This was not our first time in Crested Butte, or CB. We actually had just rung in the New Year of 2020 here with a group of friends, but visiting in the summer was 100% different. Even though the town was still just as busy and filled with tourists, the vib had completely changed. People were outside, walking around in shorts and t-shirts, which was much different than the -15F weather we were lucky to experience over New Years Eve.
Luckily, after two sites were no good to camp in, we were able to find a campsite on Kebler Pass, 6miles from town. It was a perfect site, in an open grove surrounded by massive pine trees. We were able to string up our hammock, setup tent, and if only there wasn’t a fire ban, we could’ve had a raging fire with how big the fire pit was. It was one of those very memorable BLM camping spots, and even more special that were able to find on a whim.
We spent the couple days in CB wandering around the unbelievably friendly town center, astonished by the amount of bikes left unlocked around town (just to showcase how safe and friendly it really is). The best part of CB is the town itself. Sure, you’d have to pay a substantial premium to live in a place like this, but its mountain town vibe is one of a kind, and maybe the last one that will ever exist. Unfortunately like all good secrets, it’s been found out. The real estate market has gone to shit, making it unaffordable for any “real” people to move there for the mountain town life, instead being replaced by 2nd homeowners from out of state looking to fake that life for a weekend or two each year. But until then, visit this place to enjoy the hidden gem in the Rockies, before its too late!
One morning, we got up for a quick trail run along the base of Mount Crested Butte on the upper loop trail. The trail passed by massive boulders that climbers were attempting to send. Gregor was having a blast running through the tall grasses. Then it ended in a dense grove of aspen trees that could best be described as the perfect place to watch the changing colors of fall. The run was followed by lunch on the tailgate of the truck from a parking lot that overlooked all of Crested Butte. We picked out houses we’d love to live in, as we ate sandwiches we made and sipped on some ice tea.
And when I wasn’t trying to get some quick laps in on my mountain bike, we headed up to Lake Irwin to get the SUP on an incredible alpine lake. Talk about a beautiful, remote, alpine lake… Lake Irwin was primo. The water was crystal clear, but miserably cold. Luckily, it was hot enough that it still was enjoyable to jump into. The lake had tons of people fishing from it’s shoreline and even a ton of people were cliff jumping off a rock on the edge of the lake. This was the type of lake we could easily spend all our summer days at after hikes with the dog.
Like always, it seems, Crested Butte is an amazing time and cannot recommend it enough. After this stop, we drove east to check out the town at the crazy high elevation of 10,000ft, named Leadville, CO.
My name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.