Ski Mesa Verde Country:
Basecamp to Adventure

Our archaeological sites are strikingly beautiful with a dusting of snow. Some are even accessible by cross-country ski trails, making for some of the most unusual and unforgettable ski experiences in Colorado. Your cross-country options include skiing above Ancestral Puebloan sites or into spectacular, remote mountain country. Trails range from well-maintained double tracks to trail-breaking opportunities into the high country. And best of all, the trails are free!

World-class downhill skiing is just 1 1/2 hours away at Telluride Ski Resort. Telluride boasts 12 lifts delivering skiers to more than 1,050 skiable acres. The trails are uncrowded and range from steep, challenging pitches to mellow groomers. Telluride also features a snowboard park created for intermediate and advanced snowboarders.

About the same distance from Mesa Verde Country you'll find Purgatory Mountain Resort. Purg, as the locals call it, has a friendly, no-showboating vibe. It's definitely a local's mountain, but offers warm welcomes to all of its guests. The mountains has a wide array of intermediate and beginner terrain for beginners or those who just love to cruise over the corduroy. A large slow-skiing/beginner area attracts many families.

Close to home (about 35 minutes from Cortez) you'll find a hill that embodies the spirit of skiing without the frills and high price tags of mega resorts. Hesperus Ski Area is ideal for first-time skiers and snowboarders or anyone looking to slide downhill for just a few hours. Plus, Hesperus offers night skiing. If you haven't experienced the thrill of skiing under a full moon and starlight, then this is your opportunity. The ski area is small with a few fixed-grip lifts. A tubbing hill lies adjacent to the slopes for added family fun.

Mesa Verde Country offers affordable lodging alternatives in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos. Plus, Mesa Verde Country offers a wealth of activities for those who don’t ski, or simply need to take a break from skiing. Many of our red rock canyons provide excellent places to hike or bike even in winter, and our cultural attractions are open year round.

Know Before You Go

  • Be aware of hazards: avalanches, storms, hypothermia
  • Dress warmly and carry energy foods
  • Use established sanitation facilities where possible
  • Relieve oneself well away from established trails
  • Avoid disturbing wildlife
  • Pack out trash
  • Leave dogs at home, particularly when using maintained trails.

Main Attractions

  • Telluride Ski Resort

Amenities & Services

  • San Juan National Forest Service Office
  • Dolores District
  • Colorado Welcome Center

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Biking From single tracks that wind past cliff dwellings to beautiful climbs in the San Juans, to mountain biking in Phil's World, Mesa Verde Country offers some of the most unique rides in the Southwest. Explore More
Hiking Mesa Verde Country has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Colorado, from beautiful red-rock canyons, to the cool San Juan National Forest, and spectacular 14,000 foot peaks. Explore More
Fishing From small mountain streams to McPhee Lake, the second largest in Colorado, Mesa Verde Country is one of the premiere fishing areas in Colorado. Explore More
Western Adventures Whether you're looking for a once in a lifetime experience working on a real cattle ranch, a horseback ride or a pack trip into our incredible backcountry, Mesa Verde Country is the place! Explore More
Birding With its diverse landscapes and mild climate, Mesa Verde Country attracts a wide spectrum of migratory and resident birds. Spring migration and early nesters attract birdwatchers from far and wide. Explore More
Wildflowers Mesa Verde Country is home to over 2,000 species of plants that range from dwarf alpine flowers, to fields of mountain sunflowers, to carpets of high desert peas. Explore More
Golfing Conquistador Golf Course, a USGA sanctioned, par 72, 18 hole public course. The course sits at 6,200 feet, with views of Mesa Verde, the La Plata Mountains, and the Sleeping Ute Mountain. Explore More
Hunting Big game hunting in Mesa Verde Country is legendary. According to American Hunter, the best bet for mule deer is in Montezuma County, which makes up a large part of Mesa Verde Country Explore More
Snowmobiling Hundreds of miles of Forest Service trails, bowls, and meadows await the snowmobiler in Mesa Verde Country. All trails follow the standards for signage and are marked with orange diamonds. Explore More