Skiing in the West

Our favorite places to go skiing, from Tahoe to Telluride--plus some secret tips to take with you to the slopes

Snowplay in Durango, Colorado

Enjoy sunshine and skiing in Colorado's San Juans

  • The 15-room Rochester Hotel (from $119, including breakfast;, built in 1892, has the best hotel breakfast in town. 

    Rochester Hotel

    Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith

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Make it a weekend 

You can easily spend a couple of days exploring Durango.

The 15-room Rochester Hotel (from $119, including breakfast;, built in 1892, has the best hotel breakfast in town (with a menu that changes daily), tea and cookies every afternoon, and cruiser bikes for guests―useful on snow-free winter days.

Take a hike

Rent snowshoes at Pine Needle Mountaineering (half-day $10, full day $15; 835 Main Ave.; 970/ 247-8728), then drive 30 minutes north to Coal Bank Pass, where a moderate trail through the woods leads you to 360° views from the meadows of Engineer Mountain.

Stop for hot chocolate

Jean-Pierre Le Cafe Chic, at the corner of Main and College, pours the best hot chocolate in Durango, with windows looking out onto the bustle of downtown.

After turning out more than 5 million baguettes and croissants, the baker has the recipes perfected. $; 601 Main Ave.; 970/385-0122.

Let the dogs do the work

Check out the snowy mountainscape from a new vantage point: the helm of a dogsled.

The guides at Durango Dog Ranch will help you handle the reins of Alaskan and Siberian huskies as they race through white evergreen forests. $300 for half-day trip for two, including guide and instruction;

Take a cooking class

Lauren Slaff gives farm-to-table entertaining classes in her professionally equipped home kitchen. Slaff helps students whip up inventive but easy dishes using fresh local ingredients. She also teaches artful presentation and cooking techniques. BYO wine to pair with the fruit of your labors. Classes from $50; reservations required;

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