Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte Bike Week, in late June, touts "Bikes, Beers, and Bands," but that may as well be the town motto. The 130-year-old former coal-mining camp is nestled in a bowl of high pasture, in a cul-de-sac formed by jagged mountains etched with hundreds of miles of Jeep roads and killer singletrack. Rent a dual-suspension ride from Crested Butte Sports, and get a map marking fabled rides like 401, a 14-miler that starts near the ghost town of Gothic, climbs past Emerald Lake, and descends through helmet-high wildflowers. Or, venture to Evolution Bike Park with 30 miles of lift-served singletrack, including the new machine-built Psycho Rocks, which lives up to the stomach-churning title.
For après-bike, head to Montanya Rum distillery – turns out that rum ages best at altitude, and the water from the spring-fed aquifer it's distilled with is as pure as the stuff gets. Sure, you could book a hotel, but camping at Paradise Divide offers car camping at 11,250' and wildlife sighting you won't soon forget.
Getting There: Fly to Gunnison; drive 30 minutes north.
For more information, visit gunnisoncrestedbu