From the breathtaking scenery and crowd-free slopes to the unique blend of historic Wild West town, modern European-style Village and experiences for everyone on snow and après, you’ll never forget your first time at Telluride.
And to ensure you make the most of your time at this majestic mountain, Noah Sheedy, Telluride’s Ski & Snowboard School Director, shares his inside knowledge on how to have a perfect day on the mountain.
1 Morning Warm-Up
Start your morning off from Mountain Village with a warm-up run down The Meadows, then hop on the Sunshine Express (10). On the 10-minute ride up, you’ll immediately feel as though you’ve entered an entirely different resort.
2 Like a Kid
Once at the top, follow the Double Cabins ski run to Bridges, and relive your childhood where everything was a playground—that’s the feeling you get skiing under and over bridges and through tunnels as you make your way to the bottom of the aptly-named ski run.
3 Ride the Express
Ride back up Sunshine Express (10), then disembark at the top into Ute Park and the Ute Park Express (11). As you ride the Ute Park Express, the uniqueness of Telluride and its green runs becomes apparent. On this lift, you are transported along at the top of the mountain where you can take in the same great views of Prospect Basin expert-level skiers have.
4 Fill Your Fun Tank
Make one lap through the Ute Park terrain (which may turn into 10 when you realize how fun it is). There are lots of natural and manmade features that are extremely fun but not intimidating, even for a novice skier.
5 Explore the Basin
Once you’ve filled up your “fun tank,” dip into Prospect Basin from the top of the Ute Park Express (11), following Little Maude and Madison ski trails through gentle meadows with seemingly endless tree islands that make your first Prospect Basin experience unforgettable.
6 Time to Hydrate
At this point, you’ve probably built up a bit of an appetite, so ride the Prospect Express (12) to the top, then swing into High Camp for hot chocolate, warm soup and some much-needed water. Head outside and post up in front in one of the Adirondack chairs on the snow and watch the action. This is when you truly realize that Telluride offers even novice skiers who stick to green runs unbeatable views and a top-of-the-world feeling. After all, you’re standing at 11,815 feet above sea level here!
7 Duck, Duck, Goose
Hop on the 4.6-mile-long Galloping Goose trail that meanders through high alpine forests, spectacular vistas, and past beautiful mountain homes as you work your way back to the bottom of Sunshine Express (10) and The Meadows ski run.
8 The Road to Mountain Village
From here, ride the Chondola (1) back up to Mountain Village and load Village Express (4) to finish the day skiing with your family and friends who are exploring all the great intermediate trails this chairlift has to offer, all while staying on Village Bypass ski trail, a beginner-level run. At this point, all roads lead back to Mountain Village and a well-deserved après drink and appetizer at Tomboy Tavern.
1 Rise & Shine
Hop on Village Express (4) out of Mountain Village promptly at 9 a.m.—all the freshly groomed corduroy early in the morning is well worth making it to first chair. One of the best-kept secrets on this chair is Peek-A-Boo ski trail on a freshly groomed morning. Head right off the top of Village Express (4) and find your zen first thing in the morning by enjoying this trail, likely all by yourself.
2 A Gold Mine of Trails
Head back up Village Express (4), this time following the upper section of Boomerang to Cake Walk and Polar Queen Express (5). The trail network encompassed by Polar Queen Express (5) chair is perfectly tailored to the intermediate skier. Take the time to explore every run accessed by this chair, as none will disappoint and each is unique. Ophir Loop and Stormin’ Norman are the most mellow and are great warm-up runs. Then up the intensity a bit with Polar Queen and Alta. As you gain confidence make your way to Gold Rush to explore the perfectly-spaced trees hidden between Henry’s and Silver Tip. Make one last run to test your mettle on one of Telluride’s steepest blue trails, Henry’s.
3 Beat the Lunch Rush
Take an early lunch at Bon Vivant, which offers authentic French cuisine in an amazing outdoor dining setting. The French onion soup is to die for!
4 Pure Magic
Head out on Lower Woozley’s Way as it winds through the Prospect Bowl basin, and follow the signs for the Prospect Express (12). Sandia and Magnolia are perfect intermediate trails, both offering a combination of short, steep pitches to get your heart racing, and playful lower-angle terrain that bobs and weaves through forested alcoves that make you feel as though you are the only person to ski the pathway you just did. It’s pure magic!
5 Enjoy the Ride
Regardless of the trail that you took through this magical area that is Prospect Basin, veer toward Sandia and follow the signs to the Gold Hill Express (14). This will be an intense chairlift ride where you’ll get to watch some of the best skiers on the mountain play on expert-only terrain.
6 Experiencing Forever
See Forever is one long ridge, with never-ending views and a wide-open groomer the entire way back to Mountain Village. You’ll go by Alpino Vino, North America’s highest elevation restaurant, as well as Tempter House, a private vacation home perched above a permanently-closed chute of the same name.
7 An Après to Remember
Just as you ski the final pitch of See Forever, your legs will surely be ready for a well-deserved break. Follow the signs to the San Sophia Gondola Station, take your skis off, and walk through the station to Allred’s for an après experience like no other. Trust me when I say that the view from the bar in Allred’s is one of the most special views in all of Telluride. No words can describe it, but it will surely make you forget about how tired your legs are after the perfect day of exploring Telluride’s blue ski trails.
And we’re almost certain it won’t be your last.
1 Take the Plunge
Take the plunge with Telluride’s most iconic black ski trails—The Plunge and Bushwacker—on Plunge Lift (9). Each night, the professional groomers of the Telluride Ski Resort alternate laying down the most perfect corduroy on one or the other of these two perfect pitches. Oh, and did I mention the vertical drop off these runs? A whopping 2,100 feet of pure bliss. Grab a grooming report and get over to Plunge Lift (9) ASAP in the morning for some of the most exhilarating turns you’ll make all day. And the best part is, if you get there early enough you’ll practically have these runs to yourself. Trust me—you’ll want to make lap after lap on these runs.
2 Maximize the Morning Sun
After your legs are thoroughly warmed up from several thousand vertical feet of 40-degree slopes, make your way to Revelation Bowl via the Gold Hill Express (14). Revelation Bowl offers above tree line bowl skiing and is Telluride’s most east-facing terrain, so you’ll maximize the morning sun while enjoying unparalleled views of Bear Creek. Silvercloud is another of Telluride’s iconic steep, groomed, expert-level ski trails.
3 Dip Your Toe
Make your way to Woozley’s Way and back into Prospect Bowl. It’s time to dip your toe into the amazing hike-to experience that the Telluride Ski Resort offers advanced-level skiers and snowboarders. Traverse into Confidence run, or for a more authentic experience, take your skis off at the top of Prospect Express (12) and hike 30 yards to the top entrance into the run.
4 Midday Après
Ride the Gold Hill Express (14) to Alpino Vino. Soaking up the sun on the Alpino Vino deck with a charcuterie plate is a lunch experience like no other. Resist the temptation to over-eat because you’ve got an afternoon of high-intensity skiing ahead of you.
5 Southern Exposure
After lunch head toward Apex—a steep, off-piste run that softens up nicely in the afternoon because of its southern exposure. There are lots of playful lines in and out of trees in Apex that will keep you exploring for several runs on Apex Lift (6). In spring, there’s nothing better than Apex and “town” laps in the afternoon. So once you’ve had your fill of the Apex Lift terrain, follow See Forever to Milk Run—the epitome of spring corn skiing when the warm spring sun softens the snow to a perfect, milky texture. If it’s still mid-winter, opt for a run down Coonskin to finish your afternoon skiing directly into the town of Telluride.
CONQUER THE EXTREMES
1 Your Own Playground
As an expert skier in Telluride, the mountain is truly your playground. And as such, there is no better way to start your day than a hike to the top of the mountain. So, work your way up to the top of Revelation Lift (15), where opportunities abound for the expert-level skier. It’s time to experience Gold Hill, a mile-long ridge of steep, off-piste ski runs. You’ve gotten a good warm-up skiing to Revelation Bowl, so it’s the perfect time to take your skis off, throw them over your shoulder, and hike out to the iconic Gold Hill Chutes. Be forewarned—this is expert-level terrain. But for those with the experience and skill, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more “backcountry” experience in the controlled environment of in-bounds resort skiing.
2 The Perfect First Experience
Venture all the way out to the end of the ridge and hike up the Gold Hill Staircase to access Gold Hill 9 Chute (GH9). GH9 is the perfect first experience for expert level skiers new to skiing chutes. It’s relatively wide and opens up to a beautiful apron of playful skiing underneath the runout of Palmyra Peak. Make your way to the Sweet Martha zone of the apron where you’ll play amongst fun, natural features and well-spaced trees as you make your way back to the base of Gold Hill Express (14).
3 Like a Million Bucks
After experiencing the glory of Gold Hill Chutes and Palmyra Basin, it’s time to ski another iconic route in Telluride’s advanced/expert repertoire—Dynamo, then skiing left to Claude’s Couloir and finishing the run on Lower Millions. If this doesn’t simultaneously get you hooting and hollering, your heart pounding, and your legs burning, you’ll want to check your pulse.
4 Rite of Passage
Head back up the Gold Hill Express (14) and follow See Forever to Plunge Lift (9). It’s time for a rite of passage for any expert skier in Telluride—Kant-Mak-M, which is a solid 40-45 degree slope consisting of about 800 vertical feet of big, awesome moguls. The snow is almost always perfect here and, although the bumps are big, your smile will be bigger when you successfully make it down this pitch.
5 Not Done Yet
But wait, there’s more—at the bottom of Kant-Mak-M, follow the lift line traverse track and it will spit you out onto an equally-as-challenging mogul run called Spiral Stairs. As Spiral Stairs starts to flatten out, stay left and cut across to Lower Plunge to complete the bump run trifecta on the Plunge Lift terrain. If you can ski these three runs, consisting of over 2,100 vertical feet of steep bumps nonstop, please come talk to me in the Ski School offices—I may very well have a job for you!
6 Finishing Touches
Once you’ve finished Lower Plunge and have given your legs a break, finish off your town-side lap by skiing Jaws (more steep bumps!) to Cats Paw finishing at the base of the gondola in town. From here you have two options… if it’s the spring and the sun is still up, ride the gondola back up to ski Milk Run in the phenomenal corn snow that develops in the afternoon. If it’s still mid-winter and the sun is already hidden behind the ski area, take your skis off and walk into OAK Fat Alley BBQ at the base of the gondola for a well-deserved après drink in a fun, relaxed environment that this mountain BBQ joint offers. Cheers!
Credit: Telluride Ski Resort
Skiing this seemingly infinite terrain with almost no day-trippers or crowds…it doesn’t get any better! So, for more information on discovering this majestic mountain for yourself, talk to the people who’ve been there!