Telluride is one of the best places in North America to spend March. It has all of the traits that we look for when it comes to March skiing: high elevations, large amounts of north-facing terrain, and lots of steep terrain. Telluride's rocky upper slopes are always filled in enough to ski well when March hits. In addition to all of these skiing factors, the town of Telluride simply shines in the spring, as mild temps clear sidewalks of ice and skiers can easily roam between town and Mountain Village.
Skiers who want adventure can usually count on Palmyra Peak being open in March. Getting to the top of Palymra requires a 1,300 foot vertical bootpack that takes skiers from 11,800 feet to above 13,000. The skiing off the peak runs down a 2,000-foot vertical couloir that is unlike anything else in-bounds in North America.
For those not up to the big hike of the peak, Gold Hill Chutes 7, 8 and 9 offer some of the nicest shots in Colorado without quite the work required to get up Palmyra. The terrain off of skiers' right from 12 and straight off of 15 also offer good, high elevation north slopes. Perhaps best of all is the terrain off of chair 9, which tops out near 12,000 feet and faces town, directly north. The fall lines here are long and true; Chair 9 is one of the best in skiing, period, and it is the best spot for dependably cold snow in Colorado in March.
Telluride is one of the few mountains who conditions actually peak in March. February is also a superlative month here, but the added snow and high north-facing terrain help conditions hold steady and even improve during a normal March. The high steeps will keep experts more than sated—skiers can go as big as they want to at Telluride, and the ski runs leading into town offer the best ski town vistas in North America.
Skiers get a little bit of everything in March in Telluride, from upper slopes that will hold powder through the month, to slushy bumps that face east and west. Telluride requires some time to know the mountain well, but for those who put in the work, there are dozens of hideouts for powder and cold north-facing snow that holds its form all the way through March.
What matters when it comes to snow for March skiing:
Ski areas with higher elevations and more northerly latitudes can keep snow colder when thawing temperatures in March or during warming events degrade other resorts' snowpacks. Aspects have the same affect, so the snow at a ski resort with more east or south-facing slopes will suffer more quickly as the sun grows stronger into March and the later spring.
For that reason, ski resorts with more north-facing terrain will be able to shelter snow more thoroughly into and through March. The most important factors for good snow preservation in spring tend to be elevation and north aspects, so the ski resorts with the highest elevations and the highest percentage of north-facing slopes tend to be those that preserve their snow best. More explanation on this topic can be found on our snow rankings page.
Lots of east and south exposures coupled with cold temperatures at night can put ski slopes into a nasty freeze-thaw process, wherein the ski resort becomes an ice rink overnight and doesn't revert to being skiable until the sun thaws things out. If the sun doesn't come out, however, skiers can be stuck with terrible conditions for days on end.
So, quite simply, in March, look for resorts with high elevations and high percentages of north-facing terrain (~50%+).