A former silver mining camp with a true Wild West pedigree (Butch Cassidy pulled his first ever bank job here) if you’re looking for a taste of the Great American West, you’ll find it here in Telluride. When the precious metals dried up, the mines switched to hard rock until the industry closed down in the 1970s. At the same time, an entrepreneur named Joseph Zoline bought up the slopes and began preparing them for downhill skiing, transforming a small mining town into one of the US’s best-loved ski resorts.
Ski season runs from late November until April, with up to 14 ft of snow per year. The resort is best reached from Montrose regional airport, which hosts direct flights from 12 major US cities in season, or via Denver into Telluride’s own small airport. As with many US ski towns, there’s plenty to do in summer too, when daily temperatures in the mid-70s create the perfect conditions for hiking, biking, and golf.
Telluride is unique among the West’s many great ski resorts as it encompasses a purpose-built resort village as well as the historic town. Mountain village is a little way up from the Main Street, but there’s a free gondola linking the two (the first of it’s kind in the USA). In addition to this, efficient resort shuttles mean that you don’t need to worry about parking in the snow or driving from slope to chalet. Once you arrive you’re all set to enjoy the great outdoors sans automobile.
The mountain itself has terrain for all abilities and welcomes skiers and snowboarders alike. Almost 60% of the mountain is given over to beginner and intermediate, which makes Telluride a great choice for families with a mix of ages and abilities, including complete beginners. Advanced skiers needn’t worry; the remaining 40% is made up of challenging slopes, bowls terrain parks for snowboarders and even four hike-to backcountry ski areas for experts.
Relics from the mining heyday of the area, you can visit several abandoned towns and camps from Telluride. Alta is one of the most well known and can be accessed via snowmobile tour or on cross-country skis. Many of the town’s wooden buildings are still standing, including the boarding house and miner’s cabins. If you’re not an experienced Nordic skier then a snowmobile tour is a great option—the ride is fast and thrilling and you’ll get to enjoy some great scenery along the way. In the summer months, you can reach the area by mountain bike or 4x4.
While winter attracts snow-lovers in droves, summer in Telluride has plenty to recommend it.
A horse trek into the beautiful countryside surrounding Telluride is a must for nature lovers. The town is almost entirely surrounded by National Parks which makes for miles upon miles of unspoiled land. You can join a guided trek through the San Juan mountains, and if you’re not an experienced rider you don’t have to worry, there are options for all abilities. For people that really don’t enjoy the thought of getting on horseback or younger children, there are wagon rides to enjoy too.
Telluride might be small, but it boasts two craft breweries and even a distillery. The Telluride Brewing Company uses crystal clear Rocky Mountain snowmelt to brew its signature concoctions including the popular Russell Kelly Pale Ale, named after a local skiing legend. If you’re looking for something stronger, the Telluride Distilling Company makes their own hand-crafted whiskey and vodka, the first (legal) spirits to be distilled in the region since prohibition! Try one of their craft cocktails or pick up a bottle for an unusual addition to your home bar lineup.
Once the snow has melted this corner of the Rockies draws avid mountain bikers from across the country. Trails wind down former mining tracks, along mountain ridges and through the beautiful Uncompahgre National Forest. For less confident riders, a spin along the San Miguel River Trail offers lots of great views with much less exertion. If you’re lucky you might spot a herd of elk grazing in the distance.
Hikers can lace up their boots for a challenging climb up the popular Bear Creek Trail, which ends in a stunning waterfall with great views of the surrounding area. You’ll find the trailhead at the end of South Pine St. The trail is also open to bikes, and with 2 miles of straight ascent, it’s a serious challenge for bikers.
Our homes in the Telluride are divided between chalets and luxury condos in Mountain Village with easy access to the slopes, and homes in the historic town of Telluride, a short gondola ride away from the ski hill, yet close to all the amenities of Main Street.
If you’re looking for ski-in, ski-out accommodation in Telluride, our Mountain Village rentals will be perfect for you. Some of our homes on the mountain have private hot tubs to soothe tired muscles after a day on the slopes, while others have access to shared resort-style amenities, including steam rooms, heated pool, fitness room and ski lockers. Sleeping up to 10 guests, with bunk beds for kids and plenty of room in communal living areas, our Mountain Village retreats are ideal for a family skiing holiday.
If you and your travel buddies prefer to mix days on the mountain with days in town or exploring the surrounding countryside then why not opt for our downtown Telluride house rentals ? Main Street is just a short gondola ride away from the ski hill and is packed with relaxed restaurants, friendly pubs, and charming boutiques. Our homes are luxurious cozy and comfortable, with open fires, inviting beds and chef-level kitchens where you can prepare a hearty breakfast before spending the day exploring the great outdoors.