The ski season kicked off November 28 with amazing powder and perfect ski weather. Ski hill enthusiasts are soaking up all the mountains have to offer this ski season with trails opening up daily and great new powder coming in weekly. With a base of more than 8,000 feet above sea level, and the summits over 11,000 feet, Telluride and Purgatory Ski Resorts have ample terrain for everyone.
Telluride Ski Resort offers 2,000+ acres (810+ hectares) of pristine scenery and incredible terrain on nearly 130 trails. Catch the free gondola traveling from downtown Telluride to the center of Mountain Village.
Over the past decade, Telluride’s Nordic skiing has surged. Many trails feature rolling terrain alongside frozen lakes and rivers, and sit peacefully beneath the shadows of stunning 14,000-foot peaks. Check out great locations at the Nordic Center at Town Park, Valley Floor, Priest Lake, Trout Lake, Mountain Valley Golf Course and the Ski Area.
Silverton Mountain features 1,819 acres of chutes, cliffs, bowls and beautiful terrain in every direction, the experts-only Silverton welcomes you to avoid crowded slopes since it has daily limits set on the number of unguided skiers allowed. In fact, most days see fewer than 80 skiers on the mountain.
Purgatory Ski Resort, amid 1,360 acres of ski-able terrain, 88 trails, 10 lifts, 5 terrain parks and a 2,029-foot vertical drop will be kicking off December with one of the earliest openings of the backside accessed by Lift 3 ever! Fun fact: Hermosa Park lift was originally a double chairlift installed in the summer of 1972. We know we’re not the only ones who are excited to celebrate “The Grizzly Awakens Early.”
Other Top Area Winter Activities to Enjoy During Your Winter Getaway
Southwest Colorado is a winter wonderland of recreation, from downhill skiing, back country skiing and heli-skiing to snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling, . Chipeta Solar Springs Resort is the perfect snowy springboard to all the magic of the season. Red Mountain Snowmobile Tours (970-387-5512) offers a ride of a lifetime in the spectacular Molas Pass an hour south of Ouray.
Near Ridgway, Top of the Pines open space preserve and retreat sets on a high mesa meadow with an awesome view of Mt. Sneffels Range. Country Rd 5 also offers spectacular views of the latter. Rent or purchase gear in Ridgway at Ridgway Adventure Sports.
San Juan Mountain Guides offer back country skiing that blends excitement of downhill skiing with the physical challenges and rewards of back country winter travel.
Or hit the scenic back country in Telluride on a dog sledding tour with Winter Moon Sled Dog Adventures (970-729-0058). Alaskan huskies lead the way to exploring snow-covered trails throughout the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests as you learn about the sport of mushing.
Ask Chipeta Resort Guest Services staff about winter activities and discounted Telluride Ski Resort lift tickets with the purchase of any Winter Ski Package at email Chipeta Reservations or call (800) 633-5868.
Winter Wonderland Events
For the ultimate in fun weekends, time your Chipeta winter vacation to catch two of Southwestern Colorado festivals that are as exciting for spectators as they are for competitors.
On Jan. 10-12, the 2020 San Juan Skijoring rolls out an action-packed weekend in Ridgway at the Ouray County 4H Events Center & Fairgrounds. If you have never heard of Skijoring, you’re in for a treat! It’s the unique sport of a horse and rider pulling a skier at breakneck speeds around a snow track. Skiers, snowboarders and riders (excluding Juniors) must be current Skijoring America Members to be eligible to compete. Spectators applaud the thrills and spills of this action-packed sport from indoor and outdoor concession stands.
From Jan. 23-26, the 25th Anniversary Ouray Ice Festival draws novice and pro ice climbers from around the world. Hundreds of spectators line the top of the Gorge on Saturday and Sunday to watch top ice and mixed talents climb it out for the top prize. Also count on more than 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics, plus daily vendor exhibitions of the latest ice tools, apparel and gear from leading outdoor industry retailers. Nightly events heat up with music, food, dance parties, multimedia presentations by top climbers, and both a live and silent auction overflowing with great deals.
Free Ice Fest admission allows you access to all activities.
Solar Heated and Thermal Pools Haven
After a day on the slopes, return to revive sore muscles in Chipeta’s two solar heated thermal pools. Located in our courtyard, both feature beautiful views of the San Juan Mountains and Cimarron Range. Our larger 16-foot by 60-foot lap pool is heated to 80F degrees, while our tiled Roman bath is set at a warmer 104 F degrees.
The Ridgway area is also home to two additional hot springs that are open to the public for day use. Among these, Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Orvis Hot Springs are included in Chipeta Resort’s Three Nights, Three Springs Package. The package offers day passes to each, plus a 50-minute customized therapeutic Chipeta Spa massage and $50 Four Corners Restaurant voucher.
Ridgway, Ouray & Telluride December Events At A Glance
Dec. 4: Telluride Noel Night
Dec. 5-8: Weehawken Dance presents THE NUTCRACKER at the Montrose Pavilion
Dec. 6: Ridgway Noel Night
Dec. 6: The 3rd Annual Fire Festival, Mountain Village
January 11-12: San Juan Skijoring
January 23-26: Ouray Ice Festival