Telluride Travel Guide
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Telluride Ski Resort. Dubbed "the most beautiful place you'll ever ski," Telluride Ski Resort once was known as an experts-only ski area. Indeed, the north-facing trails are impressively steep and long, and the moguls can be massive. Chairlift 9 services primarily expert terrain, including the famed Spiral Stairs and the Plunge, while Gold Hill, Bald Mountain, Black Iron Bowl, and Palmyra Peak provide challenging chutes and other double-diamond runs, as well as hiking options for expert skiers.But then there is the other side—literally—of the ski area, the gently sloping valley called the Gorrono Basin, with long groomed runs excellent for intermediates and beginners. On the ridge that wraps around the ski area's core is the aptly named See Forever, a long cruiser that starts at 12,570 feet and delivers views over the San Juan Mountains and into Utah's La Sal mountain range. The best areas for beginners are the Meadows, off Lift 1, and Galloping Goose, a long winding trail off Lifts 12 or 10. Near Gorrono Basin, off Lift 4 (the ski area's main artery), is another section that includes super-steep, double-diamond tree runs on one side and glorious cruisers on the other. Mid-mountain, Lift 5 accesses a wealth of intermediate runs. From there, slide through a Western-style gate and you come to Prospect Bowl, a 733-acre area with a network of runs cut around islands of trees. Prospect Express (Lift 12) appeases not only experts–who can navigate double-diamond chutes, cliff bands, and open glades–but also beginners and intermediates, who can ski some of the highest green and blue terrain in North America. Telluride also has three terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. 565 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride, CO, 81435. 800/778–8581. www.tellurideskiresort.com. Late Nov.–early Apr., daily 9–4.