Why Crested Butte is a Perfect Vacation for Families

Crested Butte is nicknamed the last great mountain town.  It’s off the beaten path location makes it less visited than the popular towns along I-70 in Colorado, and that means it may be the perfect adventure town for your family.  Not only is it less expensive than trendy resorts towns like Vail and Aspen, but the lack of crowds mean that you can explore to your hearts content.

Wildflower Capital of Colorado

Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado, and the multicolored blossoms are on full display in late June and throughout July.  Take a family hiking trip to go see the blossoms – hiking options abound.  One of our favorite hikes is Rustler Gulch, a hike well-known for its incredible beauty.  We hiked it on a Wednesday and had the entire hike to ourselves.  We crossed over a stream several times and then rounded a mountain to find a vista over a beautiful green valley rimmed with snow capped peaks.  There is still lots more to hike after this, but if you have little ones you can also admire the view and then turn around here.  There are tons of hikes, and the All Trails app does a great job of detailing them.


Another option for enjoying landscapes of wildflowers is to rent mountain bikes for the whole family on and explore the area on two wheels.  This land of peaks has options for every level of rider- from beginner and kid-friendly trails like Lupine, with its namesake flowers covering the surrounding hills, to more advanced rides like the famous 401 and 403 high alpine trails.The awe-inspiring scenery in Crested Butteis unbeatable, so make sure you take breaks to take it all in.

Click Here for a Crested Butte trail map.


Crested Butte is blessed with beautiful alpine lakes and rivers, and wildlife sightings are common.  Our favorite paddle is the serene Lake Irwin, a beautiful hour-long drive from town.  Rent paddleboards or kayaks online, and pick them up easily at CB SUP’s downtown shop, where they will help you load them onto your car.   Lake Irwin is a crystal clear high alpine mountain lake which is calm enough to even have a family picnic out on the water!  We were fortunate to observe one of the area’s resident moose grace the shore of the lake at sunset.

Live Music

Kid friendly and parent approved, Crested Butte’s outdoor concerts are fun for the whole family.  Monday afternoons feature the Alpenglow series on a grassy lawn downtown, and Wednesday’s highlight is the Mt. Crested Butte concerts on the mountain.  Bring a blanket and a picnic to join the locals in what might be Crested Butte’s best summer scene.