Crested Butte

Jess Jess
September 11, 2020

Crested Butte is one of our favorite mountain towns. It has the best laid back vibe with friendly locals that LIVE for mountain biking in the summer and shredding pow in the winter. The shops are eclectic and the food and drink is probably the best of any mountain town in Colorado. We’ve visited in the winter and the summer and just absolutely love it. You have to check it out!



If you’re a biker you have to bike the 401 while you’re there. It’s an iconic Crested Butte trail with unreal mountain views, aspen groves, alpine lakes, and beautiful wildflowers in the summer. PS: Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado.

401 trailhead

The 14 mile trail begins with a steady 5 mile climb up Gothic Road to Schofield Pass. 4x4 vehicles do pass frequently and kick up quite a bit of dusty on the road. You know you’re almost to the singletrack when you pass beautiful Emerald Lake.

emerald lake cb
parker emerald lake cb

The singletrack continues 1.3 miles of tough uphill until the trees open up and you’re rewarded with 360 views and the first downhill. Enjoy the ride! It is flowy, beautiful, and so freaking fun.

parker downhill 401
jess downhill 401

At Rustler’s Gulch you begin to climb again for about a mile. It is a bit more technical and as beginner mountain bikers we walked our bikes a decent amount of this section (no shame in our game). One last downhill takes you back to the trailhead!

jess 401 aspens
parker 401 insta360

I forgot to mention there are cows everywhere along the trail. Moo-ing at you, moo-ing at each other. There were a few times we had to wait for them to cross the trail.

jess 401 cows

Unfortunately wildfire smoke blew in the day we rode so our pictures just don’t do it justice. But we can’t wait to go back when there’s less smoke and more wildflowers.

You can take a little detour close to the end of the ride to check out Judd Falls. I thought it was a little anticlimactic personally.


id hike that

Our favorite hike so far in Crested Butte is Green Lake Trail. It is an 8.5 mile trail with 1,814 ft of elevation gain that starts right from town behind the Nordic Center. It’s mostly shaded so it’s perfect for a hot summer day. The trail begins on a private road but has great signage.

green lake aspens

Switchbacks through aspen trees get your heart rate up. Look out for bear marks on the aspen trees! We saw quite a few paw prints on our way up!

aspen bear paw

The trail pops back out onto the road again for a half a mile and then back to singletrack. The trail opens up as you arrive at the beautiful Green Lake. Cool off with a quick dip in the chilly alpine water before making your way back down!

j & p at green lake
green lake

Support Local!

Pop into Resilient Threads for an awesome vintage clothing selection!

Butte Bagels is hands down the best breakfast spot in town. We go every single time we’re in CB and it’s always worth it. Pro tip: call ahead to skip the line but if you forget their awesome staff is so funny you won’t mind waiting. Our go-to is the Scotty on a cheddar jalapeno bagel.

butte bagels
parker butte bagels

The Sunflower is an amazing fresh, farm-to-table restaurant that takes reservations for 2 different seatings. We have failed to get reservations everytime because we’re bad at planning ahead but we hear it’s worth it and hope to go next time we're in town!

Secret Stash if you’re craving pizza. It has such an eclectic fun vibe and their pizzas are delicious.

Our favorite place to get cocktails is Montanya Distillers. They make their own rum and their cocktails are made with fresh ingredients and are freaking delicious. Our favorite is the Wake Up Call but you really can’t go wrong. We had amazing customer service while we were here as well.

j & p montanya

The Dogwood has cozy, old house vibes perfect for a candlelit nightcap.

The Eldo is a divey bar with darts, pool, and live music.

If it’s late and you’re still out, end your night at Talk of the Town.


There are a ton of good dispersed spots around Crested Butte. Check out Gothic Road, Kebler Pass, and along the Slate River. A good back up spot that we’ve used on busy holiday weekends is Spring Creek outside of Almont 30 minutes from Crested Butte!

cb campsite
jess wine and pines
cb campsite lights

Before we had the van we also stayed at Cristiana Guesthaus. It is a cozy, affordable B&B that has wine and cookie happy hours, a hot tub, and is right off the bus line to Mount Crested Butte.

We hope you enjoy the mountain town vibes in Crested Butte as much as we do!

gothic hiking