Focus on… Telluride
Telluride makes snow dreams come true. With soaring peaks, incredible dining and activities galore, there’s something for the whole family.
Telluride, Colorado, is described as one of the most beautiful ski towns in the world, and it most certainly lives up to the hype. It is eye-poppingly, heart-warmingly beautiful, from the tip of its meringuetopped peaks all the way down to the history-filled streets of downtown Telluride.
There are two Tellurides: the historic mining town that squeezes into the bottom of a box canyon, and the Mountain Village, which is up and over the ridge and home to a swag of condos, private homes, lodges and hotels. The two are linked by a free gondola and you can ski from – and to – both areas.
You’ll find most of the accommodation in the Mountain Village, with two excellent family-friendly options being Mountain Lodge and Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge. Both have everything your family could need and then some, with brilliant locations, wonderful accommodation and activities galore, but no matter how wonderful they are, the main attraction is outside, in the snowy goodness of the San Juans.
The skiing and snowboarding at Telluride is some of the most spectacular you will ever do. It’s guaranteed that many times during the day you will stop, simply gobsmacked by the ring of peaks circling the resort.
Telluride Ski Resort has over 810 hectares of skiable terrain and there are 19 lifts carrying riders up to access 147 trails. The highest lifted point is the Revelation Lift at a heady 3,831 metres, but for real experts, there is plenty of hike-to terrain, including Palmyra Peak, which soars to 4,008 metres.
Cool for School
Skiers and boarders of all levels shine at Telluride, so don’t be scared of its reputation
if you haven’t skied much, or at all, before. The ski and snowboard instructors will have you sliding in no time with the spacious Sunshine Express area set up for beginners, so those starting out don’t have to worry about experts zooming through at high speed. Kids can learn to ski from 2.5 years old, with snowboard lessons from seven years, and kids grouped by ability and age to help them progress to the next level faster.
Once the learners in your family have their ski or snowboard legs, they too will be able to enjoy the wow-inducing views from this incredible place, with the Galloping Goose green run heading down a knee-trembling 7.4 kilometres from the top of the Prospect Bowl. Take your time heading down and admire some of the spectacular mansions that are dotted around the mountainside.
Go to town
It is easy to head down the gondola from Mountain Village to spend a few hours
wandering through this pretty-as-a-picture town. It is a designated National Historic District, its streets lined with beautiful Victorian-era pastel-coloured wooden houses. The main street is all about Western chic, with galleries, boutiques, outdoor gear and cafes. It is very easy to imagine Butch Cassidy riding through town. He actually robbed his very first bank here – there is a plaque outside the Mahr building – once the San Miguel Valley Bank – that he held up back in 1889. Make sure you check out the New Sheridan Hotel and the wonderful Sheridan Opera House, which hosts bands, theatre, kids’ theatre and the famous Telluride Film Festival. This year it is on from 31 August to 3 September.
Ride and slide
Telluride has an abundance of things to do off the slopes. Take a snowmobile tour to Alta ghost town and just love being out among the beauty of this part of the world, driving through stands of aspens, snowy glades and those glorious peaks looming above. As for the ghost town, it is a photographer’s dream: an old mining camp now a gaggle of creaking, cracking timber buildings with a ghostly feel. They do say it is haunted and you’d believe it. You can also go horse riding, dog sledding, snowshoeing and, for a few laughs, the whole family can strap on the skates and go ice skating at the rink in the Mountain Village.
0501 Telluride, the historic mining town snowboard 04 Trails for everyone 02 Telluride’s gorgeous setting in the San Juan Mountains 03 Kids can learn to 05 Taking a snowshoeing tour . Images 03–05 © Telluride Ski Resort