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Places to ski w/in driving distance of Telluride

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, I am absolutely stoked. I will be be in Telluride for a month starting next week. Cause of all of the help from this forum, I've found a great mountain and a cheap place to stay. My only question is, since my rent is for a full month, I'll have at least an extra week or two to ski after Telluride shuts down on April 3rd. I was thinking about taking a couple of day trips to other mountains in the area. Anyone have any suggestions on where to head and how far a drive it might be.


post #2 of 9
Good question? There are locals better situated than me to reply, but my suspicion is that Durango Mtn Resort, Powderhorn, Crested Butte will also close around then. Your best bet might be the quasi-backcountry operation at Silverton or maybe further afield at Wolf Creek. Arapahoe Basin and maybe Loveland should be open then if mother nature cooperates, but you'd have to overnight to visit them. Wonder if any segment of the Aspen ski areas stays open especially late?
post #3 of 9
Purgatory at Durango, Wolf Creek, and Crestted Butte all close the same day as Telluride. Although, Wolf Creek sometimes extends its closing.

If you want to ski an area you will have to go to Taos, which is close to a 6 hour drive, or better yet go to Alta/Snowbird, which is about 5 hours drive from T-ride. I'm not sure how far it is to Aspen or Summit County, and if any of those areas will stay open. Obviously not day trips, but some options for a 4-day weekend.

I would recommend just backcountry skiing around Telluride. The options are incredible. You can ski right out of town, or drive an 1/2 hour to Lizard Head Pass (10,000 ft.), or a little over an hour to Red Mountain Pass (11,000), which requires driving past the hot springs in Ouray. With the snowpack we have the Spring skiing should go until July. Check out Ophir to T-ride via Bear Creek. A 3,300 foot climb gets you a 4,500 vert ski that ends 2 blocks from a bar in town.

The season aint over just because the lifts close.
post #4 of 9
Head to the BC. You're in a prime area for that anyways, take advantage.
post #5 of 9

Plan B

If you want to consider something other than skiing, Telluride is only a couple of hours from Moab, and April is the perfect time to go there or the canyon lands in southeast Utah. Spingtime in the desert when the catus are blooming (and its not too hot yet) is magical.
post #6 of 9
Isnt Taos within strking distance of Telluride?
post #7 of 9


As mentioned, another possibility for extended activities, including skiing, is Moab. I've skied a few times in the LaSal Mountains, which loom over Moab, and it's a pretty surreal experience. You can be skiing in great corn snow (even powder) at 11,000 feet in the morning and biking, climbing, or kayaking in some spectacular slickrock country by the afternoon. April is prime time.
post #8 of 9
I live in Durango, between T-ride (2:25 hr.) and Taos (3:15 hr.). The town of Taos is more than a 5 hour drive from Telluride, and that's speeding and hoping you don't get caught on the heavily patrolled highway south of Chama with the sucker low speed limit. Then you still have to drive up the canyon to the ski area. It would probably be closer to drive from T-ride to Aspen, but I never go that way, so I don't know. If I've got a 3-day weekend, we drive to Salt Lake City where the odds and the goods are better, which is probably 5 hrs. or less of easy empty highway driving from T-ride.

T-ride is in the middle of the San Juans, which have the best weather and terrain on the planet for Spring backcountry skiing. IMHO, if it looks like a big dump in SLC, suck it up and drive to Alta/Snowbird, otherwise enjoy the San Juan sweetcorn.
post #9 of 9
Arapahoe Basin should be open through June. Probably 4.5- 5.0 hours from Telluride.
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