” Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than any other season”
Ahhh, Crested Butte…..this place is the magic. Crested Butte is by far our favorite mountain getaway destination in Colorado. I’ll never forget the first time coming down the highway from Gunnison and the feeling that I got when Mt. Crested Butte came into view. What is this place!? I want to stay here forever!! Mountain view, upon mountain view, upon mountain view…everywhere you look!! Its the definition of Colorado with its fields of columbines, gigantic aspen groves, panaromic peaks, gnarly ski/snowboard terrain, and endless hiking trails…. all nestled in the heart of Colorado with a rustic mountain town feel.
Crested Butte holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons. We madly fell in love with this area years ago when we did our first big adventure trip together to the Black Canyons of Gunnison. Our original camp spot was taken so we decided to wing it and kept driving into Crested Butte. It was one of those spontaneous moments that ended up working out better then we had planned. We turned down this random trail on Kebler Pass to display this campsite surrounded by enormous aspen trees and bright purple wildflowers. The sunset that night was a cotton candy sky, welcoming us to this magnificent place that we just happened to stumble upon. This campsite has special meaning to us because it was the last trip we went on with our old husky, Blue dog. I’ll never forget him rolling around in the field of wildflowers, loving it just as much as we were. This majestic area is a tribute to what an amazing dog he was, a place we can visit and celebrate those memories with him forever.
Amazing reason number two why this place is so special…
Every February, we would rent a ski in/ski out cabin in Crested Butte and do a long weekend on the slopes. We had done this trip 3 years in a row with our best friends, but this last trip was even more special. After a long morning of ripping turns, we decided to snap a sweet group picture and then head back to the cabin for some lunch and a few adult beverages. As we are riding up the chair lift to our picture spot, I asked my boyfriend to grab some water out of his backpack. He responded with, “This chair lift is a little weird..i’ll get it for you when we get down so I don’t drop anything” Completely confused by his answer, we got off the chair lift and he just skied away!! WAIT! Hey! I’m thirsty man!!! Get back here! Haha. Little did I know what was about to happen. We rode down to this amazing view, tucked next to the trees to take our group shot. Everyone is setting up cameras while I’m snapping some pictures in my boyfriends goggles and of the beautiful snowy view. I look at my friends after standing around for what seemed like 15 minutes and I said “Are we gonna do this thing or what!?” The whole time he is getting ready to propose to me. He says “Do you want to continue these adventures for a lifetime!? Me oblivious to anything thats going, I just smacked him and said “Of course silly!” …..“Yes, but as a Henderson!?”…….as this bright yellow, shiny, god damn gorgeous ring shimmers in the Colorado sun. TALK ABOUT WATER WORKS! I was completely blown away!! I had no idea he was even looking at rings, it was the most magical moment in time! After I said yes, ski patrol immediately came down to see if we were okay. After all, we are sitting on the side of the ski slope balling our eyes out! Once patrol realized what was going on, congratulations were flowing. Skiiers and snowboarders were flying by yelling, GOOD JOB! WAY TO GO! It was absolutely perfect. We rode down into the trees and popped open a bottle of champagne, which was also hidden in his backpack. I totally understood why the chair lift was a little weird now. Well done my love, well done.
Sooo… as our first wedding anniversary was approaching, it was no contest on where we wanted to celebrate! Back to the Butte! We definitely planned our wedding at the best time of the year. The peak fall colors we booming and Crested Butte never looked so beautiful. We had perfect weather for all of our hiking and camping adventures. We only had two days to soak it all in so we spent the first day taking in all the fall colors on the Horse Ranch Loop Trail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fall colors so vibrant. The mountain ranges in this area are on a whole different level! We hiked through a golden aspen forest, with several outcroppings with huge panoramic views of Kebler Pass. If you’ve never been up Kebler Pass, you should add it to your bucket list! Kebler Pass’s aspen grove is the second largest living organism as all of its roots from the aspen population share the same root. You can see them from space! Its pretty incredible any time of the year, but especially in the fall. There are tons of mountain vistas with trails that lead to alpine lakes and hidden camp spots. With everyone leaf peeping that weekend, we struggled to find a camp spot in the aspens and ended up camping on Ohio Pass. How ironic!? ( We are both from Ohio) It was a blessing in disguise. The views were insane and we didn’t have to share it with anyone. The next day was our anniversary! Happy one year! We started our day with champagne and strawberries and continued down the trail for more mountain fun! We visited the turquoise waters of Emerald Lake for a picnic and celebratory beerskis! Then descended down Schofield Pass for more exploring. Schofield is a sketchy off-roading trail that is suggested for smaller 4×4 vehicles. Our Taco always makes it just fine. We were lucky enough to find the only camp spot off the pass, directly in the golden aspen trees. It was perfect. We celebrated with filet mignon over the campfire and the sounds of solitude in our epic anniversary camp spot.