How to Plan the Ultimate Colorado Ski Adventure

In search of the ultimate winter wonderland? Whether you’re schussing the world-class slopes or indulging in some truly decadent après, the historic Colorado mining towns of Aspen and Telluride are destinations worthy of any traveller’s bucket list.

1. Take a snowmobile tour of Alta Lakes

Up for a little adventure? Hop onto the saddle of your very own snowmobile and take Telluride Outfitters’ guided tour through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Colorado’s Telluride region. During this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll tear through forests, along mountain cliffs and into the Alta Lakes Ghost Town, all the while cutting your own path through the pristine powder.

2. Arrive in style in Telluride

If you’re staying at one of the ski-in/ski-out resorts in Telluride’s Mountain Village, getting to the town itself couldn’t be easier—or more thrilling. A free, 10-minute gondola ride shuttles passengers from A to B, while providing some truly spectacular views. Although the scenery is stunning at virtually any time of the day (barring the occasional blanket of fog), the hour before sunset, when the sky turns a luminous gold, is particularly magical.

3. Feast your eyes at Allred’s Restaurant

The spectacular sunset is also one of the big draws at the St. Sophia gondola station between Mountain Village and Telluride. Here, at the main dining room of Allred’s Restaurant, you’ll find a wall of windows that overlooks the town of Telluride. It’s the perfect vantage point as the sun arcs across the valley—and the perfect opportunity to tuck into American fare made with locally sourced ingredients. (We recommend the hand-cut truffle fries and bourbon-marinated elk loin.)

4. Take lunch at 12,000 feet

Hop on the Gold Hill Express (lift 14), ski down the See Forever run and you’ll find Alpino Vino—one of the most charming and unique restaurants in Telluride. Situated at an elevation of 11,966 feet, the tiny rustic cabin seats only 28, and boasts a stick-to-your ribs lunch menu of craveable Italian comfort food including rich hot chocolate and gourmet grilled cheese. For an even more unforgettable experience, make a dinner reservation and journey to the restaurant via enclosed snow coach. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a five-course Italian meal with optional pairing, and an unparalleled view of the night sky.

5. Hike the Highland Bowl

A four-and-a-half-hour drive from Telluride (or a flight into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport) will bring you to the four ski mountains of Aspen Snowmass: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands. Aspen Highlands is known as the “locals’ mountain” because its steep slopes attract expert skiers and snowboarders. Here you’ll find the Highland Bowl, a ski slope that’s only accessible via a 45-minute hike. As it’s relatively remote, it doesn’t get a ton of traffic, so the fresh, deep snow tends to last.