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Crested Butte in the Fall- Complete Colorado Travel Guide


Experiencing Crested Butte in the fall should be on everyone’s Colorado bucket list. The charming little mountain town nestled deep in the Gunnison Valley is home to seemingly endless aspen groves making it the perfect destination to catch fall colors in Colorado.

Crested Butte is a hub for a variety of seasonal outdoor adventures. While most travelers visit Crested Butte in the winter, I think fall is the best time of year to visit. It’s still prime hiking season, but kids are back in school so it’s not as busy as it gets during the summer. Monsoon season is also over, so you typically don’t see afternoon thunderstorms.

This guide covers everything you need to know about visiting Crested Butte in the fall, including where to hike, where to stay, and where to eat. I hope you’re able to make some magical memories in Crested Butte this fall!

Woman wearing a black v-neck dress stands in a forest of golden aspen trees in Crested Butte in the fall.

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When to See Fall Colors in Crested Butte

The aspens around Crested Butte typically begin changing in mid-September, peak in late September-early October, and leaves linger until mid-October. The exact timing of when peak fall colors will occur in Crested Butte changes year to year.

During years with a wet monsoon season the colors typically peak a little later in the season and stay vibrant longer. During dry years the aspens start to change and peak earlier. An extra wet or cold start to the fall could cause the aspens to lose their leaves just as quickly as they change. You’re really at the mercy of mother nature when it comes to catching peak fall colors in Crested Butte, but planning a trip during the last two weeks of September or first week of October is typically going to be your safest bet.

Photo of golden aspen leaves on the ground with aspen trees in the background.

What’s the Weather Like in Crested Butte in the Fall?

The weather in Crested Butte in the fall is just about as perfect as it gets. You’ll find mostly sunny skies and highs in the 60s during the day, with lows in the 30s and 40s at night. Monsoon season is over by the time peak fall colors roll around so afternoon thunderstorms aren’t a huge threat.

Of course, Colorado weather can be unpredictable. You may experience heavy rain, thunderstorms, or even snow during early fall. Snow at higher altitudes isn’t uncommon in late September and early October, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to capture some freshly dusted peaks framing a grove of golden aspens.

A forest of yellow aspen trees with mountains with a dusting of snow behind them in Crested Butte, Colorado in the fall.

How to Get to Crested Butte

Driving to Crested Butte

Crested Butte is approximately 4 ½ hours from Denver; 4 hours from Colorado Springs; and 3 hours from Grand Junction. 

If you’re coming from Denver you can either take U.S. 285 west to U.S. 50 to CO-135, or you can take I-70 west to Glenwood Springs, then head south to Carbondale and get on CO-133 to Kebler Pass. Taking U.S. 285 is the most direct route and will get you to Crested Butte in 4 ½ hours. Taking I-70 to Kebler Pass allows you to kick your trip off with a scenic drive, but it will take you 5 ½ hours without traffic.

If you’re driving from Colorado Springs you have the option of taking either U.S. 50 or U.S. 24 to CO-135 to Crested Butte. Both routes take approximately 4 hours and have fairly comparable scenery along the way. I recommend basing your decision on which is closest to your starting location.

The most direct way to get to Crested Butte from Grand Junction is to take U.S. 50 south to Delta. Then turn left onto CO-133 west towards Carbondale. Approximately 15 miles past the town of Paonia, turn right onto Kebler Pass. This route takes about 3 1/2 hours. You can also take U.S. 50 down through Montrose and Gunnison to CO-135. Even though this route is longer it only takes 3 hours because you’re on the highway the entire time.

Flying to Crested Butte

The closest airport to Crested Butte is the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, which is approximately 30-40 minutes from the town of Crested Butte. Direct flights out of the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport are currently limited to Denver, Dallas, and Houston.

For greater flight variety, fly into Montrose and drive up to Crested Butte via U.S. 50. Be aware there is significant ongoing construction along U.S. 50 that closes the highway to traffic during certain periods of time during the week. Make sure to check the status of U.S. 50 before you go to avoid closures or a long wait. If you need to stretch your legs during your drive, check out the Dillon Pinnacles Trail in Curecanti National Recreation Area.

A man in a grey shirt and slacks and a woman with a black sports bra, leggings, and red flannel tried around her waist stand on a rock overlooking an expansive grove of golden aspen trees with jagged mountains in the distance in Crested Butte in the fall.

Recreate Responsibly in Crested Butte

Crested Butte is an extremely popular Colorado mountain destination in the fall, and with so many visitors enjoying the natural beauty of the area, it’s important that everyone does their part to minimize their impacts.

Please do not carve into the aspen trees. Not only does this hurt the tree, but it also makes them more susceptible to fungal disease and pests. Because an entire grove of aspens share a single root system harming one tree hurts them all. It’s also worth noting that aspens are uniquely vulnerable to changes in the climate, and the grove around Kebler Pass is suffering from the long term impacts of drought. Please treat the trees respectfully so they can continue to thrive with vibrant fall colors!

The majority of the hiking and biking trails around Crested Butte are in Gunnison National Forest, which requires dogs to be under control at all times. Under control can include being on-leash (the preferred method) or under strict vocal control (i.e. the dog recalls when called). You will likely see dogs off-leash on the trails I’ve included in this guide. Leashes are explicitly required in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, which provides access to additional hiking trails near Crested Butte. Be sure to pack out pet waste to help keep the trails clean!

Whenever you head outdoors it’s important to practice Leave No Trace to help minimize your impact. Here’s a refresher on the 7 Leave No Trace principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare. Research trails ahead of time and make sure you have proper gear.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Stay on trail!
  3. Properly dispose of waste. This includes packing out all of your trash as well as pet and human waste.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts. Use existing fire rings and be sure to check for fire restrictions before having a campfire. Make sure that campfires are completely extinguished, which means the ashes are cool.
  6. Respect wildlife. 
  7. Be considerate of other visitors. Remember uphill hikers have the right of way. Mountain bikers should also yield to hikers, although that isn’t always practical/safe in certain areas. Be sure to communicate with other trail users where appropriate.

The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to  enjoy the outdoors responsibly. This copyrighted information has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.

A forest of golden aspen trees with mountains behind and a clear blue sky in Crested Butte in the fall.

Best Hikes in Crested Butte in the Fall

Many hikes around Crested Butte are ideal in the fall because there are so many aspen trees in the area. If you want to hike through a golden forest of aspens be sure to choose a hike under 10,000-11,000 ft. so that you stay within aspen range.

In addition to hiking, mountain biking is an extremely popular activity in Crested Butte. Pretty much all of the trails I’ve included on this list allow mountain bikes, with noted exceptions. If you want to completely avoid mountain bikes I recommend heading into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness or Raggeds Wilderness where they are prohibited. Be aware that most of the hikes in the local wilderness areas are out of aspen range, which is why I didn’t include many here.

Keep in mind this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are TONS of great hikes to see fall colors in the Crested Butte area!

Here are some of my favorite fall hikes in Crested Butte to see the fall colors:

Dark Canyon, Irwin, & Dyke Trail Loop

The Dark Canyon, Irwin, & Dyke Trail loop is the best fall hike in Crested Butte, in my opinion. Not only does the trail take you through an aspen forest, it also provides sweeping views overlooking Marcellina Mountain and a massive aspen grove. You definitely want to time this hike for peak leaf peeping conditions!

Completing the full loop takes you into the Raggeds Wilderness, so mountain bikes aren’t permitted along the entire route. However, the Dyke Trail is open to (and popular with) mountain bikers. I recommend hiking clockwise so you’ll be descending if/when you encounter a mountain biker.

The hike starts at the Horse Ranch Park parking area and immediately begins climbing into the aspens. About 2 miles into the trail (hiking clockwise) look for a large rock outcropping to your left. This is where you’ll find the best view around Crested Butte in the fall!

After taking some photos either head back to the trailhead, or continue along to complete the loop. From there you’ll gain some more elevation, cross into the Raggeds Wilderness, and eventually loop from Dark Canyon Trail to the Irwin Trail and down the Dyke Trail.

Woman wearing a wide brim black hat and leggings stands with her leg popped on a rock with her hand on her hat overlooking a golden grove of aspens and grey mountains in Crested Butte in the fall in Colorado.

Trail Stats

Trailhead Location: Google maps

There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy. The main parking lot is fairly small, but there is a lot of overflow parking available at Horse Ranch Park.

Distance: 6 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft.

Difficulty: 6/10. Moderate. 

Estimated Hike Time: 2 ½-3 hours

Permits/Fees: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Mountain Bikes: Mountain bikes are allowed on the Dyke Trail and on portions of the Dark Canyon Trail outside of the Raggeds Wilderness.

AllTrails Link

Snodgrass Mountain Trail

Snodgrass Trail is a great option if you only have a couple of hours to spare for a hike and you don’t want to have to drive far from Crested Butte to the trailhead. The trail takes you directly through an aspen grove and provides panoramic views of Mt. Crested Butte and the valley.

The trail begins with a quick climb uphill before entering into a forest of aspen trees. I recommend looping the trail clockwise for the best views. About 1.7 miles into the trail (hiking clockwise) you’ll reach a junction where the Snodgrass Trail intersects with Snodgrass Road. If you’re up for a challenging hike, you can continue on the Snodgrass Trail to the summit of Snodgrass Mountain. Otherwise you can loop the Snodgrass Trail back to the trailhead by following Snodgrass Road. You can also tack on Teddy’s Trail to get off the road as you hike down.

A woman wearing a purple backpack and leggings stands with hiking poles on a trail surrounded by wildflowers with Mt. Crested Butte in the distance.
Snodgrass Trail also makes a great hike during wildflower season (July)!

Trail Stats

Trailhead Location: Google maps

There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Moderate. There are a lot of parking spots at the trailhead, but it’s a very popular trail so they tend to fill up on weekends. You can also access the Snodgrass Trail from a different trailhead off of Washington Gulch Road, but this is a further hike.

Distance: 6 miles if you hike to the summit; 3.5 miles if you just complete the loop

Elevation Gain: 1,600 ft. if you hike to the summit; 850 ft. if you just complete the loop

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult.

Estimated Hike Time: 1 ½-3 ½ hours

Permits/Fees: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Mountain Bikes: Yes

AllTrails Link

Oh-Be-Joyful Trail

The Oh-Be-Joyful Trail begins off of Oh-Be-Joyful Rd. (BLM Road 3220) at the Oh-Be-Joyful campground. After parking at the trailhead you’ll cross a creek and start hiking up the trail through the forest.

The Oh-Be-Joyful Trail has gradual elevation gain as you hike up a valley. Because the trail follows a valley instead of taking you through the forest, it’s a little more open than the other hikes on this list. The bulk of the fall colors will be during the first couple of miles of the trail. Eventually the trail climbs out of aspen range.

After 5.3 miles of hiking you’ll find a junction with another trail that climbs up to Blue Lake (one of many Blue Lakes in Colorado). The Oh-Be-Joyful Trail continues past that junction up to Oh-Be-Joyful Pass, but by this point you will no longer have views of the aspens.

Trail Stats

Trailhead Location: Google maps

There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. There is a lot of room for parking at the trailhead, but this can be a very popular area to explore and may get crowded on weekends.

Distance: Up to 16-miles out-and-back, but you can hike as far as you’d like.

Elevation Gain: 2,150 ft. if you hike to Blue Lake

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult depending on how far you hike.

Estimated Hike Time: 1-6+ hours depending on how far you hike

Permits/Fees: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Mountain Bikes: No

AllTrails Link

Washington Gulch Trail

Unlike some of the other hikes on this list, Washington Gulch Trail (aka Trail 403) won’t take you through the aspens. But before you write it off, the reason I still recommend it is because it has two different viewpoints with stunning views of the Elk mountains and valley. You’ll also get to experience some of Colorado’s other colorful fall foliage, including scrub oak.

Washington Gulch Trail can either be completed as a point-to-point between Washington Gulch Road and Schofield Pass Road, or as an out-and-back from either direction. If you’re looking to do an out-and-back I recommend hiking from Washington Gulch Road so you can make a stop at a pair of Adirondack chairs for a little break with incredible views.

Washington Gulch Trail comes with some steep elevation gain, so prepare to get your heart pumping. If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can access the summit of Gothic Mountain from the Washington Gulch Trail.

Woman sitting in an Adirondack chair overlooking a valley of trees and mountains in the distance in Crested Butte, Colorado in the fall.

Trail Stats

Trailhead Location: Google maps

There are no bathrooms at either trailhead.

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. There’s a parking lot at the trailhead on Schofield Pass Road. There aren’t many spots at the trailhead on Washington Gulch Road, so you may find yourself parking down the road and walking to the trail.

Distance: 7.5 miles point-to-point

Elevation Gain: 2,150 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult

Estimated Hike Time: 3-4 hours

Permits/Fees: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Mountain Bikes: Yes

AllTrails Link

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Best Scenic Drives for Fall Colors in Crested Butte

Kebler Pass

*2023 UPDATE: Kebler Pass is currently open as of July 10, 2023, following repairs from spring runoff damage.

Kebler Pass (Gunnison County Road 12) winds through the largest aspen grove in the state making it one of the best scenic drives for fall colors in Colorado. The majority of the road is dirt, but there are a few paved sections. In normal conditions, the road is easily navigable for any vehicle, including passenger cars. Kebler Pass peaks at just over 10,000 ft. The road typically opens in late May and closes in early November once snow starts accumulating.

Colorful scrub oak in front of a giant grove of golden aspen trees in front of mountains along Kebler Pass in Colorado.

Driving Kebler Pass in the fall is an idyllic experience. You get views of the West Elk mountains along with a seemingly endless spread of golden aspens. The road cuts through aspen forest so you get a truly immersive experience.

As I mentioned in the how to get to Crested Butte section, I would recommend driving into Crested Butte from Kebler Pass if it’s feasible for you. Ending your drive along one of the most scenic backroads in Colorado sets a much better tone for your trip than coming in on the highway (although CO-135 is still pretty scenic as far as highways go).

Gothic Road

Getting to Gothic Road (FS 317) is easy. The road that you drive into town on (CO-135) eventually turns into Gothic Road. Drive past downtown Crested Butte, the ski resort, and a sea of luxury mountain homes until the road turns to dirt. You’ll immediately find yourself in the aspens in Gunnison National Forest with stunning views of the Elk mountains.

You’ll drive through the ghost town of Gothic, which is currently home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Researchers are currently studying how climate change impacts the elevations where certain wildflowers grow. There’s also a coffee shop that supports the science happening at the lab.

You’ll pass a number of trailheads as you continue down Gothic Road. While the road is navigable for passenger cars for a few miles beyond Gothic, it eventually gets rough, requiring a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. Gothic Road eventually becomes Schofield Pass, which requires 4WD. Be aware, sections of Schofield Pass are VERY difficult to navigate and have steep drop-offs on the side. The road is deadly. Notwithstanding this fact, if you have a capable vehicle and solid 4×4 driving experience, there are a ton of hidden gems in the area to explore.

A mountain lake surrounded by evergreen trees with a trail winding towards the lake and granite mountains behind in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Slate River Road

Slate River Road (FS Road 734) begins just outside of downtown Crested Butte, right past the cemetery. The beginning of the road is paved, but it turns to dirt after passing the private Nicholson Lake. From there, drive alongside aspen forest, eventually climbing into coniferous forest as you pass the old mining town of Pittsburgh.

Slate River Road is a great option if you’re looking for a scenic fall drive without all of the traffic that Kebler Pass sees. The road is accessible to passenger cars until you reach Pittsburgh. From there you’ll need high-clearance and eventually 4WD. You can continue driving Slate River Road up to Schofield Pass through the mountains and take Gothic Road back to town, but you’ll need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. 

Woman wearing a maroon sweatshirt, mini skirt, and a wide brim black fat stands in front of a waterfall and grove of golden orange aspen trees near Crested Butte in the fall in Colorado.

Ohio Pass (Ohio Creek Road)

A trip to Crested Butte in the fall wouldn’t be complete without a drive over Ohio Pass. Ohio Pass connects Kebler Pass with CO-135, south of Crested Butte. Like Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass winds through a thick forest of aspen trees making it a perfect scenic drive in the fall.

To complete the drive I recommend leaving Crested Butte via Kebler Pass. The turnoff for Ohio Creek Road, which brings you to Ohio Pass, is just past the Lake Irwin area if you’re driving from Crested Butte. Ohio Pass is more narrow than Kebler Pass and has a few sections with steep drop offs and limited to no room to pass other vehicles. Nonetheless, Ohio Pass is navigable for all vehicles including passenger cars.

Once you’re out of the forest the road opens up into ranch country. You’ll pass a number of stately ranches before reaching CO-135. From there you can make a left and head back to Crested Butte, or make a right and head down to Gunnison.

Fall Events in Crested Butte

Crested Butte Farmers Market

Crested Butte hosts a weekly Farmers Market on Sundays throughout the summer and early fall. Many of the vendors come from Colorado’s North Fork Valley, which is one of the state’s primary agricultural centers. Stroll through the booths and pick up some fresh produce, locally raised meat, kombucha, new jewelry, and more. The Farmers Market takes place on Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte.

Dates: May 28-October 8, 2023, 9am-2pm

Autumn Festival

This annual crafts festival during the Autumn Equinox features hundreds of local artisans selling jewelry, photography, pottery, home decor, and other arts and crafts. The Autumn Festival takes place in downtown Crested Butte on Elk Avenue.

Dates: September 23-34, 2023

Vinotok

Vinotok is a unique festival celebrating the Autumn Equinox that endeavors to foster a connection with community and nature. There are a number of events associated with Vinotok throughout the month of September that build up to the Equinox.

The Community Feast & Medieval Fair on the Equinox is the main event of Vinotok and features a performance by a lively cast of characters. Dancing and merriment follow the performance. The event typically sells out in advance and tickets are not available online.

Dates: Events throughout September. The Community Feast & Medieval Fair typically takes place on the Equinox.

Woman wearing a black tank top and miniskirt stands in a forest of golden aspen trees with a jaggy, ragged mountain in front of here through the trees during fall in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Where to Stay in Crested Butte in the Fall

Hotels

Hotels in Crested Butte are limited to around the Mt. Crested Butte ski resort. You won’t find any major hotel chains or familiar names here, which is part of Crested Butte’s small-town charm. Instead, the hotels blend in seamlessly with the residential condos around the ski resort.

Popular hotels in Crested Butte include:

Ski season is prime time in Crested Butte, so all of the hotels are very affordable (typically <$200/night) during shoulder season in the fall. For additional lodging options head down valley to Gunnison where you can find a variety of options, from motels and major chains, to riverside cabins.

Find Hotels in Crested Butte

Vacation Rentals

There are a variety of vacation rental options available around Crested Butte. Most vacation rentals are ski condos, but you can also find entire homes and cabins. You can use sites like Airbnb and Vrbo to search for rentals.

It’s important to acknowledge that Crested Butte, like many mountain towns in Colorado, is experiencing a major affordable housing crisis. The people who work in town and serve visitors can’t afford to live in the area, which is having major ripple effects in the community. Second (and third and fourth…) homeowners are part of the issue, but so is the conversion from long-term rentals into vacation rentals.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t stay in a vacation rental. I completely recognize that everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to travel accommodations. But I also think it’s important to be aware of our impacts when traveling. If you’re not looking to rent an entire house and you’re debating between a hotel room or apartment, I’d recommend going with the hotel room (most of the local hotels fashion their rooms & suites off of condos anyway).

A large grove of yellow and green aspen trees in early fall with a canyon and mountains in the distance near Kebler Pass in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Camping in Crested Butte in the Fall

Campgrounds

There are a few developed campgrounds in Crested Butte along Kebler Pass and Slate River Road. Due to the popularity of the area some campgrounds allow you to make a reservation in advance on rec.gov. If you’re planning on staying in a campground I would highly recommend making reservations well in advance if possible. Be aware that developed campgrounds close by early October.

Here are the top campgrounds around Crested Butte:

  • Lost Lake Campground (first-come, first-serve) Dates: June 18-October 3, 2023 | Cost: $22/night | RVs: Yes, but no hookups.
  • Lake Irwin Campground (first-come, first-serve in 2023) Cost: $22/night | RVs: Yes, but no hookups.
  • Oh Be Joyful Campground Dates: May 27-September 30, 2023 | Cost: $10/night | RVs: Yes, but no hookups.
A woman and dog paddleboard on a lake in front of a green forest and mountains in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Paddleboarding on Lost Lake.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping in the immediate vicinity of Crested Butte is restricted to designated sites only. There are hundreds of designated sites in the area that you can find on this map. It’s typically not hard to find a designated dispersed site during the week, but if you’re visiting on the weekend during peak wildflower season or during fall colors you may have a difficult time securing a spot.

The primary areas for dispersed camping in Crested Butte include: Kebler Pass (and Lake Irwin); Mt. Crested Butte (walk-in tent only); Gothic Road; Brush Creek Road; Slate River Valley; and Washington Gulch Road. Some sites are individual campsites, but many sites are grouped together. I’ve camped in a few of the designated sites and my personal favorite has been a site at the end of Washington Gulch Road simply because it was isolated and didn’t have any neighbors (plus the mountain views were stunning).

Each designated dispersed site comes with a fire ring. Be sure to check for fire bans before having a campfire and use the ring provided. A few of the dispersed camping areas have pit toilets or porta potties available, but most sites do not have any facilities. Be prepared to practice Leave No Trace and pack out all waste. 

A smiling woman in a white dress with puffed sleeves and smocking stands in front of a green meadow with evergreen trees and mountains behind her in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Views from a designated site along Washington Gulch Road.

Where to Eat in Crested Butte

Crested Butte is home to a wide variety of delicious restaurants. The following recommendations are based on my own experience dining in Crested Butte, but you can find a variety of different types of cuisine in town to fit your preferences.

As I previously mentioned, Crested Butte is experiencing a major affordable housing crisis, which has impacted local restaurants. Many restaurants have been forced to close their doors. Those that remain open typically are not open 7 days a week because they simply can’t find enough help. If there’s a restaurant that you’re set on eating at, be sure to check their operating hours before your trip.

Also remember these businesses are doing their best. You may experience longer than usual waits and prices may be higher than you are used to when dining out (which is typical in any Colorado mountain town). Try to be patient and be sure to tip your servers generously! 

For Breakfast: Butte Bagels

For a quick breakfast on the go, head to Butte Bagels. They make their delicious bagels from scratch daily and get this former New Yorker’s stamp of approval. Butte Bagels has classic bagel sandwiches, including a BEC and lox with cream cheese, as well as unique offerings like bahn mi and a reuben bagel.

For Coffee: Camp 4 Coffee

If you’re looking for the best coffee in Crested Butte, head to Camp 4 Coffee. You’ll find a robust coffee menu along with delicious pastries and friendly staff. The shop also has a cozy, rustic aesthetic and outdoor seating to enjoy your coffee.

For Pizza: Secret Stash

Secret’s out about Secret Stash! This colorful pizza joint is one of the most popular restaurants in Crested Butte. Secret Stash serves up unique pizzas, including the Notorious Fig and Buddha’s Belly. They also have a variety of drinks on tap including local beers and sloshies (alcoholic slushies). It’s the place to go for fun vibes and great pizza. The patio at Secret Stash is also dog-friendly!

For a Post-Hike Burger & Fries: Margaux’s

Head to Margaux’s (formerly known as SlapBurger) on Main Street if you’re in the mood for a quick post-hike burger and fries. All of the food at Margaux’s is made to order and comes with large portions. It’s greasy and delicious! Dog-friendly, outdoor seating is available.

For Chinese Takeout: Ryce Asian Bistro

One of my favorite Crested Butte date night ideas is grabbing some takeout from Ryce Asian Bistro and heading up to Lake Irwin for a picnic. The menu at Ryce Asian Bistro is comprehensive and includes standard Chinese takeout favorites like lo mein, sesame chicken, and beef and broccoli. The quality of the food is top notch with fresh ingredients and tons of flavor.

For a Sandwich: Gas Cafe One Stop

If you’re looking for a quick and affordable meal on the go in Crested Butte then head to Gas Cafe One Stop. Don’t let the gas station fool you, the grilled sandwiches at Gas Cafe One Stop are a filling way to refuel after a long hike or mountain bike ride. They also serve up breakfast sandwiches if you need to grab a quick bite on the way to the trailhead.

For Something Sweet: Niky’s Mini Donuts

What’s better on a crisp fall day than some warm, made to order mini donuts?! Niki’s Mini Donuts has a variety of fun flavor combinations to choose from and since the donuts are so small you can get away with eating a few. Some of my favorites include the cookies and cream, peanut butter cup, and cinnamon roll donuts. Niky’s also sells ice cream and has a unique variety of candy available to fully satisfy your sweet tooth!

For Ice Cream: Tin Cup

Post-hike ice cream? Yes please! Tin Cup serves up Third Bowl ice cream, which is based out of Hotchkiss, Colorado. Third Bowl uses locally sourced ingredients to create fun flavors like cowboy coffee, mint brownie, and cinnamon cayenne honey (flavor selection will vary). Don’t worry if you’re not feeling adventurous, they also have classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate.

Woman in long black dress stands in a forest of golden aspen trees in Crested Butte, Colorado in the fall.

Where to Shop in Crested Butte

Downtown Crested Butte has a ton of cute stores to stop in and browse. From classic mountain town souvenirs, to gear shops, to a custom hat shop (the new hallmark of a trendy mountain town), Crested Butte has something for everyone.

Here are some local shops in Crested Butte to visit on your trip:

Enjoy Your Trip to Crested Butte in the Fall!

Other Colorado Fall Adventures You May Enjoy:

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