Tucked neatly in Southwestern Colorado’s dramatic San Juan Mountains, amid aspen groves and crystal clear skies, the natural beauty of Telluride is hard to overstate. Readers maintain the resort is “one of the most beautiful spots in the world” and has the “best scenery in skiing.” But the mountains are for more than just looking at: Telluride offers amazing skiing for people of all abilities. If groomers are your thing, check the crisp corduroy under the Village Express lift. Bumps more your style? The Plunge lift has you covered. Still yearning for more steep, technical terrain? Drop into Dynamo and hold on tight. Readers highlight “chal- lenges galore” (No. 7) and trail variety (No. 10) that “brings even more technical terrain and family fun into the fold.” Between the mountain, the locals who ski it, and the town below, it’s no surprise that Telluride is ranked No. 1 in Character again this year, with a quaint downtown tucked into a scenic box canyon. Hike, bike, shop, eat, drink—all from Telluride’s main drag. High ranks in Dining (No. 6) and Lodging (No. 5) support the town experience, though getting here ain’t easy. But then, readers say, it does help preserve Telluride’s “quintessential Colorado experience,” which is no small feat in this day and age.
BRAGGING RIGHTS When the snowpack and ski patrol allow, hike the ridgeline towards Palmyra Peak, and drop into the Gold Hill Chutes. Steep, fast, and technical, and stupidly fun.
DINNER PICK Accessible via gondola, Allred’s Restaurant is perched between town and mountain, and serves up contemporary American cuisine, fine wines, and breathtaking views. Be sure to get there before sundown.