Crested Butte has always drawn its wealth from the earth. Native tribes thrived on the land's abundant fish and game; miners pulled from it gold, silver and coal; and today people draw from it a much prized blend of physical, emotional and spiritual revitalization.
Prospectors explored the far reaches of these mountains with picks and gold pans; modern-day adventurers find equal riches with their bikes, skis, snowmobiles, golf clubs, hiking boots, snowboards, lawn chairs, backpacks and fishing rods.
Though shaped by its vast and spectacular wilderness, Crested Butte has also been a center for human community. This tiny, lively pocket of civilization hosts surprisingly excellent cuisine, music, arts, brain food and recreation. Small and remote, it fosters quirky events, strong community ties and deep friendships.
Certainly this is a place of contrasts. In the historic, laid-back Victorian town, even the bankers ride townie bikes, and bench-sitting is a venerable tradition, while three miles away, Crested Butte Mountain Resort bustles to reinvent itself as the "first new ski resort of the 21st century." Small-town character co-exists with culinary and cultural sophistication. Huge snows turn the mountains into silver etchings, then the prolific wildflowers of summer splash them with colors too vivid to recreate on canvas.
For all these contrasts, Crested Butte is also a place of harmony. To those who live and visit here, its rhythms, quirks and beauties offer the best-known antidote to the rest of the world.