In an effort to be more environmentally sustainable, we are no longer printing and mailing copies of the Program Guide. The version on our website is downloadable and easy to print, so you can print your own copy if you would like.
The 2023 Festival will run during the week of July 7-16 with few to no events on Wednesday, July 12. Registration happens per event, rather than for a “day-pass.”
Early registration for Members opens March 20, followed by general registration starting April 3! When registration opens to the public, all registration happens via our website. A link to register will be easily found here on our website. Events are filled on a first come, first served basis.
While it is not required to register in advance for events, we STRONGLY recommend it as many events sell out well before July.
- March 20- Garden Level, Fairy Slipper, Mariposa Lily, and Scarlet Gilia level Members can start registering for events
- March 24- Columbine level Members can start registering
- March 27- Lupine Members can start registering
- March 30- Blue Flax Members can start registering
- April 3- General registration opens
All registration waves open at 10am MTN.
Picking the right events for you:
Our Program Guide divides up our events into seven umbrella categories: Art, Birding & Butterflies, Botany, Culinary & Medicinal, Geology & Geobotany, Photography, and Hikes & Tours. These sections are preceded with an overview of events by day & time.
Each section will introduce the pertaining umbrella category and offer helpful insight on special requirements to keep in mind while deciding which events to register for (such as supplies needed or required fitness levels).
Each event will list the name of the event, name of the event leader, price of the event, a brief event description, as well as the dates and time the event is offered. Next to each date and time option is a “code” for that specific occurrence of the event. This is the code you will use to register for that specific occurrence of that event. As applicable, each event listed will also list the level of expertise and materials needed to participate.
Each section will list events in order of least to most difficulty for events that require a significant amount of walking/hiking
Kids: Generally, if an event is suitable for children under the age of 16 it is specified in the event description. Because our events are outdoors, at least a few hours long, and focus on wildflower identification, young children can easily become bored and often lack the stamina required to complete the hike. However, there are a couple of events that might work for younger children – “Tour of Crested Butte Gardens” and “Wildflower ID Walk” both are easier to peel off from the group if needed. For hikes we recommend “Woods Walk” (it is shady and has tree forts) and “Brush Creek” (very flowery and easy to walk, but can be hot and sunny as it sits on a southern slope).
Bodies from Sea Level: Most events take place at an altitude of 9,000-11,500 ft above sea level. Some people may experience being light-headed and/or a feeling of “being out of breath” when they first arrive in Crested Butte. This can make physical activity challenging so we recommend selecting hikes and walks within the beginner to intermediate levels. For more info on how to help yourself acclimate to the altitude, click our FAQ page here!
Older Bodies and Bodies with Walking/ Mobility Limitations: All of our hiking & walking events except garden tours are on trails of some sort. If you do not regularly exercise off paved surfaces, or are uncomfortable with uneven footing, exercising in altitude, or are looking for access to restrooms and benches to stop and take breaks, this transition can be hard and is something to keep in mind. For these cases, we recommend our “Tour of Crested Butte” or Lower Loop Trail, which can accommodate wheelchairs.
Restrooms: There are not many restrooms available for most hikes; exceptions being the beginning at the trailheads of Swampy Pass, Oh-Be-Joyful, Beaver Ponds (and sometimes Brush Creek). Hikes around Lake Irwin also have restrooms, though this depends on where the instructors take hikers. Our Headquarters and the 4-Way Stop both have public restrooms.
Trained service animals (seeing eye dogs, etc.) are allowed. Please notify us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (970.349.2571) that you will have this accommodation upon registration so that we can communicate with our event leaders ahead of time to work out additional clearance as needed. Emotional support animals are not allowed. For questions or requests for special accommodations, please contact us via email (email@example.com) or phone (970.349.2571). For all other pets, unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate them at Festival events. Crested Butte is a very dog-friendly town, and you may walk your dog on any of the trails here on your own – but please! Pick up after your four-legged friend and respect leash laws.
The listed mileage for our events is for the roundtrip distance, though these are estimates as it depends on how the instructor manages the group – sometimes they go a little further, sometimes a little less. It varies year to year and group to group. If you are looking for a set route, one of the Garden Tours, “Wildflower ID Walks,” “Wonderful Wildflower Connections,” or “Gothic Wildflowers” hikes/walks would be great options!
“Follow the Bloom” is a great event to see where the most magnificent blooms are, as there is no set route and leaders will take you to the best blooms at the time of the event.
Geobotany events: What is Geobotany? Think of it as flower ID and geology combined in order to tell us what flowers grow where due to the geology and soil of the area. These events do not have a set route; hiking depends on the level of fitness within the participants and where the flowers are blooming most brilliantly at the time of the event.
Butterfly hikes tend to be hot and sunnier than other hikes, since these conditions are perfect for butterflies!
Unless the event description specifically states that transportation is provided, you’ll meet at your class location (specified on your registration confirmation email) and your leader will split the class into 2-4 carpools. You may be asked to drive and take other guests in your vehicle, and you will follow the leader to your event. If you do not have a vehicle, you will be able to ride with someone else.
We do offer the Garden Tours/Historic Garden Tours that can be accessed from the 4-Way Stop in town, so no transportation would be needed for those if your transportation options are limited. Our Art classes are also great options for in-town event options!
This is a very subjective area, but in general:
Beginner: One who has very little understanding of the workings of their camera. They have not done much more “point and shoot” photography. Enjoys taking snapshots but wants to learn more about composition, lighting, and the capabilities of their camera to enhance their images.
Intermediate: One who has basic understanding of their camera. They have read their manual or other photography-related information and can use more than one lens. They know basics such as aperture, shutter speed, composition and how to use some of the manual settings on their camera. They are looking to expand their knowledge by going deeper into the capabilities of their camera as well as learning art of photography.
Advanced: One who has a great understanding of their camera and the art of photography. They have multiple lenses and can use the manual settings on their camera with ease. They understand lighting, flash-photography, different compositions, depth, backgrounds, movement, contrast, framing etc. They are looking to be guided to the scenic areas at optimal times for the best shots. They are open to additional photographic tips and enjoy talking “shop” with their instructors.
CBWF is an equal opportunity service provider and employer and operates under permit from the USDA Forest Service, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest