easy-going attitude and a lifestyle that you simply don’t find every day. Crested Butte is a “must see” with plenty of “must do’s” in every season of the year. Colorado – Pure & Simple! Crested Butte was recognized in 2008 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of their “Dozen Distinctive Destinations!”

In summer, some of the world’s best fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing and golf are at your doorstep. Enjoy! We’re surrounded by nearly two million acres of National Forest and Wilderness–and not an interstate in sight! Join us for the Wildflower Festival, Fat Tire Bike Week, Festival of the Arts, Reel Fest, Crested Butte Music Festival and the Crested Butte Fall Festival, to name a few of the fabulous events!

Crested Butte comes alive in winter with events that warm the heart and capture the areas unique sense of adventure and playfulness. Locally owned restaurants & eateries, one-of-a-kind shops and galleriesarts centersmuseums, and a full calendar of festivals, athletic activities and cultural events add to the authentic, all-around winter playground atmosphere in the Gunnison Valley. Nordic Skiing is also a local favorite here in Crested Butte. The Crested Butte Nordic Center (CBNC) offers 50 Kilometers of terrain; some trails are free, while other opportunities to ski elsewhere in the county are also abundant.

Just 3 miles away in Mount Crested Butte skiers and snowboarders will revel on Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s thousand plus acres of terrain ranging from beginner groomers to extreme gladed steeps. Fifteen chair lifts service 2,700 feet of vertical. The new Painter Boy terrain park and new Superpipe offer innovative options for aspiring and experienced freestylers.

Want to know more about this diamond in the rough? The Crested Butte Visitor Center is an excellent first stop when you arrive, located at the 4-Way Stop: 601 Elk Ave in downtown Crested Butte.


The East River Valley where Crested Butte is located was once used as a summer residence by Ute Native Americans. However, they were quickly displaced when white explorers first entered the area. The first Caucasians to explore the valley were beaver trappers, followed by surveyors. Captain John Gunnison, after whom Gunnison County is named was one of the early explorers to enter the area.

In the 1860s and 1870s coal and silver mines began to open in the surrounding area and many little mining towns formed. However, when silver mining hit on hard times, many of these towns failed. Crested Butte was in a better position to survive because it served as a supply town to the surrounding area.

When the coal mines closed, the town began to shrink, and eventually the local high school was closed. Students had to travel to Gunnison to go to high school. The town did not revive until a ski area was built on Crested Butte Mountain in the 1960s.

In 1993 the Crested Butte Academy opened in Crested Butte, bringing a private high school into town. However, on 9 July 2008, the Academy was closed permanently due to financial difficulties that had plagued its entire existence. In 1997, the Crested Butte Community School was opened, and Crested Butte finally had a public high school again.

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