I just got back from spending a few wonderful days in Crested Butte, Colorado. As I was researching for my trip, I could find very little on how to spend a vacation in Crested Butte, CO during the summer. So after spending five days in the area, I wanted to share my Crested Butte, CO Summer Travel Guide to help you get a better idea of what to expect.
Crested Butte, CO Summer Travel Guide
My parents go up to Crested Butte, CO a few times a year because their best friends have a house up there. This time they decided to extend their stay and have us come up and join them. Luckily, my aunt and uncle have a cabin in Almont, CO (about 20-30 min away from Crested Butte) and they were going to be back in Texas during June so they graciously let us stay there.
Since my parents had been there several times we let them lead the way but also experienced a few new things with them!
We flew into the Gunnison airport around lunchtime. It’s important to note that the Gunnison airport is under major construction! When I walked off the plane I was so confused because I entered a complete construction site. According to their website, it’s expected to be done in June of 2022 but considering I was just there and it was nowhere close I would say you could expect this for a while.
After we landed, we met my family and grabbed a rental car, and then headed to the grocery store to stock up on snacks and meals to make at our cabin.
We then made dinner, played some card games, and took it easy after a long travel day.
The plan was to have a slow morning and then head to the Crested Butte ski lift to go to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, by the time we got there around 10 AM, it was closed due to lightning. It’s important to note that at 12,162 feet you do not want to be on a metal chair lift when it’s lightning. If it’s overcast they will still run but if there’s lightning they shut it down and reevaluate every hour.
We waited around for a little bit and then shifted our plans. We went into the town of Crested Butte to walk down the main drag (Elk Street) and enjoyed some shopping.
Some of my favorite stores I popped into were:
- Chopwood Mercantile – I snagged an awesome Stetson hat here.
- Favor the Kind – They also have a location in Houston but have some quirky items and boutique-like clothing.
- Colorado Real Soap Co. – I snagged some great natural beauty products like lotion, bug spray, etc. My mom loves their products and always stocks up.
For lunch, we went to Secret Stash Pizza and it was absolutely amazing! Probably the best pizza I’ve ever had. My sister and I split The Hamptons pizza with prosciutto, olive oil, parmesan, and lemon pepper. The rest of my family got the Texas Biggens and a plan sausage and cheese pizza. We also got some fried mozzarella and their crack fries, which fair warning, they are AMAZING and absolutely addicting. There’s a reason why they are called crack fries.
After lunch, we walked around a little more and then hit up Sugar Sugar for some ice cream and rootbeer floats.
From there we made our way to the Woods Walk just off the main downtown area in Crested Butte for an easy hike. This trail went through some gorgeous Aspen trees and then connected to the Lower Loop trail by peanut lake. This trail was super easy and had some great scenic routes. Our whole family did this hike including my 65 years old parents so it’s very easy.
After that we headed back to our cabin to enjoy some more games and an easy evening.
After our slow morning the day before we all wanted to get up early and do some hiking, so we headed out to a trail someone recommended not far from our cabin in Almont. This trail was HARD! Honestly, I couldn’t tell you where it was but it was along 742 and the Taylor River. This was pretty much rock climbing. Worth it but it was just my brother, sister, her boyfriend, and Jared this time.
Following our hike, we grabbed a bite to eat at our cabin and then headed down the road to 3 Rivers Resort to do some white water rafting. There are two different options for the rafting, one is the Lower Taylor which is very calm and easy with a few rapids. Then there is the Upper Taylor which is much more hands-on with everyone in the raft paddling and very intense. My mom and I opted for the Lower Taylor easy ride whereas everyone else went with the more intense Upper Taylor. I really enjoyed this and so did everyone else in our group. My parents have done both Lower and Upper, as well as the other rafting company in town and much, prefer 3 Rivers Resort.
If you are planning on rafting, I recommend wearing a lot of sunscreen, easy dry clothes, and sandals that strap over your feet. I got these from Academy for cheap.
For dinner, we grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant at 3 Rivers then headed back to the cabin for an early night after a very busy day.
We were determined to do the chair lift up to the top of Mt. Crested Butte so we woke up early Sunday and made our way to the mountain. We got there about 9 AM and rode the Silver Queen almost to the top of Mt. Crested Butte. The chair lift ticket was about $35 per adult to ride up and down once.
Our plan was to ride up, and hike down but if we got tired take the Red Lady chair lift the rest of the way down (which is about half way), however, we were about 2 minutes too late because it started lightning. We rushed down the last half and made it in before the rain.
We were tracking about a 45 min mile the first two miles with stopping for photos and taking it in and then we ended with about a 22 min mile for the last three miles. My dad decided to take a “short cut” which was not actually shorter and finished the hike in the rain. However, it’s basically a road the whole hike so definitely doable for any age with the time consideration of about 2-3 hours.
As our reward for the hike, we headed back to Secret Stash and each ordered our own order of crack fries… I told you they are addicting!
After that treat, we headed back home and enjoyed steaks for dinner at the cabin.
We slept in, packed up, and headed to the airport.
Overall, it was very adventurous, relaxing, and breathtaking. If you are looking for a relaxing but outdoor field summer vacation spot I definitely recommend Crested Butte, CO. The weather was such a nice break from the Texas summer heat!
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