The Ski Mountain
Jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains tower 3,320 feet from the ski area base to create the ultimate playground for skiers living on the edge. Well-known as a challenging mountain, Telluride attracts those who wish to test their limits on the mountain during the day and reward themselves with heavy après at night. Somewhat isolated from the rest of civilization, you’ll find 125 trails and 2,000 acres of demanding terrain. This is not a resort for the timid.
The Mountain Experience
An old mining town inhabited by free-spirited ski bums, Telluride looks and feels like a scene from a postcard. Both Telluride proper and the resort’s Mountain Village have an endearing vibe but with different feels. Mountain Village has a more elegant atmosphere with a population consisting mainly of visitors. The town of Telluride has a more down-home, local feel. A free, 13 minute gondola connects Mountain Village and Telluride proper, so you can hop between the resort’s amenities or local hotspots anytime.
Telluride Ski Terrain
• Beginner: While Telluride has a fair variety of terrain, it’s not considered a beginner mountain. But there are several runs suitable for novice skiers. Take the Sunshine Express Lift to beginner trails, including the 4.6 mile “Galloping Goose,” the resort’s longest run. It’s well-groomed and has a fairly flat slope that makes it ideal for beginning skiers to practice while taking in the mountain’s magnificent scenery.
Current Snow Conditions
• Intermediate: For a great adventure, ski Upper and Lower See Forever trails. To reach the start of these runs, you must ski many trails and travel from lift to lift. This makes for a nice warm-up before you reach the start and allows you to enjoy a scenic run along the ridge of the mountain.
• Advanced: This is what Telluride is all about. Ready for some real exercise and legendary skiing? Head to the Revelation Lift, where a two-hour hike will lead you to the summit of the Palmyra area. Give your legs and lungs a rest while you soak in the views and then drop in to Senior’s run to descend into bowls full of powder. If you prefer not to hike, the trails off Plunge Lift offer a variety of tree and bump skiing. Kant-Mak-M is a trail consisting mostly of moguls. This run will make lunges seem like a piece of cake. Log Pile, West Drain, and Captain Jack’s have a wide variety of tree skiing.
• Terrain Park: Telluride, winner of a Visitor’s Choice award for its terrain park, actually has three. Ute Park has mini jumps and ride-on boxes for first-timers. Misty Maiden has features similar to Ute but on a larger scale. Hoot Brown Park is strictly for advanced park skiers and contains a new six-jump line.
Telluride is a resort best suited for young adults and active singles. If you are traveling with family, it’s best to stay in Mountain Village, where it’s a little quieter and more family-friendly. If you’re traveling with all adults, immerse yourself in the boisterous local scene in the town of Telluride. The most common complaint about Telluride is how secluded it is from other cities and ski areas. This has its pros and cons – while traveling to Telluride can be time consuming and expensive, you avoid heavy crowds. If you’ve got a week and really want to get away on an active and challenging mountain, this is a great choice. If you’ve only got a few days and are going with a group with mixed skills, you might want to stick to some of the better known resorts that are closer to Denver and more accommodating for multiple skill levels.
The après scene in Telluride is livelier and has more variety than Mountain Village. Visit The Llama for tasty local eats and a decent selection of microbrews. It’s also the place to go for live music. The Last Dollar Saloon is a great spot to mingle with the locals – but be warned, some nights are said to be “locals only” (at least in spirit). If you’re traveling with kids, you can’t go wrong at Poachers Pub. Located in Mountain Village, the menu has a wide array of traditional American dishes. Order the Mountain Sized Nachos to share – you will be stuffed for days.
Historic town where Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank, now with restaurants simple to elegant.
Guests find it most convenient to stay in Mountain Village. The proximity to the lifts and free Gondola to Telluride allow you to take the first chair in the morning and still make Happy Hour in the evening. The Inn at Lost Creek is a favorite of tourists and families. Although the price for lodging at the Inn can be steep, the ski-in/ski-out accessibility can make it worth the price. Use the Ski Lodging Deals box above and right to find Telluride’s best Lodging choices and deals.
Skiing with Kids
The resort has a well-developed lesson program for children of all ages and levels. Because some beginners find Telluride a bit intimidating, the instructors are careful not to lead novice skiers into advanced terrain. If you enroll your child in ski-school, they can hang at the Afternoon Kids Club from 3pm to 4pm after their lesson. Parents can use this time to explore the mountain or relax over a beer, kid-free.
Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*
Lift Tickets (pre-purchase online): Adult TBD; Child TBD; Senior TBD (PURCHASE NOW) Season Pass: (purchase by 10/26/12) Adult $1,098; Child $175; Senior $599 Other Passes: 6 day pass (purchased by 10/26/12) $450; 10 day pass $650 Special Deals: Pass includes 3 days skiing at Taos, New Mexico *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.
By Amanda Markert