Telluride, a former gold-mining town in the 1800s, has traded in its picks and shovels for skis and snowboards. With a population of about 2,500, this small town allows your group to seclude itself for a scenic getaway. No matter the skill level, there’s something here for everyone in your group to enjoy, from heli-skiing to boutique-shopping in the old rustic town of Telluride.
Slope to Slope
Telluride, ranked No. 1 by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in the Top 20 Ski Areas in North America for 2013, features more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain. This includes 127 trails, three terrain parks and 18 lifts. The longest run is 4.6 miles, and the mountain is made up of 23% beginner, 36% intermediate and 41% advanced/expert courses. Because Telluride is not a typical tourist town, there are no crowds or lift lines, which means you can enjoy a lot more skiing.
Telluride averages 300 days of sunshine and 309 inches of snow per year. It’s referred to as a “ski mecca,” with the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks in North America. The surrounding San Juan Mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Rockies.
Telluride provides a comprehensive ski school for all ages. From groups to private lessons, the school teaches every ability from beginner to expert level.
Living up to its reputation for legendary terrain, Telluride Ski Resort has something for everyone. The Plunge, Revelation Bowl and Gold Hill offer many steeps for experts. See Forever and Prospect Bowl provide the ideal terrain for intermediates and the wide-open, gentle slopes of Ute Park and The Meadows start beginners off right while enjoying the endless scenery of the mountains.
Telluride has more than 1,500 lodging units including condominiums, vacation homes, townhomes and hotels. Most lodging options feature ski-in/ski-out capabilities or are within walking distance of the slopes.
Getting Here and Getting Around
The two main area airports are Telluride (TEX) and Montrose (MTJ). Montrose Regional Airport is an hour-and-15-minute drive to Telluride, with direct flights from Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Newark, N.J. during the winter. Telluride is only a 15-minute drive from Telluride Airport and a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Denver.
Group shuttle and bus services are available to Telluride Regional Airport and Montrose Regional Airport; there is no need for a rental car. Upon arrival in Telluride, the free gondola system transports you from Telluride to Mountain Village and back in just a matter of minutes.
Activities and Entertainment
The gondola runs daily from 7 a.m. to midnight during the summer and winter. It not only provides scenic rides, but is the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the nation. The locals say, “we have two towns built in the 90s: one in the 1890s and another in the 1990s.” Telluride is an old gold-mining town that has turned into a bustling ski town, where boutiques and restaurants share space with snow banks and bike racks. Just up the mountain from Telluride sits MountainVillage, which is a more modern, Alpine-style community.
Although Telluride is a small town, there are plenty of activities to keep your group entertained, such as sledding, ice climbing, ice skating, dinner sleigh rides, dog sled tours and a visit to the hot springs. You can also take your group on a snowmobile or snowshoe tour.
Feeling adventurous? Take your group to ski on untracked powder with heli-skiing. Telluride also features NASTAR Racing where you can get national ranks and earn medals.
If your group wants a break from the snow, they can visit the Telluride Historical Museum, relax at the spa, paraglide or ride in a hot air balloon. The fun doesn’t end in the winter; summer activities allow you to ride horses in the mountains, hike, swim, kayak and mountain bike.
Feel like grabbing some lunch on your way down the mountain? Alpino Vino and Bon Vivant are restaurants located on Mountain and are only accessible by ski and snowboard. Telluride has more than 50 restaurants; groups can find a great variety of dining options to fit their every need.
By Lauren Reiniger