a.k.a. Lacey and Adam make their friends and family jealous :)

Beautiful Butte

Nope, we’re not commenting on anyone’s behind. This long weekend, we visited Crested Butte (sounds like the ‘beaut’ in beautiful) in Colorado. We took the long way – through Telluride (a popular ski area) on the way there and via Wolf Creek Pass and Pagosa Springs on the way home. Lots of miles, but some jaw-dropping scenery as a reward.

TELLURIDE

There are definite advantages to seeing ski areas in the shoulder season – you have the hotel and trails basically to yourself (as you can see from the hotel carpark in the photo below). The downside is, most of the restaurants, shops and chairlifts aren’t open, and there’s an obvious lack of skiing opportunities. On balance, if you’re not a ski fanatic, we’d certainly recommend a shoulder season visit.

THE GRAND LODGE, MOUNT CRESTED BUTTE

THE BIKE PATH TO TOWN

CRESTED BUTTE'S MAIN STREET, ELK AVENUE

The folks in Crested Butte have had a rough spring – there’s still heaps of snow and the forecast predicts more snow tonight. As far was we were concerned, the lack of melt combined with sunny skies made the place magical. The town lies in a valley surrounded by the Rockies, and in the absence of sufficient snow for skiing, it’s full of the mountain and road biking enthusiasts we have seen throughout Colorado. The other popular pastime is hiking, and even though there was a fair bit of snow in the way, we enjoyed some stunning walks in the area. We’ve been told it’s best to come back in July for the wildflowers and the hikes at the top of the mountain, which you can access via the chairlifts, but we were pretty impressed with what we saw at this time of year.

WALKING ALONG SLATE RIVER

REMNANTS OF WINTER - WHERE'D MY BOOT GO??

THE WINDING RIVER

All that exploring helps to work up an appetite. We feasted on French cuisine at Le Bosquet – would definitely recommend a visit for anyone in the area.

LE BOSQUET FEAST

We opted for only 2 nights accommodation in Crested Butte, thinking we’d take our luck on whether we’d find somewhere else to stay. We headed to Pagosa Springs on Sunday via some very cool winding roads (Adam was regretting the lack of a motorbike) and a couple of 10,000 feet plus passes.

THE ROAD TO SAGUACHE - MADE FOR MOTORCYCLES

THE GREEN SIDE OF WOLF CREEK PASS

In the end, we were glad we didn’t pre-book – $20 to use the springs! – and the place was heaving with hordes of holiday-makers enjoying the 80+ Fahrenheit weather. Having enjoyed such exclusive access to the wonders of the Butte, we quickly exited the area and headed to Durango for a sushi session and some drinks with some friends from work.

THE (CROWDED AND EXPENSIVE) SPRINGS

400+ miles was absolutely worth it – we’ll be back to Crested Butte in the wildflower season. Highly recommended.

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