In the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, the town of Telluride offers several scenic cross country skiing trail systems. Home to the Ute Indians, Telluride is a remote outpost town high in the mystical San Juans. It's also home to brilliant blue skies, clear rivers, diverse wildlife and Majestic peaks that form this narrow box canyon.
To start with, there are two Nordic ski trail systems right in town. On the east end of town, there is a short, looping trail system beginning right from the small Telluride Nordic Center. This 2km trail network in Town Park is groomed for classic and skate skiing, but tends to get heavy walking traffic. The one-room Telluride Nordic Center does provide some cross country ski rentals. On the west end of town, the Valley Trail System is a series of stacked loops through the protected valley lands adjacent to town. There is a good public parking lot right at the trailhead that is shared with the nearby ski lift system.
Up on the ski mountain at the top of Lift #10, there is a small Nordic ski trail system called Top-A-ten that totals about 10km. The trails roll through high alpine forests and meadows with spectacular views Palmyra Peak and of the mountains below. Advanced skiers and snowshoers can continue outside the boundary of the ski area to Alta Lakes on National Forest trails..
Located about 20 minutes south of town, the most popular Nordic trails are the Priest Lake Trail System and the Trout Lake Trail System. These trails offer a more remote experience with plenty of solitude. They are very popular with the locals for a place to escape the winter crowds in town.
If you’re up to breaking your own trail, check out the Illium Trail (#499) follows the old Galloping Goose railway into the Illium Valley. There are great views of 13,000 feet peaks along this nice track.
To reach the cross-country skiing in Telluride by air, you will need to fly into Montrose Airport (MTJ). which is located about 65 miles to the north. From the Montrose airport, it is a 1.5 hour drive to the ski area.