Crested Butte, Colorado

Crested Butte is in the southwest quadrant of Colorado, about 22 miles south of Aspen. The town is located in a spectacular mountain valley at an elevation of 8,900 feet, surrounded by national forest and five wilderness areas. The region is famous for backcountry skiing, mountain biking, alpine hiking, horseback riding, and wildflowers. The scenery is breathtaking, so is the altitude. Although most people adjust quickly, we encourage you to schedule a rest day in Gunnison or Crested Butte before the course start if you will be arriving directly from sea level. If you have previously experienced problems at altitude, you may wish to start Diamox (acetazolamide) just before your trip. A typical dose is 125 mg every 12 hours for 5 days. 

Travel: The most convienient airport is Gunnison (GUC), with year-round service from Denver by United Express. An airport shuttle to Crested Butte can be arranged through Alpine Express by calling 800-822-4844 or visit Rental vehicles are available in Gunnison from Budget, Hertz, and Avis. The driving time to Crested Butte is approximately 30 minutes.The next choice of airport would be Montrose (MTJ), about 60 miles west. Crested Butte locals also frequently use Grand Junction (GJT), Colorado Springs (COS), and Denver (DEN). For road trips, allow about 5 hours from Denver, 4 hours from Colorado Springs, 3 hours from Grand Junction, and 2 hours from Montrose. Bus service between Crested Butte and Denver is provided by There is no regular public transportation from Montrose or Grand Junction but transport can be arranged through Alpine Express. 

Local Travel: There is free bus service between Gunnison and Crested Butte, and locally between Crested Butte and the Mountain (Mt. Crested Butte). Please visit Gunnison Valley RTA for more information on the local bus service.

Camping is available at primitive sites throughout the national forest surrounding Crested Butte. There is a BLM campground at Oh Be Joyful approximately three miles northwest of town on the Slate River Road. Primitive camping is available on a first come basis at several designated sites along the road further on. There is also camping off the Washington Gulch and Gothic roads within a few miles outside of town. These Forest Service roads are usually open from late May until late October, depending on the weather. There is a National Forest Service campground 2 miles up Cement Creek Road from Rt 135 approximately 6 miles south of town. This site is generally open much earlier in the spring than Oh Be Joyful. There is a small RV park just south of Crested Butte at Riverland. 
Lodging and Food: Like any resort town, Crested Butte has plenty of options for lodging and meals. For information about all of the possibilities, see the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce web site:, tripadvisor, or your favorite travel app. There are also a number of homes available by VRBO or AirBnB. 

Some nearby suggestions:

Course Site: The June 2024 WALS course will be based at The Depot, Crested Butte's original train station. The trains are long gone, but the building remains and is used for meetings, classes, and communty events. The address is 716 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224. Field training will be held either on the ski area in Mt. Crested Butte or on conservation land near Oh Be Joyful.