Telluride opened its 45th season on November 23 with expanded snow-making and grooming operations across the mountain and the opening of new beginner terrain for first-timer lessons. Later in the season, the resort will marks its 35th annual Women’s Ski & Wellness Week (February 4-8) and the return of the massively popular Telluride Gay Ski Week (February 24-March 3).
Here are five things you need to know about Telluride:
1. If you’ve never been to Telluride before, take a complimentary mountain tour with a Telluride Mountain Ambassador, departing daily at 10 a.m. from the top of the Coonskin Lift. The resort is massive and has a lot of history. You’ll get a good sense of both from the tour.
2. To get into Telluride’s most exclusive and most extreme terrain, plan to work for it: Resort spokesman Sabastian Wee recommends the hike-to terrain in Black Iron Bowl (a ten- to thirty-minute hike), Bald Mountain, Prospect Ridge, Gold Hill Chutes and the 13,320-foot Palmyra Peak.
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3. Telluride’s a foodie town. At the resort, try Allred’s, the resort’s flagship restaurant located at the top of the gondola, or Alpino Vino, which, at nearly 12,000 feet, Telluride claims is the highest-elevation fine-dining restaurant in North America. Needless to say, it offers one hell of a view. Ask for a seat by the window, then ask for chef Nicola Peccedis’s Alpino Vino grilled cheese sandwich, made with locally sourced Camembert cheese, a housemade pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes.
4. There’s a free pedestrian gondola to get from town to the Mountain Village base area, meaning your lodging options are wide open: Book through Telluride Resort Reservations or directly through any of the local hotels or B&Bs. For a classic and historic Telluride experience, book a room at the New Sheridan Hotel (newsheridan.com) or any of the hotels in the downtown National Historic Landmark District.
5. Overdid it on the mountain? Hey, it happens. “The Spa at the Peaks is easily Telluride’s hidden gem,” Wee notes. “With thirty treatment rooms, gender-specific and co-ed hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas, along with a full gym and yoga studios, indoor and outdoor pools and a full-service salon, there’s no spa quite like it in Telluride, let alone most parts of the country.” Book at thepeaksresort.com/spa or call 970-728-2590.