In the fall of 2007 a group of local families gathered to address the need for an informal educational center for children, as well as local and visiting families. Although other drop-off day care opportunities existed in Crested Butte, there was no indoor facility and only limited programs for parents and children to play, create and learn together in a structured environment.
The Trailhead Children’s Museum received its nonprofit status in 2008, and has since been providing enriching exhibits in an engaging environment, hand-on educational programs in art and science, and extensive community outreach. Now residing in a 2,700 sq. ft. facility at the base of the ski area in Mt. Crested Butte, the Trailhead annually serves more than 5000 children and families living in and visiting Gunnison County.
In 2011 the Trailhead and the Crested Butte Center for the Arts began discussions with a local art school about how to best serve the Crested Butte community with high-quality arts education for all ages. These collaborative discussions resulted in the Trailhead merging with the art school to provide services for children ages 0-12, and the Center for the Arts assumed the programming for ages 12-adult. The Trailhead and the Center are now aligned in our arts education curricula, thus providing the most effective model for developing artists in the Valley.
The Trailhead now offers a full range of children’s art and science programs that are unmatched by any other organization in our Valley. In recognition of its many accomplishments and its collaborative efforts, The Trailhead was named the 2012 “Non-profit Organization of the Year” by the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce.
The Trailhead Children’s Discovery Museum offers an engaging environment that inspires children and families to explore, create and learn together through discovery and play. The current long-term goals of the Trailhead are as follows:
Create a state-of-the-art, nationally recognized children’s museum.
Deliver extraordinary exhibits and programs to ALL residents and visitors.
Ensure organizational stability and growth, including finances, human and material resources, as well as organizational reputation within the community.
What WE DO
We have many hands-on educational exhibits in two floors of our 2800 sq foot facility.
For all museum visitors we also provide guided learning activities in our Art Bar such as Kids Create and the Exploration Station.
We offer a selection of education opportunities through our Art & Science Camps, After School Classes, and programs for toddlers, pre K, and Kindergarten.
We collaborate with many local organizations to enrich other educational programs in our community and to offer affordable access to our Museum. Some of our partners include the Crested Butte Music Festival, the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Gunnison County Libraries, Gunnison County Public Health, and the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum.
Expected results of The Trailhead’s exhibits, programs and outreach are enriching, educational experiences for ALL children, the strengthening of the educational resources in the community, as well as the opportunity for families and caregivers to connect with children in meaningful ways.