Crested Butte, Colorado, is a hidden gem for some of the country’s most breathtaking mountain vistas, meandering roads, and scenic Spruce forests. There is no shortage of photo-ready backdrops or beautiful drives around Crested Butte. The West Elk Loop Scenic Byway is one of those special spots. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about this best-kept Crested Butte secret so you don’t have to.
Alpine Getaways offers rustic, luxurious homes in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, not far from the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. Each of our private rentals boasts easy access to all of the area’s most awe-inspiring natural hotspots and outdoor activities. If you need expert guidance on the Crested Butte region’s most memorable things to do and places to see, download our free Crested Butte Vacation Guide. In it, you’ll discover our favorite hiking trails, sporting providers, fun excursions, and much more. Get a copy today and start planning your mountain escape!
About the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway
The state of Colorado has 26 designated scenic byways, and the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway is one of the most memorable. The byway itself looks like a looped lasso and weaves through the larger-than-life West Elk Mountains in Central Colorado. Driving through for the view is enjoyable, but the real stars of this scenic byway are the nearby mountain towns. The West Elks are home to three diverse mining communities, four official wilderness areas, and several charming ski towns. The Byway is passable for most of the year, but it is wise to consult the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce for road closure updates if you’re planning on traveling in cooler weather.
West Elk Loop Scenic Byway Stops to Make
Carbondale is a tiny town off the byway that provides excellent views of Mount Sopris, which stands in the horizon at 12,953 feet above sea level. Also in Carbondale is the Roaring Fork. This rushing river features beautiful cottonwood banks, plenty of smooth stones, and thriving schools of Rainbow Trout. If you have a little extra time, stroll through Downtown Carbondale and visit the art galleries and shops.
One of the most unique areas in Colorado is Marble, a historic mining community that produces some of the finest marble in the world. Both the Lincoln Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C., use marble mined here.
The quaint town of Redstone is located in the Crystal River Valley, just around the corner from Crested Butte and the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. This place is known as an age-old coal mining town; the beehive-shaped ovens once used for processing coal sit off the side of the road entering town.
Finally, Crested Butte, the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, is the most charming destination near the West Elk Scenic Byway. In the summer, this beautiful ski town is blanketed by blooming meadows. In addition to endless opportunities for fresh-air adventures, there are so many fun things to do in Crested Butte. Here, you can go golfing, shop around in local boutiques, eat at amazing restaurants, and attend exciting festivals and events. After thoroughly exploring the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway, there’s no better place to end your journey.
Looking for a Place to Stay?
Alpine Getaways manages rental homes in the heart of Crested Butte, just minutes from the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. Our rustic, luxurious, and private rentals are perfect for large groups, families, couples, or anyone looking to make the most of their trip to the Rocky Mountains. All of our rentals feature spacious interiors, full kitchens, and everything you need to have a great time with loved ones.
What are you waiting for? Scenic vistas, towering forests, and beautiful views await you in Crested Butte. Check our availability and start planning your adventure!