Crested Butte: a brief overview

Nestled in a stunning valley of wildflowers and majestic mountain peaks is the small, captivating town of Crested Butte, home of the Crested Butte Arts Festival. A year-round destination, Crested Butte is a recreational paradise offering a wide array of activities for any traveler – from the avid sports enthusiast to the art lover, nature enthusiast, and history buff.

This former coal mining town has faithfully held onto its 19th Century heritage, retaining the heart and spirit of the landscape while creating a charming main street. Often referred to as “the last great Colorado ski town” and “The Wildflower Capital Of Colorado,” Crested Butte exudes a friendly warmth, peaceful ambiance and rugged beauty that serves as a perennial escape from urban life.

Crested Butte has been a National Historic District since 1974 and was recently awarded the Dozen Distinctive Destinations Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The town emulates the vibrant design of a Victorian-era village, with its wooden false-front buildings, street-corner flower boxes, and antique lamplights. Elk Avenue, the setting for our Festival, is lined with original 19th Century buildings that have been reinvented as inviting coffee shops, quaint restaurants, art galleries, and eclectic boutiques.

Just three miles north of Crested Butte is the town of Mt. Crested Butte, where Crested Butte Mountain Resort is located. This contemporary alpine village features luxury conference facilities and shopping, dining, and recreational amenities. Accommodations range from the plush, slope-side resorts to lodges, bed-and-breakfast inns, and condominiums. The quaint historic town and contemporary resort are connected by a free shuttle bus.

In addition to our Festival, summer celebrations include Fat Tire Bike Week, Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, Dansummer, Taste of Crested Butte food festival and a wide variety of music festivals. Wintertime is just as packed with fun, thanks to the large volume of snow that blankets the valley. Please visit the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce for a full calendar of events happening in and around Crested Butte all year.

Getting Here

 Driving Directions

Crested Butte is located 31 miles north of Gunnison and 230 miles southwest of Denver.

From Denver International Airport: take Interstate 70 west, exit to highway C470 west, then highway 285 south to Fairplay then Poncha Springs, highway 50 west to Gunnison, then highway 135 into Crested Butte.

From Colorado Springs: Take highway 24 west to highway 285, highway 285 south to Poncha Springs, highway 50 west to Gunnison, then highway 135 north into Crested Butte

From All Points West: Travel to Montrose, Colorado. Take highway 50 east to Gunnison, then highway 135 north into Crested Butte.

From All Points North: Travel to Grand Junction, Colorado. Take highway 50 east to Gunnnison, then highway 135 north into Crested Butte

From All Points South: Travel to Alamosa, Colorado. Take highway 285 north to Saguache, highway 114 north to highway 50, highway 50 west to Gunnnison, then highway 135 north into Crested Butte

 Travel by Air

United Airlines offers seasonal daily jet service from Denver to the Gunnison/Crested Butte Airport. In addition, United Express provides up to three daily connections via Denver to Gunnison. American Airlines provides seasonal non-stop daily 757 jet service from Dallas to Gunnison/Crested Butte with additional Saturday flights during peak periods.

The Montrose Regional Airport is also served year round by United Express, and winter service expands with Continental, American and Delta Airlines.

Regularly scheduled ground transportation offered by Alpine Express and Mountain Express virtually eliminate the need for a vehicle once you’re here. Or, Dollar, Hertz, Avis and Budget are available for your rental needs.

Staying Here

 Lodging

Crested Butte Lodging and Property Management is the Festival’s official lodging partner. They have a wide variety of accomodations in Mt. Crested Butte with special packages for exhibiting artists. The Elevation Hotel and Spa is also offering specials for our Festival weekend.

Arts Festival Special: Save 10% on Lodging
Crested Butte Lodging and Property Management is offering artists participating in the Crested Butte Arts Festival a 10% discount on lodging. Choose from floor plans ranging from hotel rooms to 3 bedroom condominiums. To redeem this deal enter promo code: paintbrush15 when prompted on www.crestedbuttelodging.com or call 800-451-5699 and ask for the Artist Deal.

 Camping

There are Forest Service campgrounds at Lake Irwin and Cement Creek. The nearest campground with RV hook-ups is Three Rivers Resort in Almont, about 18 miles south of Crested Butte. There are four RV parks in the Gunnison area, including a KOA. It is illegal to camp within the town limits of Crested Butte or Mt. Crested Butte.

For more information, please call the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-545-4505.