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.
Amenities & Services
- San Juan National Forest Service Office
- Dolores District
- Colorado Welcome Center