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A run at Wolf Creek Ski Area in Colorado

3 STELLAR SKI SPOTS NEAR DURANGO WHERE YOU CAN SKIP THE CROWDS THIS WINTER

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If you were stuck in eternal lift lines at Purgatory the past few seasons, you can probably blame COVID. Durango’s hometown ski resort saw unprecedented year-over-year growth in 2020 and 2021 – likely due to the pandemic shutting down other activities and freeing up time in people’s schedules.

In 2022, venture a bit farther from home to skip the lines and try out new territory. Here are three resorts worth a visit this winter.

Telluride Ski Resort

A quintessential mountain town, Telluride boasts second-to-none scenery and one of the longest ski runs in North America — the 4.6-mile-long Galloping Goose. Enjoy 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountains while exploring 2,000-plus skiable (and snowboardable) acres, 148 trails, and 19 lifts, plus two high-speed gondolas.

With steep lift ticket prices and even steeper runs, Telluride is best for experienced snow athletes. But it does, of course, offer greens and blues for those just getting their ski legs. Experts will enjoy some of the “most challenging terrain found anywhere in the world,” per the resort’s website, including expansive hike-to chutes and bowls and multiple terrain parks.

Lift tickets: $195 a day, $2,475 for the season

Closing day: April 3

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Compared to other resorts, Wolf Creek keeps things minimal — except when it comes to snowfall. Known for deep powder, Wolf Creek recently reported 89 inches of new snow with a total of 124 inches at the summit and 110 inches at the midway.

You won’t find much in terms of onsite lodging or swanky bars and eateries, but lift tickets are cheap and lines tend to move quickly here. Plus, visitors can spread out among the resort’s 1,600 skiable acres, 10 lifts, and backcountry hikes to cliffs and cornices.

Lift tickets: $82 a day, $1,208 for the season

Closing day: April 11

Silverton Mountain

Daredevils who really want to get away from it all go to Silverton. With just one chairlift and not a groomer in sight, Silverton is for advanced skiers and boarders only. Opt to explore on your own or follow the lead of a world-class guide as you traverse some of the best-kept and least-touched secret stashes in Colorado.

Splurge on a single-drop or six-run heli-ski experience for a day you’ll never forget. Or earn your turns by “hiking along a ridge to access up to 1,819 acres of snow fields,” per SilvertonMountain.com.

Lift tickets: $99 unguided, $219 guided

Closing day: April 17

Read more about adventures and activities close to home on the Rocket Pointe blog.

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