I finally made it to Telluride! I had been wanting to go there for years. Even before I started skiing, the town has always called to me. The only thing stopping me from going was always that the return flights back to Boston were poor options; this time I just decided to do it anyway despite the not so great options.
You can opt to fly into either Telluride which is 15 minutes from town or you can choose to fly into Montrose which is 1.5 hours away. Due to what I had read about flights to Telluride often getting diverted to Montrose anyway, I chose to fly into Montrose. My choice was to depart Boston on Friday bound for Denver and then connect to a flight into Montrose. Naturally, being United Airlines, they did multiple schedule changes prior to my trip which messed up my connection only giving me 6 minutes to connect. So instead of having a perfectly planned connection in Denver, I had to call and have them put me on an earlier flight to Denver, giving me a 4 hour layover. My flight to Denver was originally delayed 40 minutes due to late arrival of aircraft from San Francisco. However, we ended up being delayed about 90 minutes so I figured that 4 hour layover was lucky in the end. Upon landing in Denver, I learned my flight to Montrose was canceled! I went to the United customer service station and learning it was canceled due to “weather” and they had put me on the first flight on Saturday at 8:06am. Of course since it was due to “weather” UAL was not responsible for paying for a hotel. The only thing they do for you is give you a pink slip with an 800 number where you can get a discount on a hotel room.
I had no choice but to call the number and I chose the Embassy Suites for $75. I went out and called for their shuttle for which I had to wait 20 minutes. Upon arrival at the hotel of course I had no luggage except carry on and upon check in I signed up for the 6am shuttle back to Denver Airport. The room was fine; a living area and separate bedroom. This whole debacle was especially annoying since I already had paid for a hotel in Telluride and the delay cost me a half day of skiing too.
The next day I got the shuttle and got to the airport about 6:20am and luckily the security line was not too bad. I wanted to arrive early in case of any other surprises. The flight boarded and took off a little late due to baggage loading but we arrived more or less on time. Lots of people on the flight were supposed to be on the Friday night flight that was canceled and we all determined that there was no “weather” but the airline just felt like combining the flights and didn’t want to pick up the bill for a hotel for everyone so they gave us an excuse of “weather”. There was no weather in Denver or Montrose on Friday night according to locals and internet weather.
I had arranged transfers with Telluride Express and upon deplaning I went to their counter in the airport to check in for my ride while awaiting baggage claim. Baggage claim took about 15-20 min. The ride to my hotel, the Camel’s Garden was about 90 minutes, but I did see wildlife such as elk along the way. It was originally difficult to choose where to stay as there were several attractive options in my general price range including the Ice House, New Sheridan, Hotel Telluride and Peaks Resort. Telluride consists of the historic town of Telluride and the Mountain Village. The 2 areas are connected via free gondola, so you can easily stay in one and access the other. I booked my hotel in September and got a better price than I’ve seen in other years when I was looking at doing a trip more last minute. My hotel also offered a Black Friday sale in November but since I’d already booked I couldn’t take advantage of it. I chose to stay in town and picked the Camel’s Garden since it was right next to the gondola which was very convenient for access to the mountain each morning for skiing. The hotel is also just steps away from Lift #8 as well, which takes you part of the way up the mountain from the town (however, this lift only runs from 9am-11am). I got assigned room 101 and the room was quite nice with a queen bed and gas log fireplace and plenty of storage space. The only quibble I had was that the shower was one of those European styles that has a half glass partition instead of a shower curtain so that the water sprays out on the floor. The hotel offers a nightly apres ski happy hour, ski storage (each room gets a locker) and a daily continental breakfast. They also have a large hot tub that looks out on San Juan Ave.
Once I finally arrived and changed into my ski clothes, I went to pick up my lift ticket and then walked next door to the gondola which I took up to Mountain Village. I had arranged demo skis through Christy Sports in Heritage Plaza. I chose the Volkl Kenja in a 156 length. I then went up Lift 4 and skied down a green to Gorrono Ranch for lunch. I opted for a bowl of chili. They offered lots of toppings for the chili such as cilantro, bacon, cheese, scallions, sour cream. After lunch I skied off of Lift 4 then made my way down to Lift 10 and then skied in Prospect Bowl and then up the Gold Hill Express to ski See Forever. The views from See Forever are beautiful and I was lucky it was a clear day.
I stopped skiing about 3:30pm and downloaded back to town on the gondola. I then sat in the hot tub until 5pm when I had a few snacks at the hotel happy hour. I then walked around and looked at some of the shops and had dinner at Brown Dog Pizza. The pizza is supposed to be really good, but I opted for the cheesy bread and cheese burger with American cheese. The food was really good, but the atmosphere is sports bar/loud which is not really my taste. The food was very good though, so I overlooked the atmosphere. After dinner I took the gondola up the mountain to get a view of the town at night.