Explore the Historic Town of Telluride and Go Heli-skiing in This Episode of 'Walk With T+L'

Epic adventures await in one of the best ski towns in the country.

Colorado ski towns are a dime a dozen, but there's something special about Telluride.

In this episode of Walk With T+L, skier and Colorado native Kellyn Wilson takes viewers on a tour of Telluride to show what this old mining town is really all about.

In 1961, the entire community of Telluride was designated as a National Historic Landmark. Thanks to the community's significant preservation efforts, it has held on to its Old West charms and is home to one of America's most picturesque Main Streets. But its historic appeal isn't the only thing that attracts millions of thrill-seekers each year. That can be attributed to its snow-capped peaks and bluebird days that make this a favored destination among in-the-know skiers and snowboarders.

Ajax peak and Telluride Colorado main street winter
Doug Berry/Getty Images

On a trip to Telluride, you really get two towns in one. Telluride and Mountain Village are separated by a ridge and a short 13-minute ride on the first and only free public transit gondola system in the United States. The gondola, which runs daily from 6:30 a.m. to midnight during summer and winter, transports nearly 3 million skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, and hikers each year. It's also a mainstay for commuters who are lucky enough to get some jaw-dropping views on their way to the office.

At the top of the ridge separating Telluride and Mountain Village, gondola riders disembark at San Sophia Station and breathe in the fresh mountain air at a refreshing 10,500 feet. But don't stop at the view. Keep going to explore its more than 2,000 skiable acres covered by more than 300 inches of annual snowfall each year. Looking for even more fun? Here's where you can eat, sleep, and explore on a trip to Telluride.

Where to Eat

Once you arrive at Mountain Village, visitors can wander the town or take another lift to Bon Vivant, a winter-only restaurant serving French country cuisine (and some of the best hot chocolate and crepes in the area). Located at the top of the Polar Queen Express lift, it's accessible from numerous trails, making it the perfect pit stop during a day of skiing.

Snowcapped Mountains in Telluride
Erica Sher/Getty Images

Explore off Piste

As glorious as the publicly accessible slopes are in Telluride, it doesn't get much more epic than jumping out of a helicopter into a powder patch all your own. Enter Helitrax, a full-service helicopter skiing operator in Colorado. Helitrax been at it since 1982 and holds the exclusive permit for operating in the San Juan Mountains.

You don't have to be an expert skier to try helicopter skiing, but you do have to love fresh powder and pristine runs (the team recommends guests at least be comfortable on Telluride's black-diamond runs and consider themselves as advanced intermediates). If you're skilled (and brave) enough to give it a go, you'll be rewarded with 200 square miles of untouched alpine terrain where there's not another soul — or ski track — in sight.

Where to Stay

Stay at the ski-in, ski-out Peaks Resort and Spa for luxury digs with a spa to rejuvenate your tired limbs after cold days on the slopes. You can also book numerous experiences from the resort, including snowmobiling, ice climbing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding.

Where to Apres

Adventure awaits at the end of the day too. The bar at the New Sheridan Hotel in town is one of the oldest in the American West, complete with slanted mirrors over the bartop so gunslingers back in the day could keep an eye out behind their own backs.

Ski lift at Snow resort Telluride Colorado
The Palmer/Roberto Adrian/Getty Images

How to Ski and Ride

Lift tickets start at $162/day but can jump to $205/day during high-demand periods. If you purchased an Epic Pass or the Epic 4-7 Day Pass, you also get some access to Telluride Ski Resort.

Where to Book

If you're feeling inspired to hit the slopes at Telluride this season, you can still get access to some excellent snow. Book your hotel, flights, car rentals, and even activities all in one place here. Want even more winter fun? Check out our winter-long Mountain Monday series, which introduces you to some of the coolest mountains in America. Stay tuned each week for a new mountain for you to explore.

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