Situated in Telluride in Colorado’s rocky mountain range, the Palmyra Peak is a hotspot for ski enthusiasts who really want to experience the thrill of going down a really challenging mountain peak. At 4008 meters, it is a sight to behold despite the lack of oxygen and the frostbite causing temperature.

How to Reach?

You can fly from Denver to Telluride Regional Airport or hit the highway and enjoy the scenic beauty on the way. A train ride to the beautiful village would probably the best option as the rail line takes you through magnificent locations that you can see from the glass roof coaches.

Telluride has lots of resorts and hotels offering affordable rooms. Check-in and relax for a day before you head to the top of the Prospect Express lift. This is the gate to the mountain peak from where you have to walk for about 1.5 hours. So, you need to be equipped with everything necessary for your bootpacking journey.

A time limit has been set by ski patrol for expert skiers to reach the gates of the lift by 1 PM. Make sure that you get yourself prepared for the effects of the altitude if you have not been at such a height.

Tackling the Palmyra Peak Bootpack Challenge

The treacherous off-piste walk might not be the most extreme thing to do but is surely a tough one compared to the other summits in the Colorado Mountains. You have to start walking from the Prospect Express gate located at 3600m towards the summit. The peak is located at 4008 meters, which might not seem like a high ascent, but feels steep and is tiresome if you are not familiar to bootpacking.

The double diamond run would particularly be a daunting challenge, but being confident and having the nerve is the key to safe bootpacking without any cliff drops.

It is also a great idea to remember the most challenging parts of the trail so you can be prepared when you ski down the peak.

Taking the Mount Quail Route

Mount Quail is another route for reaching the Palmyra Peak which would also you around 1-2 hours. It would take you about 20-30 minutes to reach Mount Quail from where you can begin ascending towards the peak.

The terrain is full of gravel covered with thin snow most of the year which can be difficult to walk on. It is best that you get a hiking stick and a reliable pair of boots. Upon reaching the gradient, you must be careful as it doesn’t look too steep but might turn out to be extremely dangerous if you slip.  

You will encounter a couple of rocky sections near the top. Stay balanced and maintain a slow pace so you and those backpacking with you are safe. It would take you another 50 minutes to 1 hour at max before you reach the summit.

View from Above

The view is magnificent, with other mountains just below you. The descent route might not look steep, but the entrance to the chute is narrow. You have the rocky sides and the cliffs which will add more thrill to the skiing experience. However, there is very thin chance for escaping any error.

Skiing Down the Summit

As soon as you slide into the chute, make sure that the snow is providing ample grip. Half way down, you would reach a gully that has fresher snow. After you leave the gully, the mountain opens into a bowl that has the best snow.

The experience would give you a great thrill besides the beautiful moments where you can appreciate the beauty of the place. The US and Canadian resorts in Telluride also offer great views while the nerve wrecking and exhausting hike from the lifts is worth the fun you get when skiing down the peak.