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Overview

The High Rockies may get all the attention for skiing in Colorado, but the San Juan Mountains are, in spots, on the level of Aspen and Vail. Most renowned is Telluride, which has more than 1,700 skiable acres, including the thrilling, 2,080-foot-high Bushwacker and the intimidating bump run known as Mammoth. Also in this area is Silverton Mountain, which has such high altitudes that the ski resort recommends ginseng or Viagra (!) to overcome them. Beyond skiing, the Ouray Ice Park, in a small town just up the mountain road from Telluride and Silverton, provides ice-climbing, an adventure sport for gearheads who can't be bothered with wimpy ...

The High Rockies may get all the attention for skiing in Colorado, but the San Juan Mountains are, in spots, on the level of Aspen and Vail. Most renowned is Telluride, which has more than 1,700 skiable acres, including the thrilling, 2,080-foot-high Bushwacker and the intimidating bump run known as Mammoth. Also in this area is Silverton Mountain, which has such high altitudes that the ski resort recommends ginseng or Viagra (!) to overcome them. Beyond skiing, the Ouray Ice Park, in a small town just up the mountain road from Telluride and Silverton, provides ice-climbing, an adventure sport for gearheads who can't be bothered with wimpy little excursions like extreme snowboarding. There are beginner trails, of course, and Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, Lake City and Pagosa Springs are filled with more genteel activities like hot springs and wilderness-watching.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter, except during extreme weather conditions