Now Managed by Troon Golf, the privately owned Club at Crested Butte (theclubatcrestedbutte.com; 970-349-6127) stands to enjoy the same benefits that have helped elevate awareness of Crested Butte Ski Resort among Front Rangers. A hidden gem set on 160 acres with stirring views of the Elk Mountain range, the semi-private club, which costs $20,000 to join and $4,680 in annual dues, is now one of the more than 70 private clubs in the Troon Privé worldwide network.
Originally known as Skyland, The Club at Crested Butte (theclubatcrestedbutte.com) boasts a fantastic 7,208-yard Robert Trent Jones Jr. layout that nonmembers can play after 12 p.m. The club also offers a stay-and-play package with The Lodge at Mountaineer Square. For $389, two people receive a night of lodging and a round of 18 holes.
SKIERS REPRESENT the core of The Club at Crested Butte’s membership, which is why three years ago it opened SlopeSide, the only private lodge at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Located by the Red Lady Lift, SlopeSide offers members two stories of ski-in/ski-out access, 120 spacious lockers, ski valets and concierge services, a plush lounge and a full-service bar serving breakfast, lunch and après-ski on a patio warmed by a generous firepit.
Inspired by Japanese scroll art, Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the golf course to harmonize with the stunning surroundings. The 84 cloverleaf bunkers, he says, resemble “the patterns of snow melting in the mountains, and the shapes of the fairways and greens echo the alpine landscape, which reveals itself on every hole.” The course opened in 1982.
Beauty and the Butte
NO STOP LIGHTS: Downtown Crested Butte is a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark District, with many of the buildings preserved since the town’s mining-town heyday. Residents proudly cite the lack of a single traffic signal, chain restaurant or Starbucks.
LOCO FOR LUPINES: Every summer brings an explosion of color to the wilderness surrounding Crested Butte. The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com) will celebrate its 30th anniversary July 11-23 with exhibits, hikes, tours, art, food and photography.
WORK IT OUT: The Club at Crested Butte’s two-story Health & Wellness Center offers members and guests the latest in fitness equipment, including high-tech HD-interactive Peloton Bikes and classes ranging from Barre to Zumba.
On the Move
Less Than 25 Miles separate the erstwhile mining towns of Crested Butte and Aspen, but that’s as the crow flies. Without wings, it’s a 104-mile drive or an 11-mile hike from trailhead to trailhead. The strenuous, six-hour route takes you past streams, wildflowers and over Maroon Pass (12,490 feet in elevation), home of the Maroon Bells. Heading to Aspen, you’ll gain 2,357 feet in elevation; returning to Crested Butte adds another 908. Arrange for a return ride back or stay in Aspen and head back the next day. Also, Dolly’s Mountain Shuttle (crestedbutteshuttle.com) drops off and picks up at both trailheads. Dress in layers. Snow can fall even in midsummer.
The view from the top of Crested Butte Mountain takes in the entire Gunnison Valley. At Crested Butte Mountain Resort (skicb.com), the Silver Queen chairlift rewards you within a short hike to the peak, while the Red Lady Express deposits mountain bikers and their bikes near the many trails, single track and back roads on the mountain.
Food, Wine & Song
CHOW TOWN: Savor pre-golf lunch with a view at The Club at Crested Butte’s Brush Creek Grill (theclubatcrestedbutte.com), which welcomes the public. Otherwise, downtown overflows with dining options. Breakfast at Izzy’s, McGills or Paradise Cafe. Camp4 Coffee (camp4coffee.com) pours the best java. Secret Stash (secretstash.com) serves some crazy-good pizzas, while foodies will find steaks at Elk Ave Prime (elkaveprime.com), French cuisine at Soupçon (soupcon-cb.com) and Italian at Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle(marchitellisgourmetnoodle.com).
CULTURE CLUB: The Center for the Arts (crestedbuttearts.org) features summer outdoor concerts with everything from classic rock to reggae to bluegrass to hip-hop. The show also affords an up-close look at Knight and Dragon, the huge public sculpture composed mainly of recycled auto chrome.
FOODFEST: The annual Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival (crestedbuttearts.org) runs July 28-31. High-lights include wine hikes, gourmet picnics, pairing lunches and seminars with sommeliers and chefs such as James Bear Award-winning Jennifer Jasinski.
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This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.
Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.