In the ski and bike mecca of Crested Butte, Colorado, the family-owned Elk Mountain Lodge is perfectly situated to offer guests great access to the outdoors, as well as to the vibrant life of the town.
If you’ve been to Crested Butte before, you know that staying in town is not only the most convenient location, but also the most fun. While the Elk Mountain Lodge is on a quiet residential street, it is just two blocks from the main street and the free shuttle that goes up to the mountain.
The lodge is also just two blocks from groomed nordic trails, and four blocks from the Nordic Center. The Elk Mountain Lodge is a great starting point for backcountry ski tours, too.
On any given morning, it is incredibly easy to head up to the mountain with your skis or bike (the shuttle has rack space for plenty of bikes), and return at the end of the day to participate in all of the excitement in town. After enjoying downtown Crested Butte’s shops, restaurants, and bars (that frequently have live music), the Elk Mountain Lodge is a short walk away.
The Elk Mountain Lodge’s location is hard to beat, and it’s got a pretty interesting history, too.
In 1919, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company built a hotel and boarding house for their workers, using locally pressed cinder blocks from the nearby mine slag. Up to 65 miners lived there while working for the mine, eating family-style dinners together after a hard day’s work.
Soon after the mine closed in 1952, the boarding house was bought and turned into the Elk Mountain Lodge. Over the years, the lodge has hosted several restaurants and undergone a number of renovations (such as a third-floor addition), but the original building still remains.
While the Elk Mountain Lodge has a rich history, the current owners certainly make it the place it is today.
Mike and Amy Nolan have owned and managed the Elk Mountain Lodge since 2000, and live just down the street with their three children. As avid bikers and skiers themselves, Mike and Amy have made it extremely easy for bikers and skiers to visit Crested Butte—with or without gear. You can buy lift tickets and arrange gear rentals from the lodge, and there is plenty of ski and bike storage. They also have a free ski locker on the mountain for guests.
In the summer, bikers have access to a wash station, stand, and pump, and there are tuning benches available in the winter for alpine and nordic skis.
The Elk Mountain Lodge also has several townie bikes for guests to use, which makes cruising around town lots of fun. While the Lodge provides plenty of detailed maps of the area, it’s certainly worth getting suggestions from Mike or Amy before heading out; they have an incredible wealth of local knowledge, and can tell you the best places to explore.
Once you’ve exhausted yourself in the mountains, the Elk Mountain Lodge’s cozy environment is the perfect place to unwind and relax. The lodge has 19 rooms, so it is larger than a traditional B&B, but feels much more intimate than a big hotel. In the evenings after skiing and biking, you’ll find guests lounging in the common area downstairs by the fire, or soaking in the large indoor hot tub. Free coffee and tea are available throughout the day, and there are often cookies in the afternoon, too.
Elk Mountain is also the only lodge in town that has a bar. They serve great beer, wine, and spirits, so you can head back, take off your ski boots or muddy bike shoes, and have a few drinks in comfort before dinner.
During the winter and summer seasons, the Elk Mountain Lodge serves a delicious breakfast every morning. In addition to an assortment of organic cereals, yogurt, and fruit, there is homemade granola, hot dishes, and locally made bagels and breads that are picked up fresh each morning. Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos can also be made to order.
The rooms in the Elk Mountain Lodge are simple: there aren’t a ton of extra frills, but they are very comfortable. King, queen, and twin rooms are all available, as well as a couple of double room options.
All rooms have a private bath, down pillows, down comforters in the winter, and cable TV.
All of the third floor rooms are cozy, with slanted ceilings, but also have balconies with amazing views of the mountains, and are definitely worth staying in, if available.
The Elk Mountain Lodge’s location, friendly and knowledgeable owners, and relaxed atmosphere make it easy to recommend.
And if you’re coming to Crested Butte to ski or bike, there is no other place that caters so specifically to skiers and bikers than the Elk Mountain Lodge.
So check out the Elk Mountain Lodge, tell them we sent you, and
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