Northwest of Crested Butte, Slate River Road is closed in the winter after two miles and provides excellent backcountry cross country ski access. The unplowed stretch of road leads up the Slate River Valley and is occasionally groomed (or skier packed or snowmobile packed). The views up this valley are breathtaking! Also, this cross country skiing route provides access to a strenuous trek up Oh-Be-Joyful leading into the Raggeds Wilderness.
Overall, Slate River / Oh-Be-Joyful is the 9th most popular cross country ski area of all 58 Nordic ski destinations in Colorado.