In addition to skiing at Telluride Ski Resort, there are plenty of opportunities for other cold-weather adventures in the Telluride area. Many of them take place at Town Park, at the east end of town (tel. 970/728-3071; www.telluride-co.gov), where there are groomed cross-country trails, daytime sledding and tubing at Firecracker Hill, and free ice skating. There's also free ice skating at the outdoor rink in the Mountain Village. Skate rentals are available at local sporting-goods stores.
The River Corridor Trail follows the San Miguel River from Town Park to the valley floor. Popular with bikers and hikers in warm weather, it's perfect for cross-country skiing and skate-skiing after the snow falls. The Mountain Village at Telluride Ski Resort has 19 miles of Nordic trails, which connect with 12 miles of groomed trails at Town Park and River Corridor Trail, giving cross-country skiers a total of 31 miles.
Guided snowmobile tours ranging from 2 hours to all day, with rates starting at about $150 for one rider on one machine, are offered by several local companies, including Dave's Mountain Tours (tel. 970/728-9749; www.telluridetours.com). Those who want to (and can afford to) take a helicopter to some of the best powder skiing anywhere should contact Telluride Helitrax ([tel] 877/500-8377; www.helitrax.com), with day rates (six ski runs) for $1,199 to $1,249 per person.
Warm-Weather & Year-Round Activities
Telluride isn’t just a ski town—there’s a wide variety of year-round outdoor activities. Town Park is home to the community’s various festivals. It also has a public outdoor pool, open in summer, plus tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a small outdoor basketball court, a skateboarding ramp, picnic area, and fishing pond. A first-come, first-served campground for tent and car campers, open from mid-May to mid-October, has 33 sites and hot showers ($3 in quarters only; cold showers are free), but no RV hookups, and costs $17 to $23 per night. Call [tel] 970/728-2173 for more information.
There are a number of outfitting companies in the Telluride area, including Telluride Outside, 121 W. Colorado Ave. ([tel] 800/831-6230 or 970/728-3895; www.tellurideoutside.com), with a wide range of guided adventures. Equipment rentals are available throughout Telluride and Mountain Village. You’ll find mountain bikes, fishing gear, camping equipment, and inflatable kayaks at Telluride Sports, 150 W. Colorado Ave. ([tel] 970/728-4477; www.telluridesports.com), and other locations.
Fishing -- There's excellent fishing in the San Miguel River through Telluride, but it's even better in nearby alpine lakes, including Silver Lake, reached by foot in Bridal Veil Basin, and Trout and Priest lakes, about 12 miles south via Colo. 145. At Town Park there's the Kids Fishin' Pond for children 12 and under, which is stocked Memorial Day to Labor Day. Recommended guides include Telluride Outside and San Miguel Anglers (tel. 970/728-4477; www.sanmiguelanglers.com), with prices around $350 to $400 for a full-day wade trip for two people on the San Miguel or Upper Dolores.
Four-Wheeling -- To see old ghost towns, mining camps, and spectacular mountain scenery from the relative comfort of a bouncing four-wheel-drive vehicle, join Telluride Outside ([tel] 800/831-6230) or Dave’s Mountain Tours ([tel] 970/728-9749; www.telluridetours.com). A variety of trips is offered, including rides over the 13,000-foot Imogene Pass jeep road, with prices for full-day trips about $150 for adults and $100 for children. Half-day trips run $85 to $110 and $65 to $90, respectively.
Golf -- The 18-hole par-71 Telluride Golf Course is located at Telluride Mountain Village ([tel] 970/728-2606; www.tellurideskiresort.com). Peak-time greens fees with the required cart are $190 from July through Labor Day, lower at other times.
Hiking & Mountaineering -- The mountains around Telluride offer innumerable opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, and backpacking. Sporting goods stores and the visitor center have maps of trails in the Telluride area. Especially popular are the easy 4-mile (round-trip) Bear Creek Canyon Trail ★, which starts at the end of South Pine Street and leads to a picturesque waterfall; the Jud Wiebe Trail that begins at the north end of Aspen Street and does a 2.7-mile loop above the town, offering views of Bridal Veil Falls, the town, and ski area; and the 1.8-mile (one-way) hike to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, which starts at the east end of Telluride Canyon.
Horseback Riding -- One of the best ways to see this spectacular country is by horse. Telluride Horseback Adventures (tel. 970/728-9611; www.ridewithroudy.com) has "gentle horses for gentle people and fast horses for fast people, and for people who don't like to ride, horses that don't like to be rode." Another good company is Many Ponies Outfit (tel. 970/728-6278; www.manyponiesoutfit.com). Rates are about $90 for a 2-hour ride, $150 for a half-day ride, and $190 for a full day in the saddle.
Mountain Biking -- Telluride is a major mountain-biking center. The San Juan Hut System links Telluride with Moab, Utah, via a 206-mile-long network of backcountry dirt roads. Every 35 miles is a primitive cabin, with bunks, a woodstove, propane cooking stove, and cooking gear. The route, open to mountain bikers and hikers from June through September (and cross-country skiers and snowshoers in snow season), is appropriate for intermediate-level riders in good physical condition. Cost for riders who plan to make the whole trip is about $900, which includes use of the six huts, three meals daily, sleeping bags at each hut, and maps and trail descriptions. Shorter trips, guide services, and vehicle shuttles are also available. For information, contact San Juan Hut System ([tel] 970/626-3033; www.sanjuanhuts.com). Mountain bike rentals are available from Telluride Sports ([tel] 970/728-4477) for $45 to $80 per day.
Skiing & Snowboarding -- The elegant European-style Mountain Village, built in 1987, offers a fascinating contrast to the laid-back community of artists, shopkeepers, and dropouts in the 1870s Victorian mining town of Telluride below. Located midmountain at an elevation of 9,540 feet, the Mountain Village offers ski-in/ski-out accommodations, a variety of slopeside restaurants, and great skiing all the way into Telluride proper.
The mountain’s North Face, which drops sharply from the summit to the town of Telluride, is characterized by steep moguls, tree-and-glade skiing, and challenging groomed pitches for experts and advanced intermediates. The broad, gentle slopes of the Meadows features long trails devoted entirely to novice skiers, is served by a high-speed quad chair. The gently rolling slopes of Ute Park serve as another beginner training area, while the Prospect Express lift accesses beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain and offers everyone the chance to see the views from the top of the mountain with a comfortable route down. Revelation Bowl is a perfectly powdery depression beloved by advanced skiers.
In all, Telluride offers more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain. The lift-served vertical drop is an impressive 3,845 feet from the 12,570-foot lift-served summit. (Those willing to hike can get all the way up to 13,150 feet above sea level for 4,425 vertical feet of skiing.) Average annual snowfall is 309 inches (overt 25 ft.). The mountain has 128 trails served by 18 lifts (two high-speed gondolas, seven high-speed quads, one fixed-grip quad, two triples, two doubles, two surface lifts, and two Magic Carpets). Of the trails, 23 percent are rated for beginners, 36 percent for intermediates, and 41 percent for experts. The longest run here, at just over 4[bf]1/2 miles, is Galloping Goose, but for some of the most spectacular views in Colorado, ski See Forever. Telluride also has one of the top snowboarding parks in Colorado, offering more than 13 acres of terrain.
Full-day lift tickets during the peak season (2013–14 rates) cost $109 for adults and teens, $65 for children 6 to 12, $96 for seniors 65 and older, and are free for children 5 and under. You can save as much as 25 percent by booking multiday packages online in advance. Rates over the Christmas holidays are highest and rates at the very beginning of the season are lower. Ski and snowboarding lessons are offered, along with childcare. The resort is usually open daily from 9am to 4pm from Thanksgiving to early April. For additional information, contact Telluride Ski Resort ([tel] 970/728-6900; www.tellurideskiresort.com).