Delight in the Season with a Plethora of Winter Activities and Offerings in Telluride

The mountain call.

  • Category
    Travel
  • Written by
    Jennie Nunn
  • Above
    Photo courtesy of Madeline Hotel

There’s a reason why Telluride, Colorado, is a little off the beaten path. Arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the nation, the teeny and humble mountain town—perched at an elevation of 8,750 feet—is tucked into a box canyon in the San Juan Mountains. Located in the southwestern corner of the state, Telluride is about a 6½-hour drive from Denver and a 2½-hour drive from Grand Junction. Founded in 1878 as a Victorian mining town, Telluride was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964 and now boasts a population of approximately 2,500 year-round residents.

Above: Timber Room••|••Photos courtesy of Madeline Hotel

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Lined with cascading waterfalls, surrounded by steep mountains and boasting some of the most breathtaking views imaginable, Telluride is home to endless outdoor adventures—from hiking and mountain biking to snowshoeing and skiing. In 1972 the first ski lift arrived at Telluride Ski Resort. The mountain, now one of the best ski destinations in the nation, offers 120 runs and more than 2,000 skiable acres.

With a free gondola connecting the historic district with Mountain Village, there’s a long to-do list for visitors. Here, we’ve unearthed what’s not to be missed this winter.

Above: Allred’s••|••Photos courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort

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Book a Room

Situated in Old Town, the New Sheridan Hotel has been a mainstay for more than a century. The 26-room boutique inn, featuring complimentary Wi-Fi, ski lockers and boot dryers, also offers dining options including an on-site historic bar and renowned Chop House restaurant headed by executive chef Brian Batten (previously of Excelsior Café, Las Montanas and Bluepoint Grill).

Following a property-wide remodel with 83 redesigned guestrooms, updated public spaces and a slew of new guest experiences (think dogsledding or ice climbing with a local outfitter), Madeline Hotel & Residences has unveiled the new Timber Room—an indoor-outdoor bar and lounge—and the Alpine Swim Club with an outdoor pool and dining terrace. Outfitted by Liubasha Rose of Miami-based Rose Ink Workshop, guestrooms are designed as a wink to the surrounding landscape with wooden walls, stitched carpets, black steel desks, and thoughtful guest amenities such as an adventure bar with mountain-inspired accessories and gear. After a day on the mountain, check into the spa for the Spirit of the Mountains treatment comprised of a warm herbal poultice of lemongrass, kaffir lime and sweet basil—intended to reduce inflammation and soothe tired and achy joints.

Above: Crossbow Leather ••|••Photographed by Bash Jelen

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Grab A Table

Located inside a restored home steps from the gondola, 221 South Oak is the vision of Top Chef Season 10 alum and chef-owner Eliza Gavin. Dotted with wooden ceilings and colorful framed artwork, the restaurant offers a seasonal menu of Chef Eliza’s creations such as Rocky Mountain trout with a duo of ravioli, and duck confit with red wine poached rice noodles.

At Allred’s Restaurant, situated on top of the San Sophia Ridge at 10,551 feet, take in mountain views of surrounding peaks such as Ajax, Mount Emma and Mendota. For après-ski, order the Blood and Spice Mule with jalapeno vodka, blood orange and Fever Tree ginger beer, or the Paper Plane with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol and fresh lemon.

For an Old West-meets-modern vibe, head to There for daily happy hour (4 to 6 p.m.) for $6 house drinks. For dinner, seasonal small plates and shared menu items include flash-fried brussels sprouts with sea salt, and wild tuna tartare with smoked jalapeño, avocado crema, cucumber and sesame. Shareable entrees range from lamp lollipops with herb spaetzle, whipped dill yogurt, cucumber and tomato, to PEI mussels steamed in a white wine, butter and garlic sauce with andouille sausage, shaved jalapeño and paired with a sourdough baguette.

Blending culinary influences from countries including Malaysia, India, Greece and Thailand, Siam serves starters from crab rangoon to Pad King Sod ginger stir-fry with choice of veggies or protein and served with ginger, mushrooms, scallions and ginger garlic sauce.

Above: Crossbow Leather ••|••Photographed by Bash Jelen

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See the Sights

Outfitted with exposed stone, rustic wood floors and wood-paneled walls, Crossbow Leather is a town staple for handmade leather goods created on-site by proprietor and leather artisan Macy Pryor. Watch the process in action at the workshop located in the back of the store or choose from an assortment of catchall vessels; tote bags crafted with grizzly or glovetanned leather and brass hardware; and belts made from latigo leather. While there, pick up a wide-brim fedora handmade from Australian wool and finished with a leather band.

At design studio and home décor shop T.Karn Imports, find brass cuffs, sculptural vessels and organic, handloomed cotton throws—all hand-selected by owner Tesha Karn from a stable of more than 20 global and national artisans.

For a step back in time in Telluride’s history, head to the Telluride Historical Museum. Originally built in 1896 as Hall’s Hospital, which was in operation until 1964, the building is one of the oldest in Telluride. The museum houses 10 thematic rooms with interactive exhibits, artifacts dating to the Valley’s first inhabitants and the early mining days of the late 1800s, and an outdoor mining sluice for kids to try panning for gold.

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