Our favorite ski trails in Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is a top ski destination in the U.S. thanks to its stunning natural beauty and the variety of trails it offers. Telluride Ski Resort provides picturesque views of the surrounding, snow-capped San Juan Mountains. Rugged canyons, soaring peaks, and gentle slopes and hills offer different trails for varying skill levels. Beginners can stick to the lower slopes, which feature easier ski runs. Experts who want to put their skills to the test can head to the upper mountain area of the resort, where the most challenging ski runs are found.
Telluride offers more than diverse ski trails and scenic settings. The area also has world-class facilities, including luxury accommodations, fine dining, upscale boutique shops, and much more. With Telluride having so many different ski trails available, visitors might need help deciding which ones are best for them based on skill level and other factors. The following guide serves as a convenient way to find the best Telluride snow skiing trails.
Knowing where to ski in Telluride can be difficult, especially for first-time visitors to this ski resort. With Telluride offering several ski trails, which ones should visitors make sure they include in their ski trip? Several criteria were used to determine the best Telluride ski trails. These include the variety of terrain offered and typical snow conditions. Other criteria used for choosing the best ski trails include scenic views, accessibility, and overall popularity among skiers.
When looking at the official Telluride Ski Trail map, colors and symbols indicate the difficulty level for different ski trails:
Description: For intermediate skiers, the See Forever Trail provides a scenic and winding way through the mountains. See Forever is made up of long stretches of trail without any sharp turns or sections that zig zag. Skiers can take in gorgeous alpine views at roughly 12,000 feet high along the ridgeline. The trail then plunges down the mountain toward the San Sophia Gondola Station. From there, skiers can take the gondola to Telluride or Mountain Village, or head to other ski trails in the area.
Scenic Views: For those who take the Revelation Lift, See Forever Trail offers scenic views along the mountain’s ridge.
Additional Notes: Skiers have four different lifts to choose from to access the See Forever Ski Trail. These include Lift 9 (Plunge Lift), Lift 7 (Apex Lift), Lift 14 (Gold Hill Express), and Lift 15 (Revelation Lift). Lift 15, the easternmost lift, offers access to the highest point on the trail. Lift 9 is the westernmost lift.
Description: Palmyra Peak offers more than 200 acres of terrain for those with the most advanced skiing skills. This area of the resort is made up of ski trails that are considered extreme, including Roy Boy, Tram Shot, Sunrise, Electric Shock, and Senior’s. With an impressive height of 13,150 feet, Palmyra Peak provides the highest points for skiing down the mountainside. In fact, the area has nearly 2,000 vertical feet for expert skiers to enjoy. Palmyra Peak is also known for having some of the best in-bounds ski terrain in the U.S.
Scenic Views: Palmyra Peak’s soaring height offers exciting views of the San Juan Mountains in all directions.
Additional Notes: Skiers can take Lift 12 (Prospect Lift) to Palmyra Peak. From the lift, there’s a 1 to 1 1/2 hour hike to the Palmyra Peak ski area, which involves hiking past Black Iron Bowl.
Description: Galloping Goose is the place to go for Telluride beginner skiing. This trail starts out at a height of 11,815 feet and winds its way down the mountainside. Skiers starting out on the Galloping Goose ski trail in Telluride can enjoy amazing views of Palmyra Peak before setting out. Beginning skiers can glide past Bald Mountain and take in views of natural surroundings while meandering along the trail. Galloping Goose becomes the Lower Galloping Goose trail about halfway down. The lower part of the trail leads to the Meadows area and amenities, including Big Billie’s Restaurant.
Scenic Views: As the longest ski run in Telluride, Galloping Goose provides a wide range of scenic views, including Palmyra Peak and Bald Mountain.
Additional Notes: Skiers can take Lift 12 (Prospect Lift) to get to the top of Galloping Goose before beginning their ski journey down the mountain.
Description: As one of the best ski trails in Telluride, this trail is ideal for skiers who have some experience on the slopes. This trail is more challenging than beginner slopes, but not as difficult as the trails for more advanced skiers in the upper mountain area. Telluride Trail’s starting point is roughly 1,800 feet high. From there, intermediate skiers can make their way down the trail, which zigs and zags through tree-lined areas for most of its run. Telluride Trail then straightens out as it approaches the Town of Telluride. From there, skiers have convenient access to restaurants, stores, and other amenities.
Scenic Views: The top of Telluride Trail offers spectacular views of valleys and mountains from the San Sophia Overlook.
Additional Notes: Skiers can take Lift 7 to reach the top of Telluride Trail. This location also includes the San Sophia Gondola’s stopping point.
Description: Located in the upper mountain area, Black Iron Bowl offers an exhilarating ski experience for the most advanced skiers. Since some of these ski trails are considered extreme, only those with expert skiing skills should head to this area. Black Iron Bowl reaches a height of 12,250 feet, giving skiers a thrilling journey down the mountainside. Extreme trails in this area include Dihedral-Chute, Jello’s Bowl, Westlake, and Dihedral Face. Trails for experts include Mountain Quail, Genevieve, and Lakeview.
The terrain in this area plunges 1,000 vertical feet at some points. Some areas of Black Iron Bowl offer incredibly steep chutes, while others have open glades for skiers to glide through. Other features include European-style faces and narrow gullies.
Scenic Views: From the heights of Black Iron Bowl, skiers have panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains.
Additional Notes: Skiers can access Black Iron Bowl via Lift 12 (Prospect Lift). From the lift, hikes to different ski trails vary. Mountain Quail is about 45 minutes away, while Genevieve is just 5 minutes away.
With trails for every skill level and stunning San Juan Mountain views, Telluride is a premier ski destination. The best ski trails in Telluride offer plenty of snow and breathtaking surroundings. Whether visitors want a challenging trail or an easy trail, Telluride offers something for every skier. Most of these trails are easily accessible from the area’s ski lifts. Some also offer convenient access to Telluride’s many amenities. From Galloping Goose’s gentle slopes to Palmyra Peak’s thrilling heights and steep plunges, there’s an ideal ski trail for every visitor.
Explore the many trails Telluride has to offer based on skill level and preferences, such as scenic views, accessibility, or proximity to amenities and other trails. Keep in mind that Telluride also offers other notable amenities, including equipment rental shops, ski schools, and apres-ski options. This variety makes Telluride a perfect destination for skiers of all levels.