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Telluride Ski Resort Guide

Telluride, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForSnowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski.
Highest Lift3,740m
Resort Height2,660m
 Nearest AirportsMontrose and Grand Junction
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One of the world's top resorts, and least full of hype, based on an old gold mining town. As Dizzy Gillespie has it, If Telluride ain't paradise then heaven can wait.


The American ski resort of Telluride is in the American Rockies at an altitude of 2,660m.

Telluride has direct access to 84 marked pistes, served by a total of 16 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 2,660m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,740m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Telluride?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Telluride.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Telluride

Ski Area Stats

Telluride Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Telluride Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,740m
Lowest Piste2,660m
Resort Altitude (Telluride)2,660m
Max Vertical1,080m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Telluride
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Telluride Overview

If you like your ski holidays to be really ''away from it all'' then Telluride is the place for you. Located a good two-and-a-half-hours drive from the next closest ski area, and surrounded by the greatest concentration of 14,000-foot (4267m) peaks (the San Juan Mountains), Telluride has a nice, remote feel. It's closer to the Grand Canyon than to Denver, has not yet seen a traffic light (the nearest one is 72km / 45 miles away.) and boasts more animals and wildlife than people.

Compared to other resorts in Colorado, which tend to sit just a valley or high mountain pass away from one another, Telluride has grown up alone. The town''s first skiers, it is said, were the Swedes and Finns who used barrel staves to beat their co-workers to the bordellos on payday back in the mining days of the late 1800s. The last of these female boarding houses; didn't close down for good until 1959. A stunning $60 million in gold and silver was pulled out of local mines during the town's first 30 years alone. (Some of this money accounted for Butch Cassidy''s first bank heist in 1889.)

In the early 1970s, the streets of Telluride weren't paved with gold and there was no silver lining on the valley floor. The town had gone belly-up, and miners that had hung on were hoping for new beginnings. In the face of a languishing economy, a group of local miners and shopkeepers looked for a way to revive the town. Hoping that snow would be the white gold of the future, they chipped away at the idea of creating a ski area. The rest, as they say, is history.

In the first season more than 30,000 people skied the mountain, with 100 on the first day, establishing a precedent that still exists today - little or no lift queues. Telluride today is free of Western clichés, but full of Western reality. Apart from the skiing and the town, the resort's commitment to the environment, good

planning and common sense has gone way beyond the normal winter sports media outlets since it opened its famous gondola in November 1996.

Unlike a typical ski area, Telluride''s system offers tremendous environmental benefits by uniquely linking two towns and a ski area. It provides free public transportation for passengers between the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride. The gondola features a mix of quad chairs and four seater gondola cabins on one leg, with eight seater cabins on another. The whole concept is ''very Telluride''.

Among the locals, tolerance is a valued commodity. Cowboys get along with Rastafari-ans, who live with trust funders, who buy tickets to the movies made by Hollywood celebrities, who ride lifts with the varied, outdoor-addicted residents. The hippies that pad down the town's streets have been known to put off

some visitors because they don't look like Barbie and Ken. But remember that Barbie and Ken's dream world is made of plastic, and that's about the last word you'd use to describe Telluride.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'Locals Las, Lift 9'.


Telluride has a multifaceted ski area with over 120 trails, a big vertical and a reputation for deep powder as well as exciting freeriding in Prospect Bowl.

The terrain mix gives a relatively equal division with a little over a fifth of runs best suited to beginners and young families, a further two--fifths to intermediates and the remaining 40% to experts.

This being Telluride the slopes are easily accessed with a gondola from the old mining town or from the newer resort development at the base of the slopes.

The grooming staff at Telluride have a wonderful way of grooming one side of the trails and leaving the other side to bump up into tantalising moguls. If you get tired, or bungle a turn, there is an easy escape onto the flat side. Perfect for those times when one of you wants to cruise and the other needs the exercise, no need to ski separate runs and miss out on each others company.

For the nordic skier, Telluride provides a 30km network of cross-country trails. The Mountain Village golf course and the Valley Floor on the way to town are both maintained and groomed, while the Telluride Noridc Centre at the east end of town offers more trails and nordic rentals for kids and adults.

Telluride offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.


Telluride's 8-plus-acre snowboard park, Air Garden, lies on the west side of the mountain and offers spectacular views of the Wilson range. This is the southwest's largest terrain park. Complete with hits and tabletops for freestyle riders, the park is quickly becoming the hottest place to ride in the region. These are designed to teach 'boarders the specific skills necessary to be comfortable in a wide range of terrain.

Triple Threat is available to riders from advanced beginner (just starting to think about a blue square run) to the sky is the limit rider. Demo boards, expert instruction from specialists in each of the disciplines and a guaranteed good time are all included.

Snowboarders have two dedicated stores besides the dozen or so general winter sports rental and retail shops. They should try Easy Rider on Main Street by Telluride's Post Of-fice, and Telluride Slopestyle on Main Street by Elk's Park .

Location and Map

Where is Telluride?

This ski resort is in the American Rockies in San Miguel, Colorado.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Telluride is Montrose, 90 minutes drive away.

Grand Junction and Gunnison-Crested Butte airports are all within three hours drive.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 16 ski lifts are able to uplift 21,186 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 125 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Telluride open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November (Opens Thanksgiving Day), and usual closing is Early April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Telluride, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Telluride Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Telluride

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Telluride is lively right after the lifts close with bars like Poacher's Pub, West End tavern and Chair 8. Other good choices, of many, are the New Sheridan Bar and the Roma Bar and Café.

For live, late-night entertainment, check out the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon on Telluride's Main Street. Disco night with DJ Harry is a local favourite - look for flyers around town or check with Telluride Visitor Services for details on where he's playing.

At the end of the winter season the resort stages a 'Surf the Rockies' festival which includes snowboard competitions, snow volleyball, bikini slalom and lots of après-ski parties.

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