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Backcountry Skiing in Telluride

Telluride | Colorado
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go backcountry skiing in Telluride

  • Trip Highlight

    Overcome some of the highest plateaus and peaks in North America

  • Trip Highlight

    300 days of annual sunshine guarantee amazing ski conditions year-round

  • Trip Highlight

    Over 2,000 acres of skiable descents for thrillseekers of all ability levels

The San Juan Mountains have always been synonymous with riches. As a highly mineralized area, they played a large role in the early Colorado gold rush, and its many worn-out mines still remain, like monuments to a long-gone era. However, modern-day travelers make their way to Telluride, a city located on the western flank of the San Juan Mountains, seeking a different kind of treasure—San Juan’s unparalleled backcountry skiing opportunities! The range’s high altitudes and cold temperatures make gold-standard powder available no matter the season. Furthermore, areas such as Telluride flourish with endless skiing variety, from steep, aesthetic couloirs and low-angle powder-filled glades to beautiful high alpine bowls. Remember the last time you just barely missed the jackpot? Don’t make the same mistake again—head to Telluride for some truly priceless backcountry skiing! Learn more about backcountry skiing in the San Juan Mountains from Ebony Roberts, outdoor enthusiast and adventurer.


December through May

Nearest city

Montrose, CO, is 1,5 hour away from Telluride


1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced


Book this adventure

A Customized Day of Private Guided Backcountry Skiing


Enjoy a full day of conquering Telluride’s backcountry with this fully customized guided tour. Whatever your skill level may be, your guides will craft the ideal day of backcountry ski touring for you. And when you hit the slopes, your guides will also provide you with the instruction and guidance you need to properly navigate avalanche terrain or to muster the confidence to drop into Telluride’s steep lines and beautiful couloirs beneath towering peaks!


Reviews (3)

Amazing Backcountry Skiing Trip
Elijah S. about Mountain Trip on TripAdvisor

I had an amazing backcountry skiing trip with my guide Fischer. He was super nice and taught me a lot about avalanche safety, using skins, and living in telluride. He and everyone at Mountain Trip communicated with me a lot and helped me to prepare for our trip. Renting gear was no problem and they even lent me extra stuff that wasn’t up for rent. Overall super friendly and super helpful. The trip was amazing and I recommend it to anyone that loves skiing and wants to learn about and experience the backcountry!

Backcountry Skiing - beautiful scenery, great guides
Drew N. about Mountain Trip on TripAdvisor

Guides Kaylee and Nicole took my family on a great day trip of backcountry skiing. Our group had some inexperienced backcountry skiers, some quite experienced, and some in the middle. Kaylee and Nicole did a great job at making sure all levels were taken care of and had a safe and great time. The scenery was beautiful of course as well. We would definitely use Mountain Trip again!

Backcountry skiing with my Daughter
Doug6208 about Mountain Trip on TripAdvisor

This is actually the second trip we have done with Mountain Trip. Todd set us up with a great guide to take us ice climbing in the hidden treasure of bear creek. We wanted more, so a call to Todd got us another excellent guide, Eric Larson who took us out on our first backcountry tour together. An amazing day from trout lake to Ophir. Eric was confident in his ability, prompt, and knowledgeable. Highly recommend mountain trip for those looking to have amazing life experiences with the confidence of well-seasoned guides with very impressive resumes.

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Telluride, Colorado

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Telluride, Colorado, please refer to the Official Colorado COVID-19 Update Website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring
    • Avalanche safety equipment, including a beacon, shovel, and probe

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Accommodation
    • Food and snacks

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Telluride, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with challenging blue or black level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
    • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (provided by the guide):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Light base layer top (wool or Capilene)
    • Light fleece hoody
    • Softshell wind jacket
    • Ski shell
    • Puffy skiing jacket
    • Base layer bottoms (wool or Capilene)
    • Ski pant
    • Heavyweight gloves
    • Medium weight gloves
    • Lightweight gloves
    • Buff neck gaiter
    • Sun hat
    • Hand warmers
    • Ski goggles
    • Sunglasses
    • Lip balm
    • Water bottles (2 liters)
    • Sunscreen
    • Snacks and lunch food
    • Urination device – women

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from your guide

Ski rental location is in Telluride and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.

Ski touring in Telluride can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Telluride, most people fly into Denver International Airport. From there, you can take a three-hour local flight to Telluride, which is the fastest and cheapest option. You can also fly to Montrose and take a 1,5-hour shuttle ride to Telluride, or rent a car in Denver and take a nearly 7-hour long drive.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide’s office in Telluride or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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