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The town of Crested Butte, Colorado, enjoyed a giant growth spurt in the late 1880s with the arrival of the railroad and an expansion of its coal mining industry. After the last mines closed in the 1950s, the area went on to reinvent itself as a ski resort destination a decade later.
Crested Butte is located high in the West Elk Mountains of the Rockies in a county with more than 2 million acres of public land. The town is less than a five-hour drive from Denver.
Crested Butte has one of the best public schools in the state and a downtown area that gives a nod to its western mining heritage. The Victorian-era architecture of Elk Avenue, mostly buildings of wood construction, is now part of the town’s National Historic District designation. The summer months are packed with music, arts and even a bike festival. In fact Crested Butte was a major player in the birth of mountain biking as a sport -with hundreds of miles of bike trails to proof it. The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame opened here before eventually relocating to California.
But above all, when you have a home in Crested Butte, you are near skiing. Downhill, cross country and extreme. Snow-loving homeowners include part-timers, telecommuting transplants and even a few descendents of the original town settlers.
Three miles north of town is Mount Crested Butte around the base of the resort mountain. Elevation: 9,375 feet. Large private homes and condominiums feature ski in, ski out access and mountain views in every direction. Come summer time, the hillsides are covered in wildflowers. The golf community of Skyland features luxury homes around a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed championship golf course. A country club offers swimming, tennis, dining and fitness center. Buyers can find multi-acre parcels with animal and fishing rights in the rural reaches of Crested Butte.
During summer months, some of the world’s best fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing and golf can be found in Crested Butte. Surrounded by nearly two million acres of National Forest and Wilderness, all without an interstate in sight, the town annually celebrates the Wildflower Festival, Fat Tire Bike Week, Festival of the Arts, Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte Fall Festival and Crested Butte Film Festival.