Colorado Resort Adventure Guide



General Information: Telluride: 970-728-3041.

Telluride, in southwest Colorado, is located in what many consider the most scenic part of the state. It is a small town surrounded by high mountains and very much resembles Alpine villages in Europe. It is 355 miles from Denver, served by a local airport and highways that pass through magnificent 14,000-foot mountains from Durango, Ouray and Cortez.

In addition to being one of Colorado's best ski areas, the entire town of Telluride is a National Historic District. Many Victorian buildings from its wild and woolly gold-rush days have been preserved. This was the town where outlaw Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank, and where miners survived unbelievable winters and other hardships to open the American West.

Visiting Telluride is like being in two different worlds at once. Luxurious, modern resorts blend with ancient structures and stories of long ago. Ghosts in ragged clothes from the past seem to move along the old streets and mingle with fancy-dressed tourists. It's an unusual feeling many visitors get from being in this place where so much of the Old West is still visible.

That atmosphere is hard to find in America, but Telluride has it. That's probably one reason several famous people have built homes here, including television's Oprah Winfrey, filmmaker Oliver Stone and actress Susan St. James.

So you will see celebrities here, but more important you will experience one of the great ski mountains of Colorado. Telluride has 64 trails and over 1,050 skiable acres (25% advanced, 51% intermediate, 24% beginner). Its highest lift goes to 11,890 feet and its longest run is three miles. Its demanding moguls and near-vertical chutes are favorites with expert skiers. So are the backcountry heli-skiing experiences and a hut system route that goes all the way to Ouray, over some of Colorado's highest, most rugged terrain. Child care and children's ski lessons are available.

Luxury lodging includes The Peaks, with a water slide, pools, exercise center, saunas, steamrooms, child-care center, restaurants and lounges. San Sophia is a lavish Victorian inn with hot tubs and other amenities. Pennington's has French decor with a steamroom and hot tub. Hotel Columbia has fireplaces, restaurant, lounge, exercise center and hot tub. The New Sheridan Hotel has Victorian decor, restaurant and lounge. The Ice House is a 40-room lodge with hot tubs and other facilities. All of these are posh, expensive places. Less expensive lodging is available.

Luxury condominiums include Aspen Ridge Townhomes, Kayenta Legend House and Riverside Condominiums. Local condo management companies include Telluride Resort Accommodations, 800-536-7754.

Popular, expensive restaurants include LaMarmotte, Legends of the Peaks and the New Sheridan hotel. Night spots that usually have music or dancing include the New Sheridan, O'Bannon's Irish Pub, the Roma Bar and Fly Me to the Moon Saloon.