Editor’s note: Each week in Staff Favorites, we offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).
The first time I got on a snowboard was circa 2003 at Telluride Ski Resort. It was my first time trying any mountain sport, since my parents are very much beach people, and I remember being awestruck by the size and beauty of the San Juan range.
Those views never get old, even after nearly two decades of skiing there. Look at my camera roll, and you’ll see the same scenic spots each different season; they’re just too irresistible not to photograph.
Should you find yourself shredding over on the Western Slope, here are the five best spots to snap a picture at Telluride Ski Resort. (Study this map if you’ve never been.) As always, be mindful of where you stop on the mountain to avoid putting yourself and others in a potentially dangerous situation.
Happy hour at 11,885 feet? You can do just that at Giuseppe’s, one of the highest in elevation eateries in Telluride. (It’s not technically the highest — nearby Alpino Vino takes that title, according to colorado.com.) It’s a scenic place to pull up an Adirondack chair, crack a cold one and take in the views of Wilson Peak and Lizard Head Peak. On a clear day, you can even see the La Sal mountains in Utah.
Top of Lookout run
Sure, you could snap a selfie on chair nine, given it takes about 10 minutes to shuttle skiers up from the town of Telluride to the top of the mountain. But keep your gloves on and wait until you take the ski run aptly named See Forever to the top of another called Lookout. Not only will you get stunning snow-capped peaks in the background, but also a glimpse of town.
Top of Gold Hill Express
You’ll notice the incredible, panoramic mountain views the moment you get up to the top of lift 14, known as the Gold Hill Express. But in case you don’t, there’s a sign marking the scenic viewpoint, a popular place to snap a top-of-the-world pano.
Gorrono Ranch is the best spot to find party vibes. The on-mountain bar and restaurant, located off chair four, is known for its “beach” where you can soak up the sun, enjoy live music and sit front row to views of Wilson Peak, which beer drinkers might recognize from cans of Coors Light.
San Sophia Station
The gondola that runs between Telluride and its neighboring Mountain Village tops out at 10,540 feet in elevation at a platform known as San Sophia Station, and you don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to go check out the view. Those who disembark can walk to a lookout point at the top of Telluride Trail that offers a bird’s-eye view of town. (Fun fact: That’s where my husband and I got married.) There’s also a restaurant called Allred’s at San Sophia Station that offers sweeping views with shelter from the elements.
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