Crested Butte Colorado Ultimate Destination and is one of the Best mountain real estate options. So you are probably wondering “why” and most importantly “what” has the town of Crested Butte Colorado have in common with a Handyman home improvement Blog…
Nothing, really nothing.
Our company, Plano Texas Handyman, was founded on the principal of family and fun. Every family should experience the “most beautiful and charming mountain town in America”. Over the last 40 years, I have had the enviable pleasure of visiting and recreating in this incredible mountain town dozens of times. Growing up a 3 hour drive, it was a family tradition to ski, fly fish, raft, hike, bike and explore one of the most breath-taking and inviting places in the country, Crested Butte, Colorado, The Ultimate Destination.
Fortunately, my wife and I took a trip recently and had, as expected, a spectacular time! We would like to share a spectacular way to experience this destination.
Everything was perfect and this is one of the most awesome vacations you will ever experience if you follow this little itinerary taking every breath-taking detail into account that will dazzle your senses, and satisfy your most adventurous side creating a truly unforgettable experience. And the most compelling feature of the trip was that it is very dog friendly and our little girl had as much fun as we did. Crested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate Destination
Lets go on this incredible adventure… Keep in mind that unless you like to move your body and have fun, this trip is not for you.
First, I recommend you travel 50 miles through the Arkansas River canyon, from Canon City past the Royal Gorge suspension bridge, then through the San Isabel National Forest, this is a precursor or warm-up of what is about to dazzle the senses off the chart. This trek follows the Arkansas River canyon through a winding and scenic journey of steep cliffs, white-water, and spectacular views. This is a river rafters and fly fisjing paradise along with a multitude of other outdoor activities you can imagine.
Next, lets travel through Salida and up over Monarch Pass and over the continental divide into the Gunnison National Forest. As you traverse this knuckle biting mountain pass at an altitude over over 11,300′, you will quickly realize the danger and beauty are equally alluring. Take your time, this is not for the faint of hearts. At the summit, you are at the continental divide, the dividing line where the run-off basin separates the Atlantic from the Pacific.
The pass is widely considered by many tourists as one of the most scenic in Colorado, offering a panoramic view of the southern end of the Sawatch Range from the summit. Monarch Mountain Lodge is located about 5 miles from the summit of the pass. During the summer, an aerial tram from the parking lot at the summit carries visitors to the top of Monarch Ridge above the pass (at approximately 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above sea level), allowing a wider view of the surrounding peaks. During the winter, visitors enjoy skiing at Monarch ski area, or in the famous destination of Vail, with ski locker rental to keep your things safe whilst you sail along the slopes. Crested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate Destination
The Gunnison Valley is your next stop. The Gunnison area holds bragging rights to what many consider to be the country’s best fly-fishing and big game hunting. Snowsports are the hot ticket during winter, while warm summer months provide some of the most scenic hiking and camping in the Rockies. Bird watchers will enjoy sighting an American Bald Eagle or Red-Tailed Hawk, while botanists will delight at the bloom of summer wildflowers throughout the local mountains. To the west, you will find Blue Mesa Reservoir and the incredible Black Canyon and to the North, the mountain town of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. You may even compare it to the hiking trails you would find in Iceland, the beautiful scenery matched with the coldness and crispness of the air. Iceland may be your next stop after being here, and if it is, it may be wise to check out websites such as Rent.is to see what you could do there.
The 25-mile road from Gunnison to Crested Butte is an outdoor enthusiast dream come true. The town of Almont is where the conflux of the East River and the Taylor River create the Gunnison River. This area is arguably some of the finest fly fishing waters in the region. Up and down this immaculate and gold medal stretch of water you will find a serene and beautiful backdrop for catching rainbow trout and if your lucky, you will see Bighorn sheep and herds of Elk roam the mountainside. When you arrive in Almont, take an immediate right turn on road 742 which heads North and follows the Taylor River. There are several turnouts to enjoy this majestic high mountain river scenery. Select any one and enjoy some awesome fly fishing or and truly amazing views.
Continue traveling North on Highway 135 to Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Crested Butte was once described as a surf town in the mountains. The descriptor couldn’t be more perfect. It’s one of those places where you can go and just relax. You’ll be greeted like an old friend the second you step onto Elk Avenue, even if it’s your first visit. Stroll up and down Elk, the town’s main drag, and check out the shopping, galleries, and more good restaurants and bars than a town this size really deserves to have. Crested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate Destination. The picture to the right was taken as we walked to dinner and rainbows are a regular sight over the mountain.
Downhill ski and mountain-bike trails crisscross the slopes of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. There are Nordic ski routes around town. The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway takes in wilderness areas like Kebler Pass, to the west, known for colorful Quaking aspen trees in fall. Shops and restaurants in wooden buildings line downtown’s Elk Avenue.
The town of Crested Butte is 2 miles from the Mountain which is where most all lodging will be found. There are shuttle buses that take you from the mountain to the town year round.
Must do: Stay at the Nordic Inn on Treaury St. on the mountain. The Nordic Inn is the longest operating lodge in the county. The first and only remaining hotel in Mt. Crested Butte from the first year the ski area opened in 1963. Beautifully renovated only a few years ago, the owners kept the charm of the original hotel while adding touches of luxury. Just steps away from the base and Crested Butte Mountain Resort, the Nordic Inn is the perfect respite that provides both comfort and character. Crested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate Destination
Mount Crested Butte is home to one of the most premier ski areas in the country and seldom has long lift lines. Behind the mountain are the Maroon Peaks, Snowmass Peak and a short hike to the town of Aspen. The mountain has miles of hiking trails, mountain biking trails and simply beautiful scenery.
Set aside an entire day to drive back down to the town of Gunnison and West to Blue Mesa Reservoir and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest lake in the state of Colorado. It’s 20 miles long and features 96 miles of shoreline to explore.
Blue Mesa is a recreationalist’s dream. Options for play include sailing, power boating, fishing, and water skiing. Windsurfing is popular among those looking to get a workout on the water. Swimming for any extended period of time is not really recommended. The reservoir is fed by snowmelt streams and rivers so it can be pretty chilly. If you are looking to swim, waiting until later in the summer after it has had time to warm up is advised. No matter what, you’ll probably want to bring a wet suit.
Boaters of all types on Blue Mesa should be aware that strong afternoon winds, sometimes accompanied by storms, can cause hazardous conditions. Be weather-wise. Watch for threatening cloud build ups. As soon as strong winds begin to blow, head for shore.
The Black Canyon is one of the most spectacular feats of Mother Nature you will ever experience. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is certainly less famous than that other National Park featuring a canyon. But what it lacks in notoriety, it makes up for with drama. It is not the steepest nor the narrowest canyon in the western United States, but when you combine those two traits, it certainly wins out.
Hikers can experience the canyon from a variety of perspectives by hiking along the North Rim, the South Rim, and on inner-canyon routes that descend deep into the chasm. Be aware though, that many of the routes into the Canyon are primitive and not maintained. They require climbing skills and the ability to self-rescue, as well as a free backcountry permit you can get at a ranger station. Trad climbing routes are difficult as well, but offer tremendous routes for advanced and expert climbers on the walls of the Black Canyon. Be sure to book a guide or research your routes in advance as these can be challenging. Crested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate DestinationCrested Butte Colorado, The Ultimate Destination
If you’d like a little less adventure, the wildlife viewing on the rim of the Black is great. Grab your binoculars to snoop on park denizens like the yellow-bellied marmot, a fat rodent that likes to sunbathe on rocky ledges and outcrops. If you want to catch a glimpse of the Peregrine Falcon, you’d better be quick on the draw – it’s the fastest bird in the world. Eagles, coyotes, elk, and more make the park their home.
Fishing enthusiasts should add the Black Canyon to the list of great fishing in the Gunnison Valley. With gold medal waters stretching for 12 miles within the park, this is one of the best stretches of trout fishing in the state of Colorado. Local Fishing Guides can guide you through the Black.
This is one of the most spectacular trips you can experience.