The top 5 ski resorts in the United States
3. Telluride, Colorado (PAF = 89): If you’ve been to Telluride, you understand why it’s on this list. Seeing this town’s main street framed against one of the more magnificent box canyons in the world, the spire of its old courthouse saluting a battalion of serrated San Juan peaks, pays for the plane ticket. As for that plane ride, Telluride has a reputation for being hard to reach. It’s a tag that gets Dave Riley, the CEO of the resort, bristling. “It’s simply not true,” he says. “It’s easier to get in here than a lot of other Colorado resorts, and the drive is better.”
Riley speaks the truth. Landing in Montrose leaves skiers with a 50-minute car ride to the promised land, a path that winds through the charming town of Ridgeway while passing by some of the most ridiculous vistas outside of Switzerland. One of the choicest spots travelers pass is the Double RL Ranch, belonging, of course, to billionaire Ralph Lauren. Compare that with the white-knuckle drive, next to semis and thousands of other skiers, up I-70 from Denver to Colorado’s Summit County. And once you’re in Telluride, the need for a car falls away. There’s no better Main Street than Telluride’s in the Rockies outside of Aspen’s and Park City’s. Telluride’s old town is connected to the upper town of Mountain Village (it’s an actual town) by a gondola that runs from dawn to midnight and is free for all. There are many mountains you can visit that, technically, don’t require you to have a car. But none of them give you the pedestrian nirvana that Telluride does.