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Home » Adventure Travel » Adventure Travel Trips » Crested Butte Winter Wonderland

Camino de Santiago

Crested Butte Winter Wonderland

Book Trip!

February 26 - March 4, 2017

CMC Members: $1,700
Non-Members: $1,900

Trip Information

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Trip Overview

Crested Butte is home to a world-class ski resort and plenty of snow. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is located 10 minutes north of town. Crested Butte Nordic Center is within walking distance of our quaint B&B, Elk Mountain Lodge. Cross-country and snowshoe trails fan out from the center of town in all directions, like spokes on a wheel. Every day can be a new adventure.

Participants are free to downhill any of the five days. For those who want to snowshoe, the leader will guide you on five moderate to difficult snowshoe trips from our B&B, located in the center of Crested Butte. Trips will be from 5 to 8+ miles round trip with 300 to 1,500 feet of elevation gain. Cross-country skiers are welcome to join. Participants will need to have a high level of physical fitness and recent snowshoe activity with the leader or club. Perspective participants must register with leader to be considered for this trip.

For the real adventurers on board, Additional Adventure Options may be your ticket to happiness. Participants have a chance to ride along or “mush” a team of dogs with Cosmic Sled Dog Tours on a wilderness trail for 40 to 50 minutes. If you haven’t jumped on an inner tube since you were a kid, then tubing at Mount Crested Butte Resort is guaranteed to produce a ton of giggles and screams. For the adrenalin addicts, there’s guided backcountry skiing on Mt. Emmons, guided ridge climbing on Mount Crested Butte and snow cat skiing on Scarp Ridge if a seat on the snow cat is available. Additional Adventure Options are at the participant’s expense. Alpine lift tickets, Nordic passes and equipment rental are also at the participant’s expense.

The 19-room Elk Mountain Lodge, once home to Crested Butte coal miners, has a cozy living room, dining room and bar. The establishment lends itself well to happy hour around a crackling fire. The leader will provide tasty morsels for happy hour every night while participants spin their tales of fun and frolic from the day’s events. Most evenings, we will eat at the B&B with the leader or caterers preparing the food. Mild to moderate dietary restrictions, such as gluten- or dairy-free can be accommodated for happy hour and dinner.

The B&B offers an extensive complimentary breakfast menu featuring fresh fruit, yogurt, toast, bagels, cereal and at least one hot egg dish, pancakes, or French toast every day, plus lattes, cappuccinos and mochas. The B&B is not set up to easily accommodate dietary restrictions. Participants with dietary restrictions may need to bring some of their own breakfast items. Breakfasts are included in the trip cost.

The lodge’s private bar is fully stocked with beer and wine; liquid libations are on the participant for lunches, happy hours and dinners throughout the trip. Because the lodge has generously allowed us to use their kitchen and dining room for happy hours and dinners, participants are encouraged to purchase happy hour libations from the lodge.

Best of all, the B&B has a hot tub to soothe your aches and pains at the end of the day.

Crested Butte hosts many high-quality restaurants. We will sample the farm-to-table, family-style menu at Supper at the Sunflower on the last evening for a celebratory dinner. Another evening, we will take a 30-minute, snow cat-driven sleigh ride to Uley’s rustic mountain cabin for a five-course French dinner. Two evenings, the leader will provide all the fixings for a chili supper and pizza party where everyone makes their own pizza. The Crested Butte Personal Chefs will complete the food faire two other nights. All six dinners are included in the trip cost.

Lunches are on the participant; participants can bring a cooler of lunch food and prepare their own lunch each day. This works best for participants planning to snowshoe or cross-country ski. Coolers are welcome in the rooms and the lodge has an ice machine. Participants who downhill may wish to make their own lunch or purchase lunch at the resort. Lunch may also be purchased in town. Participants are also free to take a day off from physical activity for exploring town, lunching, soaking in the hot tub, reading a book or taking a nap.

Participants will enjoy a 1-1.5-hour guided historical walking tour of Crested Butte presented by the Crested Butte Historical Museum. The town has more than forty well-preserved buildings dating back to the late 1880s, and we will hear the tales their walls have to tell. The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory will give participants an opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of the valley. Even thought the laboratory is closed in the winter, one of its ecologists will take us on a guided snowshoe tour and tell us about what the laboratory is up to in the summer months when scientists from all over the world descend on the laboratory in Gothic to study the natural world. Tours are included in the trip cost.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy winter activities in Crested Butte’s Winter Wonderland with like-minded CMC friends!

Activities / Difficulty

Snowshoe trips will be geared toward fit participants, who can snowshoe 5 to 8+ miles round trip with 300 to 1,500 feet of elevation gain on five consecutive days.


Built in 1919 to house miners, Elk Mountain Lodge ( in Crested Butte is a small, family-owned hotel/B&B with 19 rooms. It is located in the heart of the town’s historic district; all shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance. Accommodations are double occupancy; single supplements are available at an additional cost.

Skills and Training Requirements

Participants need to demonstrate in the application process that they are strong snowshoers. They may be known to the leader or may provide references regarding their fitness levels and snowshoeing ability. Participants also need to be group-orientated; they should enjoy socializing with other participants and participating in group activities and meals. They should have a good attitude, self-reliance, tolerance, flexibility and respect for others. The leader places high priority on gathering participants who will positively contribute to the cohesiveness and congeniality of the group.

Pre-trip Activities

The leader will provide participants with a get-to-know-you snowshoe trip and a pre-trip meeting.


Trip Leader: Sandi Bianchi

Sandi, a Colorado native, grew up fishing every weekend with her parents whom she fondly refers to as “fishing fools.” Traipsing the state far and wide to find the elusive cutthroat trout, she explored more of Colorado as a child than most adults do in a lifetime. She shared her love of the outdoors with her three children through camping, hiking, biking and backpacking. Retired from corporate communications for a global medical device company, she now enjoys exploration of Colorado and the West, plus globetrotting with CMC members, friends, family and her sweetheart Ralph. When at home in Boulder, she is an avid gardener and composter; dancer (contra, waltz, swing and fox trot); organic, gluten-free cook; environmental and political activist; and grandmother of four. Sandi joined CMC in 1997 and became a trip leader a few years later. Besides leading hikes for the club, she was hike director for the club’s 2014 and 2015 In-State Outings. She is trained in Wilderness First Aid (2014) and AIARI I avalanche training (2015). Sandi has organized and led trips to Havasu Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Grand Gulch, Colorado National Monument, Crested Butte, San Juan Islands, Oregon Coast, Baja, Machu Picchu, New Zealand and Fiji. She looks forward to re-exploring some of her favorite destinations with Adventure Travel participants.