Choosing to book a Crested Butte family ski vacation is a no brainer thanks to its family-friendly terrain, low-key dining scene, historic downtown, wide array of lodging options to suit nearly every family’s style and budget, stacked events calendar and off-mountain activities. Crested Butte is truly brimming with experiences and activities families can enjoy together. Both kids and parents will enjoy perusing up and down historic Elk Avenue, popping in and out of specialty shops and enjoying ice cream. And despite its reputation as an original homestead for extreme skiing, the vast majority of its terrain qualifies as intermediate, allowing the whole family to enjoy a slew of trails together.
Over 50-percent of Crested Butte’s skiing terrain is designated as intermediate, making it a perfect resort for families looking to ski together. Plus the mountain is relatively small compared with places like Breckenridge, Snowmass, or Vail, so families can comfortably separate without worrying about being apart all day. Advanced skiers in the family can pop in and out of the woods and find terrain nuggets along the trails, well less advanced skiers can meander down Crested Butte’s well-groomed, wide open runs.
Beginner families will enjoy all the green runs off the Red Lady Lift from the base area; a kid-friendly adventure park is located near the lift so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Intermediates should start their Crested Butte family ski vacation off by warming up their legs on the East River Express Lift, which offers shorter trails. For longer, sustained runs head to Paradise Express Lift and be sure to test your mettle on Paradise Bowl into Treasury all the way back to the bottom of East River Express lift, or head down Ruby Chief back to Paradise Lift. Advanced to expert families should heed a little advice: Crested Butte’s double black diamonds are a step above what most resorts would consider double black. And there are only a few single black diamonds, so don’t be fooled. To play it safe, especially on your first day at Crested Butte, the best plan of attack is to the blacks and double blues off of East River Lift−don’t miss Bakery Trees− or the blacks below Twister Lift, including Monument Bowl.
Crested Butte offers an exceptional array of family-friendly lodging options.
In general the Crested Butte dining scene trends towards casual and low-key, which is great for no-frills families, and parents looking to relax. Teocali Tamale is always a hit with parents and kids alike and its a great option for a quick bite. Of course their namesake tamales are incredible, but the burritos and corn salsa are also show stoppers. For a sit-down dinner that everyone will love, families must head to the famed Secret Stash Pizza. Parents looking for gourmet pies will be happy with toppings like figs and prosciutto, and kids will enjoy the fresh goodness of Secret Stash’s cheese or pepperoni pies.
Crested Butte Kids Ski School provides instruction for children age three to teen. Children looking to learn to snowboard can also do so from age five to teen. Crested Butte does an incredible creating lesson programs tailored to children of all ages and ability and creates groups based on both age and ability, so children learn among their peers. Advanced to expert teen skiers or snowboarders can also request lessons geared towards terrain parks or extreme skiing. The Crested Butte Ski School also provides day care for infants, toddlers and young children who do not ski.