Hotel at a Glance: The Grand Lodge
Winner of a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, The Grand Lodge sits high up on Mount Crested Butte. Guests here enjoy easy access to the famed resort's 121 skiing trails and world-class terrain parks. Ski season starts November 27, and excellent mountain-biking opportunities await in the weeks leading up to it.
- Distance to the slopes: 100 yards
- Gear up: The hotel is just a minute walk away from a ski and snowboard rental shop.
- Take a dip: There's an indoor/outdoor heated pool and an outdoor hot tub, both of which are open year-round.
- Get pampered: This getaway comes with two $20 credits to the hotel's Wildflower Spa each day.
- Eat in: The onsite Woodstone Grill serves a hot buffet for breakfast and pub-style eats for dinner.
Crested Butte, Colorado: Small Ski-Resort Town in the Rockies with Authentic Old West Charm
Crested Butte is situated at 9,000 feet in southwest Colorado's Rocky Mountains, and it’s surrounded by some lovely scenery. Aspen groves dot the upper valleys of the town’s namesake peak, as well as fields of fiery indian paintbrush.
After a resort area was built on Crested Butte Mountain in 1961, the former coal-mining town emerged as a major ski center, particularly for extreme skiers. Despite this rapid transformation, Crested Butte has preserved its roots. Victorian storefronts and art galleries line downtown Elk Avenue, and there’s a famous rum distillery that welcomes visitors year-round. For a glimpse into the town's history, head to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, which has an elaborate diorama that elucidates life here in the mining days of the 1920s.
Though most famous for skiing, Crested Butte is also hailed as one of the most dynamic cities in the country for other winter activities as well. Visitors can enjoy Mount Crested Butte's snowmobiling and cross-country skiing trails, or make use of the surrounding area for backcountry-skiing. The area also includes many mountain biking trails. Located 8 miles from the hotel, Pearl Pass—the birthplace of the "fat-tire" craze—stretches for nearly 40 miles through rugged alpine terrain. Beginning mountain bikers might want to make their way to the Lower Loop, a somewhat flat ride, which is covered in the region's famous wildflowers and has great mountain views.