America's Best Ski Towns
This former mining town lies in a box canyon, surrounded on three sides by 14,000-foot peaks, so few places can rival the natural beauty, or the solitude (population: 2,500; stoplights: 0). A free, scenic gondola links Telluride to the neighboring Mountain Village, and Telluride Ski Resort itself counts 127 trails, three terrain parks, and an average snowfall of 309 inches. The local dining scene is equally impressive: 221 South Oak serves Rocky Mountain elk chop and Colorado lamb shank, and Rustico Ristorante stocks 1,000-plus Italian wines. If you’re game to brush up on more than skiing skills, consider remote photo tours from Telluride Outside, ice climbing with the San Juan Outdoor School, or classes at the Ah Haa School for the Arts.