The very name "Telluride" makes one think of skiing. This vast and famous ski resort is located along and between two peaks, with a front-side bowl. The village is serviced by commercial airline commuter flights (the second highest commercial airport in the world) making it easy to access.
Once you arrive in Telluride village, the vision of Palmyra Peak, glistens like a magnificent ornament atop the mountain. At 13,320 feet, Prospect Bowl can be skid/ridden from the top of the lift at a staggering 12,255 feet. This isn’t to say it’s only for experts, as the mountain (which really consists of two ridgelines with a bowl and valley between them) has terrain, trails, and runs for every level of skier. The ski patrol and ski instructors, all top-notch and paid professionals, see to everyone’s safety and education. No matter what level of experience you have, these guys and gals can give you tips and pointers that will improve your skiing and riding.
This area is very well known for its music festivals and live music scene. There are live venues, taverns and pubs that serve grub, and clubs for all night long dancing. The New Sheridan Opera House has a 240-seat theatre for live music, as well as a dance floor, conference center, and movie theater. The New Sheridan Bar and Last Dollar Saloon—a pair of local favorites—are great spots for darts or pool. Brown Dog Pizza is a sports bar, complete with 15 screens and slices til midnight. O’Bannon’s Irish Pub is another late-night hotspot.
Anywhere in the Rockies is going to be cold weather in the winter, but when the base is at 9,500 feet, it’s time to be certain you have the right clothes and gear for the occasion. Light layers and breathable waterproof powder coats are the rule, but at that altitude a mask and gators are almost essential. You’ll want to be careful in observing trail markers, since Black Diamond trails exist and beginning and intermediate trails can be found even at higher altitudes. Pay attention to these and you’re going to find Telluride is your new favorite ski vacation destination and home away from home!
Telluride is a very large resort with 16 lifts, including one gondola and seven high-speed quads, that take you to 84 trails. Here you will enjoy 310 inches of magnificent snow on their longest run, which is a jaw-dropping 24,288 feet. Their trails are rated 24 percent for beginners, 38 percent for intermediates, and 38 percent for experts.
The Plunge is aptly named as it gets you more vertical than any other lift and is one of the longest in the country. East and west natural halfpipes on The Plunge are respectively 2,000 feet and 4,000 feet long. If that isn’t enough, Bushwhacker has a 1,300 foot natural quarterpipe. Gold Hill and Prospect Bowl are primarily for big-board freeriding. Stella, Magnolia, Prospect Bowl, and Sandia are all good board rides. Air Garden Terrain Park has three separate lines with more than 11 acres and 480 vertical feet of A-frames, tombstones, beams, banks, rails, and funboxes, including a superpipe with 18-foot walls.
San Juan Balloon Adventures will get you high above it all in a fantastic hot air balloon rides. Contact Telluride Helitrax and they’ll fly you in a helicopter. Telluride Snowmobile Adventures and Dave’s Snowmobile Tours will get you out on the powder on some very fast machines; Winter Moon Sled Dog Adventures will get you to mush your sled with the best; Telluride Outside will take you winter fly fishing; Telluride Horseback Adventures features horseback riding; and Skyline Guest Ranch has good ol’ fashioned sleigh ride. You can go snowbiking, tubing, and snowskating at Thrill Hill, or if it’s too cold outside, go to Plaza Arcade to play video games, pinball, air hockey and foosball, or the Xbox Arcade to play all your favorite Xbox games.
Visit the New Sheridan Bar, the best place to taste and feel the Victorian Age Old West. At après ski time follow the locals to Eagle’s Bar and Grille on Colorado Avenue for their huge bar and guzzle-provoking happy-hour specials. Go to The Beach at Gorrono Ranch for amazing microbrews or check out the West End Tavern. The Last Dollar Saloon has fun pool tables and dart board action and the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon has weekend entertainment.