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Crested Butte Colorado Elopement Guide

Why Elope in Crested Butte

If I could chose one mountain town to live in – it would be Crested Butte. The charming main town mixed with stunning views is why my husband and I visit every chance we get.

Main Town: The strip that sits along 3rd Street and fans out has many amazing restaurants, shops, coffee, books – any shop that you’d want to see in a Mountain Town. All the storefronts and cafes have remained local – no Starbucks or Targets here. Bonus – my good friend (and fellow mountain enthusiast) owns Scout Designs, an outdoor athletic wear company. Be sure to stop by her shop on 3rd Street!

THOSE VIEWS: Everywhere you look is stunning. From the rivers that cut through green valleys to the rolling hills that’ll have you humming The Sound of Music – it’s a magical place. I’ve witnessed some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets in Crested Butte.

• The Wildflowers in Summer, The Aspens in Fall: While winters provide some of the steepest slopes in Colorado for skiers, Summer and Fall are (in my opinion) where Crested Butte shines. The wildflowers are abundant EVERYWHERE starting with the Lupines in June and ending roughly the second week in August with every shade you can imagine. Many of the flowers will come up past your hips and line the sides of trails. In early October, the scene shifts to gold with hints of red as fall approaches. Along every hillside, particularly heading through Kebler pass, Aspens are aplenty.

Outdoor Sporting: If you enjoy outdoor sports, Crested Butte has something for everyone. As a hiker myself, the hiking and trail running options are endless. Some of my favorite locally known hikes are in this area of Colorado. When it comes to Mountain Biking – Crested Butte has everything from Greens to Biking up and over mountain passes. My Uncle heads out every year to bike up and over Pearl Pass. More of a fisher(wo)man? There’s rivers a plenty, or you can hike to one of the countless lakes with a pole. 4×4? Yep. Got lots of those roads here too.

Dog Friendly: Crested Butte is one of the most Dog friendly places that we’ve visited with our pup. Most places, particularly the hotels, allow dogs as well as most restaurants with a patio. Our Doberman has accompanied us on multiple trips here, and we’ve always had an amazing experience bringing him along.

How to get to Crested Butte and Where to Stay

Crested Butte is nestled in a valley between some large mountain ranges. You can reach the town via. multiple cities and mountain passes.

Travel by Air
Flights to the closest Airport, Gunnison-Crested Butte (GUC), vary depending on the season. United Airlines has direct flights from Four airports, Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), and Dallas (DAL).
From Gunnison-Crested Butte (GUC), it is a 30 minute drive into Crested Butte via. Road 135.

Travel by Vehicle
There are multiple roads that lead into Crested Butte from varying areas of the state. Many are seasonal (typically open Memorial Day weekend through Late October), be sure to verify if the route that you’re looking to take is open.
Road 135 – Route to the town of Gunnison, from both the West and East you’ll take highway 50 from the respective area until you reach town. In town, turn North onto Road 135 for approximately 30 minutes, or just about 28 miles. This route is open year-round.
Cottonwood Pass – From the town of Buena Vista, head West on Main street through town. You’ll continue driving as the road turns into Cottonwood Pass and drive up the mountain. When you reach the summit of the pass (which is a beautiful place to stop and stretch), you’ll continue on the mountain pass down the mountain, until you reach a stop sign and the road intersects with CO Road 742. Take a left onto 742 and weave your way along Taylor Reservoir and into the town of Allenspark. You’ll reach Road 135 at the end of Almont, turn right and drive for 18 miles and reach Crested Butte.
• Kebler Pass – Take Road 133 either from the North (near Aspen/Redstone) or the South (Montrose/Paonia) until you reach the intersection of Kebler Pass, Road 12, and turn East. Take the pass all the way into the town of Crested Butte, roughly 47 miles from the turn off.
4×4 Mountain Passes – If you are an EXPERIENCED off-road driver, you can reach Crested Butte via some high and gnarly 4×4 passes, such as Pearl Pass, Schofield Pass, Taylor Pass, and Brush Creek.

Where to Stay in Crested Butte

Grand Lodge

• At the base of the Ski Lifts
• Great Views
• Easy access to Gothic Road
• Price Range: $ – $$

Elevation Hotel and Spa

• At the base of the Ski Lifts
• Great Views
• Dog Friendly
• Price Range: $ – $$

Lodge at Mountaineer Square

• At the base of the Ski Lifts
• Great Views
• Easy access to Gothic Road
• Price Range: $ – $$

VRBOs in Crested Butte
There are countless VRBOs in Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte, and the Southern Valley. Some allow events onsite, while others do not. This is just a short list of some beautiful places to stay close to downtown Crested Butte.

• Pet Friendly Duplex with outdoor deck, Sleeps 5
• 3 Bedroom House with Stunning Views, Sleeps 6
Luxury House with River Views, Sleeps 10
• Riverside Log Cabin with Views, Sleeps 8
• Spacious Home with Views, Sleeps 16
• Log Mountain Home with Fishing Access, Sleeps 6

Where to Elope in Crested Butte

Crested Butte is one of those places where the best locations are closely guarded secrets – you’ll be hard pressed to find the exact locations posted publicly online.

There are some places that you can reserve through the Crested Butte Land Trust for your elopement. Locations can be reserved up to 7 days prior to your elopement, are granted on a first come first serve basis, and allow one reservation per calendar day at each site. Sites include: Woods Walk, Peanut Lake, and Gunsight Bridge.

Here is some photo inspiration for Crested Butte Elopement Locations – I’m happy to help plan and provide exact locations on a private basis.

Hiking Location – Easy Hike, but includes River Crossing
Hiking Location – Moderate Hike withe Ridgeline Views
Alpine Field View, 4×4 access
Hiking Location – Moderate hike with Elk mountain Views
Hiking Location – Difficult hike due to length. Can backpack into.
Field Views, AWD recommended
Kebler Pass, Dirt Road Access
4×4 Access Basin, Dispersed Camping available and connects to multiple areas
Emerald Lake, AWD recommended
Lupine Field, Road Access
Hiking Location, Easy Hike with 4×4 access
Hiking Location – Easy Hike accessed via dirt road
Alpine Field with Flowers, Dirt Road Access

Obtaining a Marriage License

You can obtain a marriage license in Gunnison County no sooner than 35 days before your elopement.
• You must schedule an appointment by calling (970) 641-2038.
• Bring your form of Identification (Drivers License or valid Passport) and $30 payment
• Fill out the marriage license application. Both parties need to be present.
• The office is located at the Blackstone Government Building in Gunnison, Colorado. It is roughly 30 minutes south of Crested Butte. 200 W Virginia Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230.

Colorado does NOT require a witness or officiant. You can self-solemnize and marry yourselves. You can have an officiant if you’d like, they can sign as a witness if they are not ordained. You can have your dog or children sign as witnesses if you’d like as well – anyone (and as many people you’d like) can sign your marriage license as witnesses.

What to do in Crested Butte

Eat at Secret Stash pizza. Every time we head into Crested Butte, we’re sure to stop by Secret Stash. They have AMAZING pizza, including gluten free crust. They do get busy and can have a long wait on weekends and at night.

Walk along the shops. The main drag on 3rd street has great tourist shops, amazing coffee, a local bookstore (that sells one of my favorite local hiking guides – check out Mike and Anne Poe’s hiking guide books), and food aplenty.

Go for a scenic drive. Crested Butte is stunning in every season. In summer and fall, the higher roads are open and have some of the best views you can get from the window of your car. Take Kebler Pass and gaze at Aspens as far as the eye can see. Head up Gothic Road to see massive fields of wildflowers, or if you have a 4×4 you can connect over to Washington Gulch road.

• Head out for a Hike
. The hiking access in Crested Butte is amazing. There is something for all abilities and all lengths. In early summer, you can walk along Lupine fields close to town. You can hike up to the top of Mt. Crested Butte and view the entire valley from up top. With the whole family you can walk alongside rivers and through Aspen tree tunnels. And don’t forget about the countless waterfalls and lakes you can visit.

Set up Camp. Crested Butte is well known for it’s camping. Some sites you do have to reserve well in advance, but there is still a good amount of dispersed camping throughout the valley. If you have a 4×4, you can camp at heights of around 12,000 ft. If you’re bringing the family along, you can camp along the Slate river and enjoy hanging out in the water and fishing. Lake Irwin is another area that has great camp sites and water access.

Ready to book your Crested Butte Elopement?