Telluride has opened up vast swaths of terrain over the past few years, creating an off-piste skier's paradise. But, "it's still kind of under the radar as far as being a big mountain ski area with great sidecountry access," says local ski photographer Brett Schreckengost. "It's super scenic and there's a lot of fresh tracks for days and days after snowfall." Telluride isn't just about gnarly skiing though. Lifts like the Sunshine Express primarily access beginner and intermediate terrain that is removed from the resort's steeper side. If we were ranking the coolest ski towns in the country, Telluride would be a podium contender every time. But it's the varied terrain-high-angle groomers, bumps, hike-to steeps, powder fields-that make it worth the trip. That and the huge sidecountry potential inbounds and out. "I see a growing group of people that are getting into the backcountry," says Schreckengost. "It's a really good place for cutting your teeth without getting too far out of your comfort zone."