Telluride's lodging rates probably have more different "seasons" than anywhere else in Colorado. Generally speaking, you'll pay top dollar for a room over the Christmas holidays, during the film and bluegrass festivals, and at certain other peak times. Nonholiday skiing is a bit cheaper, summertime lodging (except for festival times) is cheaper yet, and you may find some real bargains in spring and fall. The key to finding inexpensive lodging and avoiding crowds is timing; unless you particularly want to attend the Bluegrass Festival, plan your trip another time. You're also much more likely to find attractive package deals on skiing and other activities if you go during quieter times, and not on weekends.

Telluride has a wide variety of lodging options, including B&Bs, hotels, private homes, and in my opinion, a few too many condominiums. Many are managed by ResortQuest Telluride (tel. 866/538-7731; www.resortquesttelluride.com). Perhaps the best way to book lodging, however, is with the Telluride Central Reservations (tel. 888/605-2578; www.visittelluride.com). Room tax adds a bit over 12%.

In Mountain Village -- a 15-minute gondola ride from downtown but in the middle of the action come wintertime -- I like the condos and luxury cabins at Mountain Lodge, atop the gondola above the village center at 457 Mountain Village Blvd. (tel. 866/368-6867; www.mountainlodgetelluride.com), featuring such amenities as gas fireplaces and cozy robes along with superlative views; in ski season, double rates are $299 to $389 for a studio and $409 to $1,379 for a one- to four-bedroom condo (lower rates the rest of the year). Also recommended is the slick and colorful Lumière (tel. 866/530-9466; www.lumierehotels.com), a new-for-2008 LEED-certified ski-in/ski-out hotel at the base of the lifts with double rates of $375 to over $1,000 a night in ski season and lower rates the rest of the year.

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.