Published: March 2009
The Next Southwest: Colorado
Moab gets a face-lift. The Grand Canyon shows off two secret falls. And the Colorado River makes room for untested paddlers. Presenting the 20 best adventures in the Four Corners, where everything old (even the ancient stuff) is new again.
Text by Kate Siber
Ski Telluride’s Latest Revelation
In 2008 the mountains above Telluride, a town of 2,267 airlifted from the Alps, kept their powder through May. This year some brilliant minds built a quad lift to the resort’s crown jewel: Revelation Bowl, heretofore one of the most sought-after backcountry runs in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado (lift tickets, $97; tellurideskiresort.com). Northeast-facing Revelation holds 800 vertical feet of wide-open turns (about the size of one of Vail’s big bowls—without the Vail-size crowds). For steep powder runs through boulders, traverse the ridges, or for rolling groomed terrain, beeline straight down the middle. In between schusses, catch glimpses of 13,000-foot peaks above and Telluride far below. Come evening, Capella Telluride makes for a suitably fluffy landing pad (doubles from $295; capellatelluride.com). The hundred-room hotel by Ritz Carlton founder Horst Schulze opened in the mountain village in February. Here, ski valets swap guests’ equipment for hot drinks, while a team of personal assistants arranges dinner reservations and private ski tours.

Next: Climb Ouray’s Towers of Ice

Climb Ouray’s Towers of Ice
Ouray has found its groove as the country’s ice climbing capital. And apparently, chicks dig it. This winter, the tiny Victorian town ensconced in steep red canyons launched the first annual Betty Ice Ball, a series of clinics for female climbers and post-climb shindigs (chickswithpicks.net). If you miss the festival, though, San Juan Mountain Guides has a ready solution: the two-day Basic Ice Climbing Course, held on weekends between December and March ($320, including gear rental; ourayclimbing.com). In the Ice Park, students learn ax and crampon techniques, energy conservation tactics (use balance, not brute strength), belaying methods, and safety procedures. By the end of day one you’ll learn to suspend more than yourself while high off the ground in a frozen blue kingdom.

Next: Discover a Trout Stream Hidden in Plain Sight

Discover a Trout Stream Hidden in Plain Sight
Colorado’s Arkansas River is home to one of the busiest sections of whitewater in the country. But after 5 p.m. each summer day, swarms of rafters vamoose for Salida’s bars, leaving the river in utter quietude—an angler’s paradise. Twenty years ago, the Arkansas was grossly contaminated with heavy metals leaching from old mines and smelting sites upstream. Major cleanup efforts, including a new water treatment system, have transformed it into a phenomenal fishery with naturally reproducing populations of brown and rainbow trout. Join Arkansas River Tours’ evening fly-fishing trips, which launch at five in the afternoon and end after sunset between April and September ($175 for two; arkansasrivertours.com). During those months, over 40 species of caddis hatch, piquing the interest of 16-inch browns.