Telluride is a spectacular resort in the heart of Colorado’s San Juan mountains. Getting there is half the fun – the scenic drive from Gunnison or Durango is topped off with an even more picturesque main street. Rarely are ski resorts as pretty as they are challenging, with a nightlife as exciting as it’s laid-back, and with accommodation that ranges from ultimate luxury to great budget hotels. Telluride is the complete package and Scout adores it.
- The photogenic historic Main St with the steep sides of the box canyon looming over.
- Some of the country’s best hike-to terrain, chutes and bowl skiing.
- A wealth of fine dining options and down-to-earth bars.
- Catching the free gondola to the mountain village at night, looking back down on the twinkling lights of the town.
- Apres and fabulous cocktails at 10,535ft (3211m) at Allred’s Restaurant.
- There's some great heli-skiing based out of Telluride.
- Dine in style on the mountain with a five-course Italian-themed menu at Alpino Vino restaurant.
- The are two main areas, the town and the Mountain Village. A free gondola connects the two and runs to midnight. Regardless of where you’re staying you won’t need a car.
- A visit to the historic New Sheridan Hotel is a must. The bar is a happening apres spot while its restaurant, Chop House, has the best steaks in town.
- Leave some time (and space on your credit card) for a bit of shopping – there are some fabulous boutiques and galleries among the multitude of gear and equipment stores.
Telluride is one of those places that puts you under a spell the moment you arrive. Whether it’s the ghosts of its mining past or the spirit of the San Juan Mountains, there’s something quite enchanting about this place.
It also happens to have some of the best skiing in North America, a happening restaurant scene and a vibrant nightlife. But yet it’s also quite understated - there’s definitely some glitz and glamour and it’s popular with celebrities (there are great luxury hotel options) but that element remains subdued because the main events here are the mountains and the cutest town far away from anywhere.
Getting to Telluride is the start of the adventure – most arrive here via Montrose airport. The town does have its own airport (which also happens to be the highest commercial airport in North America) but it’s notorious for its frequent closures due to weather, forcing planes to divert to Cortez airport. If you do take the safe option, the drive up the valley from Montrose is stunning and as you head deeper into the box canyon the mountains get higher and higher until you finally arrive at the town of Telluride, which is surrounded on three sides by cliffs.
This ski resort has something for everyone. Beginners and intermediates will love the fun terrain and if you’re staying in the Mountain Village there are several ski-in ski-out hotels making it super convenient and easy for families. But it’s the advanced skiers that will really experience the specialness of this resort – the chutes, bowls and steeps will challenge even the most expert of skiers in a way that very few resorts are capable of. Don’t forget your back-pack for carrying skis because some of the hikes to the higher peaks are so gnarly you will want both hands free. It’s not for the faint hearted but the reward is sweet. Not only will you have some of the best runs of your life, you’ll get to watch some incredible skiers who all flock to the resort for the extreme terrain, and seem to bound down the runs with effortless grace. If you manage to avoid a face plant on the way down treat yourself at one of the many lively apres options in the village before heading down to town for a delicious dinner. But try not to get overexcited in one of the great bars, because hiking at 13,000ft (4000m) with sheer cliff drops either side while sporting a hangover is not fun and definitely not recommended.
DEALS FOR THE 16/17 SEASON
Book accommodation via Scout and ski 14 days for the price of 8 (up to USD$600 savings). Contact Scout to book along with many great deals on lodging.
Kids rent free
Kids 12 and under rent for free with the purchase of the same adult product when booked via Scout as part of a Telluride Ski Package.
Accommodation options at Telluride are generally split between smaller, more boutique lodges in the town and larger, full-service hotels in the Mountain Village. Although the hotels in town are a relatively close walk to the lifts, if being close to the slopes is important then you probably want to be in the village. There are some great ski-in ski-out options up there, and the village also has a few restaurants, shops and bars (mainly for apres). The best evening scene, however, is in the village so if you want to be in the heart of it all and among the quaint historic center then you should stay in town. Fortunately, the free town gondola is quick and easy so regardless of what option you choose, the other one is never far away.Search Hotels and Deals Get your
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If you manage to tear yourself away from the slopes, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy - from snowshoeing, snowmobiling to the crazy-looking snowbiking or some more adrenaline-pumping ice-climbing. If relaxing is your thing, options include several day spas or some retail therapy in town. The cool Telluride Brewing Co. has a tasting room and is open until 7pm daily.
Telluride has the unfortunate misconception of being difficult to get to. It’s certainly not as accessible as somewhere like Park City or Vail, but this is also its blessing as the mountain has less (almost no) day-trippers making it a true destination resort.
Montrose Regional Airport is the closest commercial and is a scenic 75-minute drive. It’s well serviced by four major air carriers with direct flights from 11 major hub cities. There are several shuttle companies, the main one being Telluride Express and costing about $50 for an adult one way in a shared ride. Of course, if you have your own private jet, you can always fly into Telluride Airport, just 15 minutes from downtown.
Don’t bother renting a car. It’s not worth the expense (especially because of the cost of valet parking) or the hassle and you won’t use it. Regardless of where you are staying, most places are either a walk or a gondola ride from where you want to go. If your accommodation is slightly out of the center there are free town buses, including the Galloping Goose in town or Dial-A-Ride on-demand shuttles in the Mountain Village.
Telluride Mountain Resort is open from late November to early April. The most reliable month is February, though there can be some great skiing earlier and later in the season.
Holiday periods that are busy are:
- Christmas and New Year.
- Martin Luther King long weekend, January 17-20 (2014).
- President’s Day long weekend, February 14-17 (2014).
|Base Elevation||8725ft /2659m||Gondolas||2||Beginner||23%|
|Summit Elevation||13,150ft /4008m||Express Quads||7||Intermediates||36%|
|Vertical Drop||4425ft / 1349m||Quad Chair||1||Advanced||41%|
|Skiable Area||2000+ac / 810+ha||Triple Chairs||2|
|Annual Snowfall||309in / 7.9m||Double Chairs||1|
|Longest Run||4.6 miles / 7.4km||Surface Lifts||2|
|Operating Hours||9.00am –4.00pm||Magic Carpets||2|
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