Crested Butte is a Home Rule Municipality in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. A former coal mining town now called "the last great Colorado ski town," Crested Butte is a destination for skiing, mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. The population was 1,487 at the 2010 census.The Colorado General Assembly has designated Crested Butte the wildflower capital of Colorado.
The East River Valley where Crested Butte is located was once used as a summer residence by Ute Native Americans. However, they were quickly displaced when white explorers first entered the area. The first Caucasians to explore the valley were beaver trappers, followed by surveyors. Captain John Gunnison, after whom Gunnison County is named, was one of the early explorers to enter the area.
In the 1860s and 1870s coal and silver mines began to open in the surrounding area, and many little mining towns formed. However, when silver mining hit on hard times, many of these towns failed. Crested Butte was in a better position to survive because it served as a supply town to the surrounding area.
The primary winter activity in Crested Butte is skiing or snowboarding at nearby Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mount Crested Butte. Backcountry skiing in the surrounding mountains is some of the best in Colorado. The mountain, Crested Butte, rises to 12,162 feet (3,707 m) above sea level. The ski area base is at 9,375 feet (2,858 m). 14 lifts serve 1,058 acres (4.28 km2) of terrain. 448 acres (1.81 km2) of the terrain are double black runs. The large amount of extreme skiing terrain at Crested Butte has attracted the US Extreme Skiing Championships and the X Games. The longest run on Mount Crested Butte is 2.6 miles (4.2 km) long.
Crested Butte is one of the locations where mountain biking is claimed to have started. The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame is located in Crested Butte. Other popular summer activities in Crested Butte include hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, 4 wheeling, disc golfing and fishing. One of the best bike trails for moderate to expert mountain biking is 401, just outside of town.
Crested Butte hosts a number of unique festivals and parades throughout the year. These include Torchlight, New Years, Winter Carnival, Butte Bash College Ski Week and Mardi Gras during the winter months; Extreme Board Fest, Slushuck and Flaushink during spring; the Crested Butte Bike Week, Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte International Film Festival, 4th of July, the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, Alpenglow Concert Series, Festival of the Arts and Ball Bash during summer; and Fall Fest, Vinitok and Paragon Peoples' Fair during fall.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), all of it land. Crested Butte lies at an elevation of 8,885 feet (2,708 m) above sea level.Crested Butte is served by the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport in nearby Gunnison, Colorado.
In Popular Culture
Crested Butte was the setting and main filming location for the Walt Disney ski movie Snowball Express starring Dean Jones and Harry Morgan. 1970's musicians Brewer & Shipley wrote and performed a song called "Crested Butte" dedicated to the town. Crested Butte is the birthplace and hometown of Heidi Montag of MTV's The Hills.
James Cameron's movie Avatar has very tangible parallels to Crested Butte with regard to both mining issues and environmental coexistence. The individual responsible for leading the fight against the proposed molybdenum mine on Mount Emmons in the late 1970s, former mayor W Mitchell is wheelchair-bound, just like the protagonist in Cameron's film. James Cameron has spent a lot of time at his wife Suzy Amis's cabin in Crested Butte.
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is set in this town, you can see the town name on the bus in which Dallas Howard arrives in in the beginning of the movie.