Guidebook

The Best Beginner Ski Tours in Telluride's Backcountry

Get the feel for Telluride ski touring on these beautiful yet straightforward adventures!

Charlie Boscoe

Description

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, a truly wild part of a truly wild state - Colorado - Telluride was founded as a silver mining town but the local "white gold" (powder snow!) is the currency for which it is now best known. The resort skiing in Telluride is legendary, and the touring isn't bad either!

The sheer scale of the mountains above Telluride, not to mention their intimidating appearance, means that it doesn't initially spring to mind as a good place to find beginner ski tours, but there's actually some great easier trips if you know where to look. The ideal place to start is Trestle Shot, a there-and-back tour which starts and ends in the Telluride ski resort itself. With that in the bag, the 2 summit tours listed here - Cross Mountain Trail and McMillan Peak - are logical next steps. The final tour included here - Lizard Head Pass South Slopes - is ideal for bad weather days because it's easy access, low angled skiing with minimal avalanche danger. A week spent ticking these 4 routes off and spending some time skiing the Telluride lifts makes for a superb introduction to the wonders of San Juan skiing and should be on the "bucket list" of any aspiring big mountain skier.

Needless to say that if you explore FATMAP a little further you'll find plenty of bigger and tougher Telluride challenges should you wish to push on from here....!

McMillan Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

McMillan Peak

6.6 km
546 m
546 m
24 °
The best beginner ski tour on Red Mountain Pass
Moderate
Private
Cross Mountain Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Cross Mountain Trail

Durango
8.8 km
598 m
598 m
22 °
A great introduction to ski touring on a mellow forest trail.
Easy
Private
Trestle Shot
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Trestle Shot

Telluride
2 - 3 hrs
4.4 km
436 m
436 m
32 °
Great low-angle powder skiing past historic mining structures.
Moderate
Private
Lizard Head Pass South Slopes
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lizard Head Pass South Slopes

Durango
7.6 km
599 m
599 m
27 °
The best ski touring area for beginners near Telluride.
Easy
Private