The snow sports season in southwestern Colorado does have its ups and downs. The 2017-2018 winter season offered very little snow in the San Juan Mountains because of severe draught. On the flip-side, the 2018-2019 had a record setting heavy snow pack and plenty of winter sports enthusiasts headed up into the mountains every weekend. For the most part, the rule of thumb is the deep snow pack can be usually be found above the 9,000 foot elevation up in the mountains, while the lower elevations may still be hit or miss.
For those who are thinking about stopping by Telluride when touring the San Juan Mountains, I have been to Telluride three times and in each instance there was not one single available parking space to be found anywhere close to downtown. Infrastructural planning seems to not be a high priority as far as the parking situation goes in some of the mountain tourism destinations, which is not surprising because many of these towns are actually old mining camps that are located in narrow canyons that do not have any extra real estate to spare. For this reason, the Telluride ski slopes do have access limitations.
The town of Telluride can be frustrating, but on the flip-side, there are rarely any big crowds tackling the Nordic Trails in the nearby Uncompahgre National Forest. The Nordic Trails are actually hiking trails during the summer season and some of these trails go for many miles through the mountains. Several of the famous Colorado 14'ers can be seen along these trails and the views of the bald peaks are as majestic as can be!
The winter sports destinations along Highway 145 rarely get as much attention as the hot spots along the Million Dollar Highway on the other side of the mountains. For this reason, a visitor will find more breathing room along this stretch of road. For those who yearn for doing some cross country skiing in a picturesque alpine wilderness area, the Nordic Trails in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Telluride are the perfect choice!
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