In heart of winter, Telluride resort urges travelers to ‘think summer'
Just as people settle in for the coldest months of winter, facing long days and low temps, the folks at Telluride's premiere ski-in/ski-out resort remind travelers that now is the time to plan summer vacations.
Telluride, located deep in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, is in the midst of their ski season. When this year's snows melt, "the world-class ski slopes of Telluride will turn verdant green," says Neil Hastings, director of sales and marketing for Mountain Lodge at Telluride. "That sets the stage for superb hiking, biking, horseback riding, wildflower viewing and every other outdoor activity."
Mountain Lodge at Telluride, a five-minute walk to the area's free gondola, serves as a main base for summer activities in Telluride. "We may be in the mud season, but the summer solstice is not far away," says Hastings. "Savvy travelers will plan summer vacations early to get the best selection and best rates." He outlines some of what's available to those who are interested in visiting Telluride once the temperatures rise and the days lengthen:
Many famous festivals originated in Telluride and have become long-standing traditions for locals and visitors alike. This year's events include the Mountainfilm, Jazz, Balloon, Bluegrass, Wine, Film, Yoga and Mushroom Festivals. For a complete lineup, check out www.visitTelluride.com.
Hikers can bikers can explore hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails for all levels extending right from the Town of Telluride, or take the free gondola to the top for more trails that wind throughout the ski area. Trails vary in difficulty and length, with some designated for bikes, horses and jeeps.
Wildflowers typically are in full bloom around mid-July, and Telluride's slopes erupt in a blaze of fall color between mid-September and early October.
Visitors can choose from scenic afternoon rides, chuck-wagon dinner rides or overnight trips.
The championship course at the Telluride Golf Club is one of the highest courses in the country, with the game to prove it: golf balls travel 15 percent farther than at sea level.
The San Miguel River offers fly fishing, river rafting and kayaking for all levels. The Dolores River boasts Gold Metal waters. Private guides, group outfitters, equipment and gear rental are available.
Retail stores range from fine art galleries and antique shops to fine jewelry stores, women's boutiques and outdoor/sporting stores.
Telluride is home to world-class spas, and a wealth of certified yoga and Pilates instructors.
High-tech history: The entire town of Telluride is a National Historic Landmark District. The Telluride Historical Museum, located in a restored 1896 miners' hospital, hosts fireside chats and features historic walking tours via cell phone, MP3 player or mini-disk player.