The population of the Town of Crested Butte is around 1,500. The population of what most people consider “Crested Butte” is closer to 4,000. This includes Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte South, and other residential areas in our end of the valley.
The Town of Crested Butte sits at 8,885 ft. The base area of the ski resort in Mt. Crested Butte is 9,280 ft.
Crested Butte gets 275 sunny days per year. The average high in July is around 76 degrees and the average low in January is -4. However, temperatures can reach as high as the 90s in the summer and as low as -40 in the winter.
Even though we’re in a remote area, cell reception is generally great around town and on the nearby trails. Verizon gets the best signal and AT&T does reasonably well too. You’ll be surprised where you get reception sometimes but don’t rely on it. As you venture into the backcountry, you’ll quickly lose service in most areas. You won’t get service at the West Maroon trailhead so arrange for a shuttle ahead of time. You’ll get service at the base area in Mt. Crested Butte and most places on the front side of the resort but poor service on the back side of the resort by Paradise and East River lifts.
The town of Crested Butte sits at 8,885 ft. and some of the surrounding trails, backcountry roads, and skiing options are at 10,000 feet or higher. Although more common at extreme elevations, altitude sickness can occur at any elevation above 8000 ft. It’s possible for visitors to feel minor effects from the altitude but rare for severe problems to occur.
Many issues can be prevented or lessened by taking good care of yourself here. Remember to drink plenty or water, take it easy on the alcoholic beverages, and ease into activities.
Our high altitude greatly increases the effects of alcohol. If you drink as much as you’re used to at lower elevations, you’ll pay the price here. Our 100% unscientific theory is that each drink here is equivalent to at least 1.5 at sea level. Have fun out there but remember to drink lots of water, get some electrolytes in you, and let your drinks settle in before having more.
Layers are the key to comfort here. It can be hot during the day and chilly at night. The temperature drops incredibly fast as the sun goes down. The sun going behind clouds, increasing wind, rain, and snow can cause huge temperature fluctuations throughout the day. Dress in layers so you can adapt to the changing conditions.
The vibe around town is very casual. You’ll see people in jeans and t-shirts at most of the restaurants around town, including fine dining. It’s very uncommon to wear a coat or tie. For almost any fine dining or formal occasion, jeans or slacks and a collared shirt would be appropriate; dressy enough to feel put together but understated enough to fit right in.