Crested Butte

SKI - - WEST - —S.S.

Bol­stered by record snow­fall last sea­son, Crested Butte con­tin­ues its steady climb in the rank­ings. And with good rea­son. The quaint town and “play­ground of a moun­tain” are both brim­ming with char­ac­ter (No. 4) and host a wealth of ter­rain rang­ing from wide-open groomers to in­sane steeps. While the moun­tain’s sheer size is enough to dis­si­pate crowds, some read­ers balked about lift place­ment, high­light­ing dif­fi­cul­ties get­ting around the moun­tain, es­pe­cially ac­cess­ing steeps on the back­side. But don’t be de­terred: When there is enough snow to cover the rocks (it takes a lot), Teo­calli Bowl and sur­round­ing chutes are her­alded as some of the most gnarly in-bounds ter­rain any­where and of­fer unique chal­lenges to the most ex­pert skiers. Cap an epic day on the deck of Butte 66 with the pic­turesque Banana Chutes in the back­ground, or head to CB’s main drag and en­joy the “best ski town in the U.S.”

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