Isn’t It Time You Skied Telluride?

If ole Butch Cassidy returned to Telluride today to rob a bank, like he did here in 1889, he would be happy to know that this former mining town has changed little. Sure, there might be more of a California surfing element—a favorite breakfast joint is called Baked in Telluride—but much of the 8-block main stretch gives off the flavor of the Wild West. It’s not just the sense of the familiar that keeps me coming back, but the spellbinding vista of 14,000-foot peaks that surround the ski resort. You’re socked into a Japanese silkscreen, with wave after wave of anonymous snowy peak undulating before you.  
At first glance, staring anxiously at the steep trails that run from the face of the mountain back to town, you might think that Telluride was created solely for the hotdogging antics of extreme skiers. And, yes, steeps like Bushwhacker and Plunge reward expert skiers with great rips, usually on fresh powder. Take the lift up to Prospect Bowl, however, and you’ll soon realize that Telluride caters just as much to beginners and intermediates. Best of all, there are little or no lift lines to get to these trails. Located in the remote southwestern corner of the state, you’re a good five-hour drive from the crowds that frequent Colorado ski areas closer to Denver. But that could change soon. With direct flights to Telluride from 11 major hubs in the States, including Newark, Chicago, and LA, expect the word to spread quickly.