Crested Butte

Hubby and I always look forward to visiting one of our favorite Colorado mountain towns.  Our friends are just as much a fan of Crested Butte, Colorado, as are we, but it’s been years since they last visited this well-known ski town.  Crested Butte isn’t just known for its awesome skiing… is considered the birth place of mountain biking.  Now I’m sure there’s some folks that might disagree, but keep in mind, I’m just repeating the Crested Butte information that I’ve read.Crested Butte

WildflowersThis quaint little mountain town is also home to the Wildflower Festival held each July when the mountain meadows are covered in blooms. Hubby and I visited this area last year for exactly that reason.  However, 2012 brought very little moisture to Colorado; producing drought conditions and a poor showing of blooms….so we were told.  The locals – from shop keepers, to wait staff, to city workers – all apologized for the poor display of wildflowers and encouraged us to revisit.  Ok….twist my arm!

So revisit we shall and we can’t wait to share the day with our friends.  Last year’s trip was a lot of fun even though the showing of wildflowers wasn’t spectacular.  I was indeed a very happy camper.  You can read about our 2012 tenting adventure in Crested Butte here.

On last year’s trip, we discovered a great little place for breakfast called McGill’s.  Al and I knew any return trip to Crested Butte would include a stop at McGill’s for breakfast.  With our friends in tow and tummies gurgling, we arrived at McGill’s for a late breakfast around 9 a.m.  First order of business – coffee.  They serve the yummiest coffee, roasted right there in Crested Butte.

Camp 4 Coffee is a locally owned coffee shop and roaster.  Before heading out of town, we purchased a couple of pounds of the “Sledgehammer” roast.  McGill’s serves the “Blue Mesa” blend which Al really enjoys….and he’s not normally a coffee drinker, but he is at McGill’s.wildflower

With tummies full and plenty of coffee to keep us zinging for a few hours, we’re off to explore the backcountry.  We head north past Mount Crested Butte and toward the town of Gothic.  Our goal today was Emerald Lake.  Last year we never made it to the lake because traffic was too heavy for our liking.  The Wildflower Festival brings folks in from around the world, thus tourists everywhere.Gothic

Crested Butte

Our trip today was perfect…..perfect weather, few tourists, and enjoyable company.  The road got a little rough in spots, but nothing my Toyota couldn’t handle.  We enjoy our photo op at Emerald Lake then meander our way back to our camp at Blue Mesa.Emerald Lake


ChipmunkI wrote three posts last year with a little more information on Crested Butte and the surrounding area.  Feel free to check out the posts starting here.

Once again, we did not get our fill of the area and Al and I vow to return again next summer.  I believe our friends share our sentiment and are ready to return with a moments notice.


52 thoughts on “Crested Butte

  1. Fantastic photos! We think you’d enjoy the fall as well. They say the mountains flower twice a year. Once in the summer and then again when the leaves change in the fall. It’s been amazing this year so far with the snow in the mix. Hope to see you again soon!

  2. Beautiful photos! We lived in Denver for 11 years and had a place in Breckenridge, so spent a lot of time hiking to see the wildflowers in the summer. Only visited Crested Butte once, but it’s really a charming town – Breckenridge has gotten too congested. Like they say about Colorado – the winters will bring you but the summers will keep you!

    • Thanks LuAnn. Photographing that canyon is quite a challenge. Yes, you do need to revisit. Al and I are already talking about things to do and explore next summer. We have not had our fill 😉

  3. We can all definitely see why. Those spectacular landscapes are definitely worth going back to again and again and again. They all look like were ripped off travel magazines.

    • Be sure and put Colorado high on your list. You’re the perfect size to fit into some stunning National Forest Campgrounds. So don’t go bigger till you’ve seen CO.

  4. Super beautiful photos! I love Colorado and have only been to Monarch in the winter, but no other ski towns in either season. I think if I had an RV I would spend most of the time in Colorado and the rest traveling between there and the Oregon/Cali coast. 🙂

    • Thanks. Well Monarch doesn’t really count as a ski town….good skiing though. So many beautiful mountain towns you’ll need to visit. Next summer, if we don’t spend all our time in CO we’re hoping to take in northern CA and parts of Oregon.

  5. Crested Butte is one of our favorite Colorado towns. Our first RV was a 19 ft. Tiger CX with 4 X wheel drive and we camped all around Crested Butte. Also, during our working lives we hosted an industry event for several summers in Crested Butte. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • Crested Butte holds special memories for us as well. Right now we’re back at another one of your favorites….Ridgway SP. The Aspen are just now lightening up here and there. Soon it’ll be gold 🙂

  6. Flowers or not this still sounds an interesting area to visit… we have the spring flowers in the Western Cape when the rains have been right that brings people from all over the world… we have been there so many times when there’s been no flowers and still enjoyed ourselves… the one occasion we traveled there without a thought of flowers we were rewarded with a spectacular display that one just cannot describe… flowers as far as the eye can see…

    • Oh… pls share some photos of the Cape with flowers. I bet that was beautiful. Those flowers do take even the most stunning of sceneries up a notch. I’m hoping to come back to this area next summer to capture the beauty.

  7. Really like the shot of the river with wild flowers. We must make it into that area sometime – I always wanted to ski there but never made it.

  8. 1947 retrofitted and shined, Spartanette hooked to the back of a vehicle… and go through this beautiful country! Last time I went through this beautiful Crested Butt… I was in puffy ski gear!

    • Sounds like a fun time. I used to love Crested Butte in the winter, but it’s just too darn cold for me these days so I’ll stick to the summers. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Do you still work in the airline industry?

    • I know Amanda and Lisa did some great posts on the area. Be sure and put Colorado’s western slope on your travel list next summer. You’ll love it ever bit as much as Utah…..I wouldn’t want to have to pick between the two. Both are awesome states, but different. Each offering their own unique beauty 🙂

  9. Your pictures are sooooooo beautiful! I’m in love with Colorado! We just departed from Colorado Springs and are heading south, so I won’t get to experience your places on this trip. But you can bet I’ll be saving all your info for later. Love it!

    • We lived in Co. Springs for 4 years. Hope you enjoyed it. The western slope is more spectacular than the front range. A definite must see for next summer. I know we’ll be back!

    • What….you’ve never visited Colorado? It’s a must at least once. I’ll help you plan a trip – lol. After a Colorado trip – I can hear the poetry now!

  10. Still working on our two bags of Camp 4 Coffee that we ordered on your recommendation. Tracy doesn’t drink coffee, so I have been enjoying it all myself.:) Sounds like you guys are doing well, hope to see you in Arizona when it cools down!

    • Wow, you still have some Camp 4 Coffee? ….my coffee will be gone in 2-3 months and Al won’t be helping me anymore than Tracy helps you. We’ll be in AZ Oct, Nov, Dec trying out an RV Park on the west side of Phx. I’m pretty sure I won’t like it….certainly not Cave Creek or McDowell, but I promised hubby I’d have an open mind. Good to hear from you 🙂

    • Anytime after 4th of July until the end of August is a must see to the CO mountains…..festival or not. I’m surprised how many flowers are still around. And if you can fit in a National Forest Campground all the better.

    • There’s so many great places to explore in CO. Sometimes I wish we still had our truck camper so we could fit in some of the out of the way National Forest Campgrounds. Be sure and let me know when you head west….whenever that may be….I can offer some helpful info 🙂

  11. OK. so we have been off the radar and handling our elders…I am in need of some little grandkids running around our house, and that will happen this weekend..Thanks for letting us ride with you and Al…and now, could we replenish the wine?? I think I drank it all.

  12. The Wildflower Festival must be something fantastic to see! I’ve read that Texas has such festivals too in spring and I am eager to see the wildflowers 🙂
    But even without them, the place seem very nice to visit!

    • The wildflowers are icing on the cake. I hope to get to Texas one of these Springs for the blooming of the Bluebells in the high country. I’ve seen photos and I know I’d love it.

    • Agree….last year we took Slate River Road up to the backside of Mt. Baldy. We only needed to go a little further around Mt. Baldy to Emerald Lake but there were so many ATV’s running around we returned via Washington Gulch Road. You guys did an amazing job touring the backcountry when you were there.

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