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Telluride for the Win: Why This Ski Resort Ranks #1 Every Year

17 décembre 2018 | Visit Telluride

Actualités Régions Colorado

Stations dans cet article: Telluride

Telluride for the Win: Why This Ski Resort Ranks #1 Every Year- ©Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

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Condé Nast Traveler readers just named the Telluride Ski Resort no. 1 in North American again. Telluride has now nabbed the award six of the last seven years. So what gives? How can one ski resort tucked away high in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado win this award year upon year? 

We know. From the ease of getting here to its uncrowded slopes, what makes Telluride so exceptional is that it continually surprises. 

Whether you are a first-timer or a long-timer, Telluride stirs that feeling of anticipation, the feeling that something unexpected and exciting awaits. It’s a sensation that draws so many to this stunning box canyon, a sensation that Telluride—the mountain, the town, everywhere—is never dull, never disappointing and most definitely never to be confused with other, typical ski resorts. 

So what is it exactly about Telluride that has it stacking up accolades year after year? Here are some of our favorite features and surprising attributes Telluride has in store…

1. Telluride is Easy to Get To

The supposed intel on Telluride is that it is difficult to get to. Not so. There are 15 direct flights serving the Telluride (TEX) and Montrose (MTJ) regional airports from 11 different hubs across the U.S., including a brand-new service on Boutique Air, a United Airlines partner that is operating multiple flights daily between Denver (DEN) and TEX. With Telluride airport just 10 minutes from the town and the slopes and Montrose a scenic 65 minutes away, travel to Telluride is a cinch. Book that flight now.

  - © VisitTelluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: VisitTelluride/Ryan Bonneau

2. Telluride is Car & Schlep-Free

Telluride has not only made getting here, but also getting around and getting on the slopes, easy. Once you arrive in Telluride, there is no need for a car, and access to the slopes involves zero schlepping. Pretty much everywhere in Mountain Village is ski in/ski out. Seriously, the Peaks Resort and Spa, the Madeline Hotel and Residences, the Inn at Lost Creek and the Mountain Lodge are all slopeside. And for a luxe, boutique hotel slopeside, try Lumière with Inspirato in Mountain Village. Meanwhile in Telluride, the quietly elegant Camel’s Garden, Hotel Columbia and Dunton Town House are just steps from the Gondola, while Element 52 sits alongside Telluride Trail.

Telluride and Mountain Village’s hotels also offer a friendly-but-professional ski valet service. The ski valets at the Peaks Resort and Spa, for example, provide a “no-touch service” that means your only job is stepping into your bindings. At the Fairmont Franz Klammer Lodge, the ski valets pre-warm boots, give updated info on conditions and offer complimentary sunscreen and glove heaters.

The town of Telluride is just eight blocks long, so everything is within walking distance. If your legs are tired from a long day on the slopes, hop on the Galloping Goose, a free, eco-friendly shuttle that loops through town every 10 minutes. You can hail it from any street corner on its route, and it can drop you in front of main street’s historic New Sheridan Hotel, at the cozy Hotel Telluride in the west end of town or the elegant River Club, also in the west end. And these are just the hotels—there’s also a wealth of ski in/ski out condominiums and homes available in Mountain Village and Telluride.

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

3. Telluride is Beautiful

Telluride’s beauty may be well known but can't be overstated. After all, nearby Wilson Peak is the iconic mountain featured on the Coors beer logo. And it is true that unspoiled Telluride, perched in a stunning box canyon surrounded by the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot-peaks in North America, frequently wins accolades for its scenery. But wait until you get here. Mere words don’t do justice to the jaw-dropping exquisiteness of this place. The natural beauty is something that still astonishes us over and over again, but don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself.

  - © VisitTelluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: VisitTelluride/Ryan Bonneau

4. Telluride is Historic

Did you know that Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in Telluride? Or that a local mine was the first place in the world to use alternating current electricity? The ski industry is changing as corporations buy up more and more ski areas and those places are becoming more and more, well, cookie cutter. Not Telluride, though. Its independent streak and historic charm are the real deal. Established in 1878, Telluride, a National Historic Landmark District, is a former mining town whose surprisingly colorful, maverick past is evident everywhere you look.

  - © Telluride Historical Museum
Copyright: Telluride Historical Museum

Sure, you’re here to enjoy the award-winning, world-class Telluride Ski Resort, but be sure to take a day or two off the slopes. Explore Telluride’s unique and colorful history with a snowmobile tour to a mining-era ghost town. Visit the Telluride Historical Museum located in an old miners’ hospital or take one of the museum’s walking tours. Telluride is a Colorado Creative District, and its arts scene awaits discovery. Enroll in an art class at the Ah Haa School or check out the Sheridan Opera House, Michael D. Palm Theatre, or Club Red for a concert or theatrical production. Craving activity? Visit a local outfitter to ice climb, heli-ski, flyfish, Nordic ski or snowshoe. Even the Wilkinson Public Library is an award winner. Stop by the library where you can check out snowshoes or—our fave—a karaoke machine for a few days.

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

5. Telluride is Uncrowded

You know those videos or photos that surface each winter with massive crowds of skiers amassed at one of the big-name resorts, waiting to get on a lift? That just doesn’t happen here. Telluride is a world away from the lift lines and hectic slopes of other places and features a sweet balance of beginner, intermediate and advanced/expert terrain. Whether you are looking for steep and deep (try Spiral Stairs or the Plunge) or smooth corduroy (check out Sundance or See Forever), the Telluride Ski Resort has more than 2,000 acres of varied terrain waiting for you with not a line or ski-slope traffic jam in sight.

On a powder day—you know, one of those famed Colorado bluebird days that follow a snowstorm—it’s not difficult to find an untouched line or powder stash all day long. Amazing. Comfiest on corduroy? Beginners and advanced beginners should head for Double Cabins off Lift 10. This wide-open, uncrowded groomer affords views all the way to the La Sal Mountains of Utah, 100 miles away. Hot for some hair-raising hike-to terrain? Telluride’s Gold Hill chutes are famous (or maybe infamous, depending on the kind of day you’re having) and offer some of the steepest terrain in North America. Access is via Revelation Lift and, depending on which chute you want to ski, a short or moderate hike. Are you an intermediate who wants the full mountain experience? Ride Lift 6, enjoy lunch and the views at locals’ favorite Giuseppe’s and then ski the aforementioned and aptly named See Forever all the way down.

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

6. Telluride Has the Most Scenic Commute via the G

We need to say a little about Telluride’s beloved, one-of-a-kind Gondola. The free Gondola is the only transportation system of its kind in North America, and it is genius, connecting Telluride, the ski resort and Mountain Village via a handicap-accessible, pet-friendly, 13-minute ride. The views (of course!) are ridiculously beautiful, and the uniqueness of the experience is something unforgettable whether you are 8 or 80 years old. Best of all? It’s eco-friendly. By carrying more than 2.5 million passengers annually, the Gondola keeps folks from having to drive the 8 miles between Telluride and Mountain Village, avoiding an estimated 45,000 tons of CO2 in vehicle emissions each year. Wow!

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

7. Telluride is Delicious

Telluride might be a small town, but it’s got a big-city dining scene where gourmands can find haute cuisine, complete with an enviable wine list, innovative menu and the freshest, finest ingredients prepared by talented chefs. We’re thinking of Allred’s, 221 South Oak, the Cosmopolitan, La Piazza del Villagio or the Chop House at the New Sheridan Hotel. Not to mention the Telluride Ski Resort’s array of on-mountain options, like Alpino Vino, at 12,000 the highest restaurant in North America. This exquisite spot, below Lift 14 on upper See Forever, offers traditional northern Italian fare.

Then, there’s the emphasis local talented chefs place on fresh, regional ingredients (yes, even at 8,750 feet above sea level) and flavors that mean Telluride’s innovative fine dining restaurants will keep the most demanding foodie satisfied. Try Rustico, the Telluride Bistro and the Village Table. Even the more casual eateries are award winning, like Brown Dog Pizza, which is a repeat winner of the Pizza World Series… in Italy. Other winners in our book are The Butcher and the Baker and La Marmotte.

Families will discover that even Telluride’s kid-friendly eateries offer really delicious food that won’t leave the adults enviously eyeing the fancy place across the street. Whether it’s authentic Mexican (Esperanza’s or La Cocina), genuine southern barbecue (Oak, where the owner is an Alabama native who knows his BBQ), creative burgers and salads (Smuggler, Black Iron Kitchen or Floradora) or award-winning pizza (above mentioned Brown Dog and High Pie Pizzeria), in Telluride and Mountain Village, meals will be out of this world. 

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

8. Off-Mountain Relaxation

It’s hard to know where to start with options for relaxation and wellness. Telluride and Mountain Village have a number of fitness centers offering a friendly and supportive environment. Get your sweat on at the hot yoga classes at Mangala Yoga, loosen those legs in a Pedal Den spinning class or get your ass kicked—in a good way—with a conditioning class at Telluride Fuel.

Local spas and salons are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who somehow also manage to be unintimidating and welcoming. Try Pure Beauty and Wellness Spa, Studio G or the spas at the Madeline Hotel and Residences or the Peaks Resort and Spa for a range of services, like massages, aromatherapy and beauty and wellness treatments. Pure also has an authentic, European-style salt cave. The Madeline and the Peaks both offer guests a heated outdoor pool with exquisite views. The Mountain Lodge does too, with diners at the hotel’s restaurant also welcome to take a dip.  

9. It’s a Community

Telluride is a town with real people living real lives. You’ll find our ski resort, streets and sidewalks, restaurants, bars, shops and galleries inhabited by locals who aren’t shy about expressing their love for this mountain hamlet and sharing that love, too. There are no chain stores, malls or fast-food outlets here. Local kids don’t have ordinary gym class in the winter, they have Ski PE and spend one day a week during the ski season improving their skiing and snowboarding and appreciating their exceptional hometown. Spend just a few days—or a few hours—experiencing Telluride’s genuine warmth and friendliness, and you will be surprised to realize you are feeling like a local, too.

  - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
Copyright: Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

That’s the thing about Telluride, just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you turn a corner, try out a new restaurant, find a previously unexplored part of the ski resort, jump on the Gondola or, well, just walk out your front door, and you realize it. In Telluride, surprises are everywhere.

Get ready to be pleasantly surprised as you make plans to Visit Telluride.

Go Back to Telluride Guide

Galerie photos

undefined - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
undefined - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
undefined - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau
undefined - © Visit Telluride/Ryan Bonneau

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