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 9,450 feet, the Mountain Village offers ski-in/ski-out accommodations; a variety of slope-side restaurants; and great skiing.

The mountain's South 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. Lift 4, which rises from the Mountain Village Resort, caters to intermediate skiers. The broad, gentle slopes of the Meadows stretch to the foot of Sunshine Peak. This part of the mountain, with trails over 2 1/2 miles long devoted entirely to novice skiers, is served by a high-speed quad chair. Average annual snowfall is 300 inches (25 ft.). The gently rolling slopes of Ute Park (Lift 11) serve as the beginner training area, while Prospect (Lift 12) accesses intermediate and expert terrain. Gold Hill (Lift 14) offers intermediate and expert skiers an expanse of steep terrain as well as breathtaking views.

In all, Telluride offers more than 1,700 acres of skiable terrain. The lift-served vertical drop is an impressive 3,530 feet from the 12,255-foot summit. The mountain has 84 trails served by 16 lifts (two high-speed gondolas, seven high-speed quads, two triples, two doubles, two surface lifts, and one Magic Carpet). Of the trails, 24% are rated for beginners, 38% for intermediates, and 38% for experts. The longest run here, at 4 1/2 miles, is Galloping Goose, but for some of the most spectacular views in Colorado, ski the aptly-named run 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 regular season cost about $76 for adults, $45 for children 6 to 12, $56 for seniors 65 and older, and are free for children under 6. Rates over the Christmas holidays are higher, and rates at the very beginning of the season are lower. Ski and snowboarding lessons are offered, as well as child-care. The resort is usually open daily from 9am to 4pm from Thanksgiving to early April.

For additional information, contact Telluride Ski and Golf Company, 565 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride, CO 81435 (tel. 800/801-4832 or 970/728-6900;

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.