Sledding in Telluride is not the most popular sport, but it may very well be the most affordable. Yes, Telluride is a mountain town with one of the best ski resorts in the country. However, among the best ski runs in the US, you’ll also find a nice hill for simply sledding.
While you don’t need the scoop on how to sled, what you do need is the place to shop if you are new to town. There are a few stores in Telluride. Consider checking out Jagged Edge, Gravity Works, and Boot Doctors. These are all local companies in Telluride who may sell sleds, and will sell winter gear for playing out in the snow. You can also find sleds at the Ace Hardware Store in town, also local.
Dress for the weather in Telluride. This means layers. Start with a base layer. Then, add waterproof outerwear. Avoid goose down for sledding, as down takes on water and holds it. The best insulation for sledding is synthetic material like prima-loft insulation. Gloves, hats, wool socks, and eyewear are recommended. Hand and foot warmers can also make the sledding experience last a bit longer, and maybe even more fun. It’s hard to relax and enjoy the moment when you’re freezing.
If taking young children and babies out, consider monitoring their extremities from time to time. Remember that young ones cannot tell you when they’ve gotten too cold.
Bear in mind that sleds are not what they used to be. You’ll not find as many of the antique wooden sleds with metal edging. However, you will see many newer, faster, and easier to lug around sleds, made of plastics and foam materials.
The other important things to know are where to go. In the town of Telluride, check out the Town Park. You’re looking for what the locals call “Firecracker Hill.” Here, at the east end, toward the back, you will find a nice sledding spot. You will likely see families with tubes, sleds, or even pieces of cardboard taking turns sliding down the hill. This is easily accessed from the free bus service loop by exiting the Town Park stop.
Remember that you cannot sled down any of the actual ski slopes. This is not permitted, and could also be dangerous. Sledding spots must be on terrain other than managed by Telluride Ski and Golf Company.
Other great spots can be found down valley. Check the Fall Creek Road area. You’ll find quiet, woods, and wildlife. Or, try the Lizard Head pass area, which is up Highway 145. Here, the views will take your breath away.
When the sledding fun is over, you’ve got options for where to go to warm up. Just because you didn’t ski or snowboard doesn’t mean you can’t go to après and enjoy yourself. Many local hotels and restaurants, in both Telluride and Mountain Village, offer specials on drinks, small plates, and appetizers. You’ll also find great hot chocolate, chai, and coffees at The Steaming Bean, Between the Covers, and also T-Love. Check the Telluride Daily Planet for apres sled advertisements and announcements.