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Snowshow Magazine

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Crested Butte Nordic Center

620 Second Street, Crested Butte, CO 81224


Crested Butte is linked with one of the most extensive xc ski trail networks in southern Colorado. The Crested Butte Nordic Center (970-349-1707, www.cbnordic.org) is located at the edge of town in the Big Mine Park, on 2nd Street and Whiterock Avenue. Crested Butte is a quaint Victorian mining town that has a National Historic District and the Nordic center is walking distance from anywhere in town. There is also a free shuttle bus that stops at the center.

There are about 50 km of ski trails groomed for classic and skate skiing, which begin a few yards from the Center. Terrain includes spectacular scenery and varies from flats and rolling hills to steeps. There are 3 trailheads and there is also easy access right from town to outstanding backcountry skiing. The Center offers backcountry hut trips to the historic mining town of Gothic, CO, home of the world famous Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.

Trail passes are $15 for adults and $10 for kids under age 12 or people aged 60-69. Trail passes are free for 70+ aged skiers.

The Learn to Ski package includes lesson, rentals, and trail pass for $60 per person and $50 for kids or seniors. Skate lessons are available for FREE on the first Thursdays of the month at 1 PM and there's a special $15 for skate ski rental equipment.


Rental equipment is also available at CB Nordic with classic or skate ski gear for $20 for adults and $15 for kids/seniors. Snowshoes are $15 and ice skates are $9 and $7 for kids under 12 years old. The center also has an outdoor rink and sledding hill for après-xc ski activity.

Backcountry half-day tours are 3 hours including a guide, rental equipment, and transportation at $65 for adults and $35 for kids. All day tours are 6 hours and also include a box lunch for $95. These tours can be done on snowshoes or xc skis.


A backcountry tour includes a guide, who teaches about geology and wildlife. The Forest Queen Hut in the Gothic town site is 4 miles with potential avalanche hazards depending on snow conditions. It sleeps 7 and has electricity, stove, refrigerator, outdoor toilet, and wood for heat. Forest Queen Hut rental is $18 per person per night with reservations and renters must bring own sleeping bag and food. The Maroon Hut is $217 a night and sleeps 8 plus 4 cots for a total of 12 people.


New this year: The Moonlight "Dinners at the Yurt" Tour, is $45 per person or $65 includes trail pass & rental $30 children. Full moon dinners on Dec 26, Jan 19, Feb 18, Mar 18. Sunday Brunch at the Yurt on Dec 26, Jan 30, Feb 13, and Mar 13 11 AM - 12:30 PM for $25 adults or $10 for kids under 12.

Crested Butte is one of the most scenic and happening towns in the ski world but can get cold so bring some extra long underwear if plans include a mid-winter visit. The elevation can also be an issue as the trails range from 8,850 feet to 9,400. The Crested Butte Nordic Ski Council was formed as a non-profit organization in 1987 and it is a USFS Permittee.

CB Nordic is 30 minutes from the Gunnison airport and 4 hours from the DIA airport in Denver. CCSAA member