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The Peak of Perfection

February 3, 2014

Day two of my weekend in Telluride began the way most wonderful vacation days should start… by waking up to a great view:

This was the view from my bed at The Peaks.  Pretty phenomenal.

This was the view from my bed at The Peaks. Pretty phenomenal.

And then heading to a fabulous brunch.  Our hotel, The Peaks, was located on the Mountain Village side of Telluride.  This area is up and over the ski mountain from Telluride proper, and appears to be where the newer luxury hotels and uber-ridiculous homes have been built.  To add convenience to luxury, all you have to do is hop on the free gondola to get down to the adorable town of Telluride.  In my opinion, riding a gondola to brunch is highly superior to driving.

Telluride gondola views

After taking in the gorgeous views on our ride down, we arrived in the equally-picturesque town.

Telluride

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I absolutely love Telluride.  Its quaint downtown feels authentically old-west (well, modernized swanky old-west), and it sits in a narrow valley surrounded by jagged peaks.  To me, it looks like the quintessential Colorado ski town.  After wandering around a bit, we headed to There, a funky bar and small plates restaurant that we’d heard served a great brunch.  It did not disappoint.

There brunch Telluride

My House Rancheros was one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve had in ages, and Stan was similarly impressed by his Lamb Chorizo and Eggs.

There brunch Telluride

The flavors in these two dishes were bold and delicious.  And unable to resist finishing with something sweet, Stan ordered Trailer Toast, their French toast made from Wonder Bread.

There brunch Telluride

Simply good food with a fun presentation and tongue-in-cheek name?  Worked for us!

After brunch, we rode the gondola back to the hotel and I immediately got ready to take a hike.  It was a warm-ish, sunny winter day and I couldn’t wait to spend some time outside.  Add that to the fact that a friend had told me his favorite running trail in the world originated just above our hotel, and my plan was made.

Ridge Trail

I’m not one for running uphill in the snow, but I found the Ridge Trail just as lovely for hiking as I hear it is for running.  Starting around 10,000 feet, you’d have to have some serious lung power to speed up this trail!

Ridge trail telluride

Following a fresh snowfall, you would probably want snowshoes on this trail.  But on this particular day it was packed down nicely and I was just fine clomping along in my Sorels.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the bare aspens looked incredible against the vibrant blue backdrop.

Ridge Trail Telluride

Ridge trail telluride

The Ridge trail clings to the edge of a mountain, just outside the ski area boundaries.  It provides lovely views off one side toward Telluride and the peaks surrounding town.

Telluride from Ridge trail

And off the other side toward the ski area and Wilson Peak in the distance.

Wilson Peak from Ridge Trail

It was easy for me to understand why this is my friend’s favorite trail.

Ridge Trail

At one point, the trail intersects a small open meadow.  If you hike this trail when there is a lot of snow on the ground, do me a favor and do not take the road less travelled.  That snow is seriously deep, and I ended up post-holing through past my knees a few times.  At least it was pretty.

Ridge Trail Telluride

Ridge Trail Telluride

Is that mountain starting to look familiar to anyone?

Wilson Peak from Ridge Trail

How about now?

picstitch

That’s right, it was the inspiration for the Coors Light logo.  Anyway… Shortly after I passed through the meadow, I approached the summit of the trail.  The views through the aspen trees opened up once again.

Ridge Trail Telluride

About 45 minutes up, I reached the top of the ridge, which is also the top of the free gondola.  I ventured a little past the summit to an overlook with great views of Telluride.

Almost there…

Ridge Trail

Getting closer…Ridge Trail

Bam!

Telluride from above

There was a bench and an informational sign that educated me a little bit on Telluride.  However, the views were so outstanding that I honestly don’t remember what I read.  At that point, I ambled up to the gondola station to hitch a ride down.  It would have been a lovely walk down, but I had places to be (the hot tub).  Before heading down, a couple was nice enough to take a picture of me.

Telluride

Apparently I’d somehow hit one of the filters on my iPhone before handing it off, so unfortunately this photo will forever be sepia toned.  Oh well!

After a lovely ride down, I made a beeline for the hotel’s fantastic spa for a little R&R and sunbathing in the hot tub.  I owe you a more complete review of The Peaks, but for now I’ll leave you with this:

The Peaks Hot Tub

Ahhhhh…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. paigehelene permalink
    February 3, 2014 5:49 pm

    my fav!! i hope to live down there some day :). Looks like you had an amazing time!

    • February 7, 2014 10:14 am

      I’d love to live there too – I just don’t know if I’d like how remote it is. Definitely one of my favorite weekend getaway spots!

Trackbacks

  1. Luxury Lodging in Telluride | Peaks and Passports
  2. A Day in Ouray | Peaks and Passports

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