Editor's Choice

2021 Editors' Choice: More Than Meets the Eye

Telluride Ski Resorts punches way larger than its 2,000 acres thanks to big hikes, bigger vert, and really big views.

Advice to newcomers: Don’t let Telluride Ski Resort’s compact base area fool you into thinking there’s not enough here to keep you busy for days. While there’s effectively only one express lift from Mountain Village, the slopes unfold from mid-mountain and splay across three peaks, with the highest topping out at Palmyra Peak’s 13,150 feet for hike-to steeps. There’s certainly ample green and blue terrain to please intermediates and under, but this resort’s sweet spot is for experts. Including the hike-to terrain on Palmyra, Black Iron Bowl, Revelation Bowl, and Bald Mountain, black-diamond slopes comprise 41 percent of the offerings. That said, if hiking at altitude isn’t on your wish list, fear not: The glades are plentiful, the steeps off of Lift 9 above town are thrilling, and the wide-open expanse of Revelation Bowl will take your breath away.

While it’s true that there’s one main lift out of the village, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other slope access points. Skiers staying in town can take lifts 7 and 8, as well as the Village Gondola, which offers mid-station slope access at San Sofia. And beginners appreciate the mellow terrain off the Sunshine Express at the Meadows, complete with its own parking area and amenities. In our week skiing the resort, the SKI staff picked up a few good tips. 

  1. New in town and trying to acclimate? This is a high-elevation destination, so don’t try to do too much too soon. If you’re dying to get into the high alpine, make your way
  2. to Prospect Bowl for some solid corduroy cruising to get your ski legs beneath you. Or take Revelation lift to See Forever, the classic winding groomer that descends five scenic miles to town.

  3. If you’re skiing on a storm day, beeline for the glades. Our favorite tree-skiing pods are Buzz’s Glades and Happy Thought, both accessed below Alpino Vino.
  4. If you have one big hike in you, it’s the grand dame herself, Palmyra Peak. It takes between 60 and 90 minutes and is about 2,500 feet of vert down to the Prospect Lift. If you have a shorter hike in you, try Black Iron Bowl, only about 15 minutes from the top of the Prospect Lift.

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