Crested Butte Colorado Wildflower Festival

Purple lupines bloom during the Crested Butte Wildflower FestivalCrested Butte Colorado is one of the more spectacular places in the Rocky Mountain State, especially in mid-to-late summer when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Of course, you can see wildflowers in many mountain communities, but Crested Butte is THE designated Wildflower Capital of Colorado.

For more than 30 years, they’ve celebrated the blooms that turn the mountain slopes into a splattered kaleidoscope of colors and textures.

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Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

Classes in painting wildflowers are a part of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.The Wildflower Festival is the second week in July, but depending the Mother Nature and the moisture at various elevations, the beauty cannot be contained to one week.

During the festival, trained botanists lead educational walks through some of the more beautiful areas for wildflowers. Hikes for photographers, from amateurs to professionals, focus on finding the best light and setting for shooting the multitude of blossoms.
Cooking classes focus on organic cuisine in which some wildflowers can be used.

Imagine yoga classes held in flower-filled-meadows. Kids’ classes encourage creativity with the colors and shapes of wildflowers. There are private garden tours and jeep rides to higher elevation meadows with distinct flowers of their own.

Get Prepared for Your Trip to Crested Butte


Visiting Historic Crested Butte Colorado

The historic buildings of Crested Butte Colorado.Located at 11,000 feet, Crested Butte is home to 1,500 year-round residents. Many of the buildings in downtown date to the 1880s and have those lovely wooden false fronts painted in brilliant pastels that would look ridiculous in most other communities, but for some reason, work well in this mountain village.

Wooden sidewalks, porch swings, squeaky screen doors, and planters filled to overflowing with colorful flowers make strolling up and down the streets of the historical area a favorite pastime.

The community hosts a wonderful free Sunday night concert series all summer long. I think I enjoyed that as much as wandering through the high meadows watching Bruce make pictures.

Families gather for the summer concert series in Crested Butte Colorado

Skiing Historic Crested Butte

The first gondola on a ski lift in Colorado is displayed at the history museum in Crested ButteThe U.S. Forest Service approved the development of the Crested Butte Ski Area in 1961, but before that, there was a little initiative called the Pioneer Ski area. As part of the mining community, it had been around since the 1880s.  So it makes sense that the very first chair lift was fashioned out of old coal ore buckets, pulling the first skier to the top of a mountain in 1939.

The first gondola on a ski lift in Colorado debuted here on January 25, 1963. It carried three people at a time and people marveled that it moved about 365 skiers an hour.

You learn and see all of this at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum.

Skiing at Crested Butte Colorado

We were there in the summer, but the mountain gets about 300 inches of snow each winter. It’s a north facing mountain, so long after many other ski areas are calling it quits for the season, Crested Butte still has plenty of snow.

Some other aprés ski trivia from the white powder at Crested Butte:

  • the very first U.S. National Extreme Skiing Championship was held here in 1991
  • the very first Extreme Snowboarding Championship was held here in 1995.

Not bad for an old coal town.

Tip: Arapaho Basin, not far from Crested Butte as the crow flies, is another legendary Colorado ski mountain.

More Goodies for those who Love Crested Butte