For decades Crested Butte locals have been trying to keep their quaint mining town and legendary steeps under wraps in hopes of preserving CB’s unique and funky spirit. But the cat’s out of the bag, and skiers far and wide are discovering that Crested Butte may actually be America’s last great ski town. CB’s downfall is also its advantage: it’s not easy to get to, but that’s what keeps the crowds away. Those willing to make the trek are rewarded with some of the best in-bounds, lift-accessed extremes in the country. It takes heaps of snow to cover CB’s rocky steeps, meaning in low snow years some of the most-prized terrain (Teo Bowls, Spellbound, Third Bowl) may not open until late season—if at all. If that’s the case, get out the carving skis and cruise the fun groomers, or hop on the shuttle to town and drown your sorrows at Montanya Distillers or Kochevar’s (a legendary watering hole since Butch Cassidy stopped in for a drink in 1902). Wherever you land, you’ll find the restaurants and shops of colorful Elk Avenue oozing with character. Now that Vail Resorts has snapped up CB, it remains to be seen if the resort’s spirit will prevail. We sure hope so.