Crested Butte or Steamboat Springs/Summer

Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Crested Butte or Steamboat Springs/Summer

I'm trying to plan a trip for three families (mine and two others) for this summer for a week.
There will be six adults, one child (age six) and four dogs.
I'm looking to find a house to rent (that allows pets, though I did find Pet Friendly Vacation Rental Listings (
Now I'm trying to decide between Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs.
They both seems to have the same type of activities (never been to either place) and equally distant from places like Vail or Breckenridge (day trip).
Crested Butte seems to be a quaint old town, while Steamboat is a larger town.
Can anyone give input as to recommendations, positives, negatives, etc.
penaddict is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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They are both fantastic choices for a summer family trip. Crested Butte would definitely not be a good day-trip from Vail or Breckenridge, though. Steamboat could be, but I wouldn't go over and back myself in one day.

I think from Breckenridge to Steamboat would take you on a pretty drive, along the Blue River, and then through some ranch lands and over Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat. But it would probably take almost 2 hours. I could be wrong about that, though. Your idea to just stay in Steamboat is a very good one. From there you could do Winter Park in a day but it offers much the same activities as Steamboat.

Crested Butte and Steamboat are alike socially and in cultural ways, because they were both original Colorado towns BEFORE they became big ski area destinations. So each has a real Colorado feel to it that I personally enjoy.

Old Crested Butte has a Victorian feel; Steamboat more old west in style. Both are in gorgeous country. I wonder if Crested Butte might have more day-trips, like Black Canyon of the Gunnison, etc. I don't know how far it would be to drive to Ouray, Silverton, Telluride, but they are spectacular in the summer.

Steamboat, in contrast, sits more in the middle of ranching country. Your day-trips from there might be more limited. But there are tons of things to do in Steamboat itself.

You can't go wrong with either, really. What type of activities do you want mostly? Are rental prices similar between the two places? Each has balanced pros and cons, I think. >-
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Telluride, Ouray, Durango, Silverton are spectacular during summer but not a day trip from either Crested Butte or Steamboat.

Hope this helps...
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Between the two, I'd vote for Steamboat. Maureen gave you some pretty good background info, and imo there are more options/activities in Steamboat. It's close to several state/national parks (eg, Rocky Mountain National Park), the town is larger, lots of nice restaurants, it's in a wide valley that's usually very lush in the summer (and with the Yampa River through town you also get more water-related activities), and a wide variety of lodging options. I agree that Crested Butte is a little far from the day trip options you've mentioned.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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Just returned from a skiing trip to Steamboat. Really enjoyed ourselves. There appeared to be a lot of summer activities available. Horse riding, boating, canoeing, etc. Have a look at the Steamboat site and click on summer activities, you will see lots to do.

Haven't been to Crested Butte so can't compare, but can recommend Steamboat. Some good restaurants and some ordinary like anywhere. The town is quite spread out but the main area is pretty small. There is an indoor rec area with pool etc. Enjoy if you decide to go, we did.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Lots of day trips from Crested: plus lots of ghost towns around there, awesome Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a huge reservoir (Blue Mesa?), incredible hiking/4WD pass driving, terrific mountain biking.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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I prefer Crested Butte, but as others have said either one would be a good choice. C.B. is more ski/resort-like,(smaller) and Steamboat has more of a town feel.
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Old Mar 14th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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We go to both Cresdted Butten and Steamboat when we have the time. CB is smaller, more upscale, and quaint.
SS has more to offer families (we go without out children). Steamboat has many hikes within 15 miles or so and has steamboat lake where you can rent any kind of water vehicle. We like Kayaks. There is the river for tubing in the summer plus more planned programs. I think the hiking at CB may be more spectacular except for two or three hikes at SS which are amazing. You would be better off with 4 wheel drive each place.
Hope this helps! I couldn't get through my life without time in the mts. of Colorado.
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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One of our favorite family vacations was to Steamboat. If you can-- go when the hot air balloon festival is in town (July 12ish??). Go to the rodeo, the balloon festival(free maybe parking), art festival(free) in the park, rent tubes and float down the Yampa river, go to strawberry hot springs and bike along the paved path next to the river. Renting a place is wise since hotels during the balloon festival are outrageous and restaurants are limited in this small town. Have fun!
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 08:55 AM
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Just curious as to why those are your two choices?

no thought to estes / rmnp area? Or gunnison, black canyon, maroon bells, etc?

You could certainly have a great time in summer at either place you mentioned, but I think I'd list other areas as better destinations in summer.
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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Crested Butte and Steamboat are both great choices for people and dogs, especially if you like to hike! We've visited both in passed summers, with our yellow lab, and had no trouble finding pet-friendly lodging. We stayed slope-side both places -- a condo in CB and a hotel in Steamboat -- but I can't remember the names. Since you're there for a week with a group you might want to look at and rent a house. Look for the ones with the paw print!

Personally, if I had to choose, I'd rank Steamboat a little ahead of CB, but would go back to both in a heartbeat.
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