Ski season isn’t over yet, especially not at this unspoiled Colorado resort, now a direct flight from Boston.
Lots of places love to claim the title of “Colorado’s last unknown great ski town,” but few deserve it as much as Telluride, nestled in a boxed canyon that’s closer to the Utah border than Denver. Small, secluded, and uncrowded, the resort includes a 19th-century mining town and the most recent Mountain Village, connected by a free 13-minute gondola ride that’s an inextricable part of the whole experience, not to mention the quaint absurdity.
When there is snow on the ground, as is usually the case until April, skiing in Telluride is just the tip of the iceberg. Ice skating, snowshoeing, fat biking, and snowmobiling down the valley – a designated conservation area – are all worthy winter activities. Adrenaline junkies will want to try high altitude heliskiing with Telluride Helitrax or ice climbing at mystical falls, while the less adventurous will be happy to marvel Bridal veil drops, Colorado’s tallest free-falling cataract. In warmer weather the possibilities for biking, hiking and fishing are endless, and whether you want to see wildflowers or wild animals, the Uncompahgre National Forest will not disappoint.
Fancy a fun afternoon? Immerse yourself in the culture, food, and old-school charm of downtown Telluride, a designated National Historic District since 1964. For such a small area (only eight 12-block-long blocks), it offers a surprisingly diverse range of restaurants, from New Sheridan Chop House, a mainstay of gastronomy housed in a historic hotel from 1895, with a relaxed but superb atmosphere Taco del Gnar and Brown Dog Pizza. Telluride is popular with culture buffs too, with a true arts district offering an impressive array of galleries and venues, not to mention live music. Later in the year, visitors and locals alike flock to the famous Telluride Film Festival. Held annually on Labor Day weekend, the Oscars witness received rave reviews from Roger Ebert, the New York Times, and Salman Rushdie.
In short, Telluride is a small town that hits well above its weight, without the posers, paparazzi, and poor air quality of other high-end Colorado resorts. There is indeed gold in these hills, and you’ll find it here.
Located in the secluded southwest corner of Colorado, Telluride is about as far as you can get from the I-70 strangled corridor that serves more well-known ski resorts like Vail and Aspen. In fact, the city has no traffic lights and the nearest stop sign is 45 miles away. It’s a six-hour drive from Denver, but thanks to JetBlue, Bostonians can now fly nonstop from Logan to Montrose, Colo., On the airline’s weekly Saturday service. From Montrose, it’s like crossing a snow globe for an hour and a half to reach this still virgin ski resort.
Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, the five-star Madeline Hotel and Residences at Mountain Village has just come out of a major facelift, with luxuriously renovated rooms; reinvented public spaces, including the Timber Room resto-bar; and new amenities, such as the Recovery Ski Lounge, created by Olympian (and Telluride native) Gus Kenworthy.