Located in the East River Valley of Gunnison County, Colorado, the town of Crested Butte once served as the summer home of the nomadic Ute Native Americans. The Utes, who were skillful warriors proficient in horse-mounted combat, took shelter in the rough mountains that bordered Crested Butte. Many believe they resided for about 1,000 years in the Colorado Rockies’ western areas.
European and American explorers, mostly beaver trappers, would eventually set foot in the East River Valley. Included in this first batch of explorers and surveyors was Captain John W. Gunnison, an officer of the United States Army, after whom Gunnison County is named after.
During the 1860s and 1870s several coal and silver mines sprouted around the surrounding area, resulting in the establishment of many small mining towns. Silver mining eventually hit a rough spot, and many of these small towns, such as Irwin, declined. Crested Butte, however, endured because it remained as the surrounding area’s supply town, and had top-quality coal mines to bank on. In July 15, 1880, Crested Butte was formally established as a town.
Today, Crested Butte is a picturesque paradise blessed with a charming combination of history, natural beauty, and a myriad of outdoor recreational activities. Known as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, this quiet mountain town is almost unbelievably beautiful, with its elegant Victorian-style houses and buildings set amid a stunning backdrop of breathtaking mountains and rich forests.
No matter the season, there’s a plethora of outdoor activities and exciting opportunities that await you in Crested Butte.
- Hit the countless trails for some awesome mountain biking! There are plenty of wonderful trails in the area perfect for beginner, intermediate, or advanced level bikers. Gunnison County has over 700 miles of mountain bike trails.
- Spectacular alpine and aspen forests provide the perfect setting for an unforgettable hike where you can soak up the beauty of nature. There’s plenty of hiking trails well-suited for day trips, overnight camping, or multiple day journeys in areas such as the West Elk mountain range.
- Grab your fishing rod and hop on a boat! In Crested Butte, you’ll find some of the finest fishing in the world. There are all sorts of opportunities for great fishing at topnotch rivers, streams, beaver ponds, and crystal-clear waterways scattered around the area.
- The Blue Mesa, Taylor, and Gunnison rivers are all excellent hotspots for some of the best kayaking, rafting, or boating in Colorado. Visit the many resorts and paddle shops and spend a relaxing day floating on beautiful crystalline waters.
- Go on a horseback riding adventure through the mountains and valleys of Colorado. Many establishments offer a variety of excellent horseback riding trips through areas such as the Raggeds Wilderness, the West Elk Wilderness, and the Maroon Bells Wilderness.
- There’s plenty of world-class skiing and snowboarding on Mt. Crested Butte. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier or snowboarder, there’s more than a thousand acres of fresh white snow waiting for you.
- Speed through the open fields and forests of Crested Butte on a snowmobile. There’s some fantastic terrain with tons of snow amidst gorgeous scenery that’s absolutely perfect for a ride on a snowmobile.
- Go ice skating or play a game of hockey at Crested Butte Nordic Center’s outdoor rink! The naturally cooled rink is usually open from December to March, and is a great venue for skating.
Plenty of superb housing options await you at Crested Butte. Options range from 2 bedroom condo homes in spectacular surroundings, luxurious single family homes right next to golf courses and hiking trails, and beautiful five to six-bedroom homes with majestic river and mountain views. In town, you may even find a well-preserved Victorian-era home.
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