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Guided Backcountry Skiing in Telluride

The San Juan Mountains are a mecca for backcountry skiing. The terrain is insanely beautiful, the payoff is rewarding, and the views are endless. Telluride Helitrax provides guided backcountry skiing for those looking to experience solitude in the mountains but want an experienced guide to lead the way.

Our guides know the backcountry surrounding Telluride better than the back of their hand. They live and breathe backcountry skiing and the always changing San Juan snowpack. They are up to date on conditions and know the best kept, secret stashes in the area. They take into consideration many factors for your perfect day in the backcountry and lead you through terrain that is appropriate for your skill level.

A Typical Day

A typical guided ski tour with us goes a little something like this:

  • Meet at the Helitrax office at 8:30 AM to go through our avalanche orientation and get you set up with any safety gear you may need (namely transceiver/beacon, shovel, and probe). Note that guests will need to have all their own ski equipment for our guided backcountry tours (boots, skins, skis/snowboard with uphill touring capabilities, ski poles, backpack, etc.).
  • When everyone has their gear dialed, you will head to the trailhead with your guide via a Helitrax van or your own transportation, based on your preference.
  • Uphill vertical is mostly dependent on what your physical capabilities and goals are for the day. We are ready to rock and roll but are happy to slow it down and enjoy the view. We are here to cater to what feels best to you.
  • We are always prepared for multiple laps (tour up, ski down, repeat) but the day’s outcome is a bit up to you and when it feels appropriate to head for après.

What to Expect

Leading up to your day in the backcountry, our team will communicate with you about your objectives, ski abilities, uphill capacity, and more. We want you to have the perfect day, whether it be powder-filled tree skiing or picnics in the alpine. We provide a lot of fun and professionalism and require you to bring your own water, snacks, and lunch. Having a good attitude and being in good physical shape will help. San Juan skin tracks are known to push limits.

Most of our ski tours will be around three to four hours but we are happy to adjust based on how much or little ground you are looking to cover that day. Some days it’s all about milking the powder cow, other days it’s about taking in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and working on your goggle tan. Most of our backcountry terrain is within 30 minutes of Telluride so you are always close to your home base.

Ready to Book

We are here to help form your perfect backcountry adventure. You can learn more about our guided backcountry ski tours here. When you are ready to get in touch about dates, visit our inquire page so we can make sure your preferred date(s) is available. We look forward to exploring Telluride’s backcountry with you this winter!


To get the most out of your day in the elements, we highly suggest a robust wardrobe that fits in your pack or on your body. Here are our recommendations:

  • Base layer top and bottom (no cotton)
  • Ski socks that don’t bunch or cause “hot spots”
  • Mid-layer top, could be a fleece, light puffy or wind shell
  • Wind and weatherproof ski pants and jacket
  • Warm puffy jacket
  • Light or fleece gloves for the uphill; Regular ski gloves for the downhill (hand warmers if your hands easily get cold)
  • Neck buff for the deep pow
  • Sunglasses and goggles
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Hat to protect your beauty from the sun; Winter hat for cold days; Helmet for the way down
  • Skis with uphill-capable bindings
  • Ski touring boots that go uphill (and down)
  • Skins
  • Ski poles
  • Backpack to fit all your gear
  • Avalanche safety equipment: transceiver, shovel, and probe (we have extra if you need)
  • Water bottle, snacks, and lunch (we’ll burn some serious calories on the uphill, so pack more than you think!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never ski toured before, is this trip appropriate for me?
A: Yes, we can transform this trip option into an intro to backcountry ski touring. We can accommodate never-evers or seasoned veterans of the sport.

Q: I don’t have my own ski touring equipment but want to give this a try. Where can I rent gear?
A: Rentable gear is available in Telluride at Jagged Edge Mountain Gear (