New heli-skiing options open up Colorado’s ultimate peaks Colorado has more than 50 mountains over 14,000 feet high, and it’s home to some of the best slopes and snow conditions on earth. While resorts like Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge are undoubtedly world-class, for the most adventurous alpinist the ultimate chairlift is a helicopter.
Although widespread in places like Alaska and British Columbia, heli-skiing remains a relatively small business in Colorado. But two operations, Telluride Helitrax and Silverton Mountain, offer an airborne ascent to Colorado’s nastiest peaks.
Helitrax has been granted exclusive permission by the U.S. Forest Service to explore some 200 square miles of the San Juan Mountains around Telluride in southwestern Colorado. Clients never descend the same trail twice in a day—in fact, they often won’t even ski the same mountain twice. The outfit also provides one guide for every four skiers, offering an itinerary tailor-made for each client’s ability and terrain preferences. Packages go for $1,295 per person per day for six runs.
Silverton Mountain has established its own heli-skiing program, designed to enable visitors to explore the extensive areas of the mountain that are inaccessible by chairlift. Silverton’s heli-skiing service is the only operation in the continental U.S. to offer single rides ($179, plus lift ticket). But we recommend the six-drop package, which gives you roughly a full day of downhill adventure for less than a thousand dollars.