150 years ago, the town of Telluride was just a small mining town in Colorado. It brought income into a remote area, once the home of Ute Native Americans. Butch Cassidy made his first major robbery at Telluride. The world's first power plant gave Telluride electricity before any other town in the country. In present day, Telluride has the only free gondola public transportation system of its kind. Meanwhile, Bridal Veil Falls is Colorado’s tallest free falling waterfall at 365 ft. All sorts of unique features pull people in. By the time you finish this article you will know the most memorable things to do year round in Telluride.
Telluride Ski Resort - Best Trails
World class skiing is right above the old mining town of Telluride. When you need to go between Telluride and the nearby town of Mountain Village there is a free gondola ride available, something to take advantage of.
- Beginner Slopes: Favorite’s include Galloping Goose, Ute Park, and Prospect Bowl.
- Intermediate Slopes: Look into Village, Prospect, and Palmyra. See Forever is the most beautiful trail with otherworldly views.
- Advanced: Take Lift 9 to The Plunge. Take Lift 14 to Gold Hill’s mountain terrain and timberline skiing.
- Rentals: Bootdoctors and Paragon Outdoors are family owned outfitters who will hook you up with what you need. Or reserve online at rentski’s.com, affiliated with Telluride Sports.
Mountain Trip Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing and Backcountry Skiing
Rock climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, and backcountry skiing lessons are each accessible through Mountain Trip. We all know those sports are super expensive. By hiring these guides, all technical gear is included with the guided climbing day. Guides have a clear passion for what they are doing. They have a great reputation in the local community for their programs as well as internationally (which is super cool).
Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Tours
Having already mentioned seeing Telluride by land, rafting is a great way to travel the scenic rivers near Telluride, especially if it’s spring or summertime when the water is higher. Family rafting in Durango and a rafting tour on the San Miguel River are only two. These guides offer tours for all skill levels. That, and they have a great reputation for historic jeep tours. Their website is packed with ideas for day trips so check it out!
Telluride Horseback Adventures and Sleigh Rides, Ride with Roudy
Roudy is a down to earth horseback rider who is very passionate about getting you outdoors. For 40 years he has been taking folks on horseback tours and insists it’s the best way to see the Telluride countryside. Give him 24 hours notice to secure a horse. One of his guides will take you to see views of the San Juans such as La Salles, the Uncompahgre Plateau, San Sophrias, Telluride Ski Area, and the Wilsons. Visiting in the winter? They have actual sleigh ride tours too!
Bear Creek Trail: Hiking, Biking, Snowshoeing, Backcountry Skiing
This trail will be your best bet for a way to get out into nature around Telluride. The whole time you will have views of the canyon and accompanying waterfalls. Gorgeous aspen groves flaunt autumn colors when you go in October. Be careful in the winter because snowboarders and skiers frequently come down this trail. Maybe you’ll be one of them! It’s a really friendly trail for snowshoeing, 5 miles out and back. If you’re in pretty good shape you can continue up Bear Creek Canyon on the Wasatch trail, although it will be easier in the summer to add that extension.
Hope Lake Trail: 6 Miles Out and Back, 1,200 ft Elevation Gain
The Hope Lake Trail is shaded by trees with views of alpine tundra. The reward for hiking over 1,000 feet up will be the incredible alpine lake itself, Hope Lake. After sweating like crazy and thinking the views have already been wonderful, the lake will surprise you by being even more beautiful. If you still have energy once you reach the lake we recommend hiking slightly further on the trail to see it from a different vantage point. You’ll be right in the heart of the San Juan mountains, normally off in the distance. Dogs are allowed on leash. The best time to go is from March until October.
Bridal Veil Falls Trail Hike
Bridal Veil Falls, one of the tallest free falling waterfalls in the country, is right near Telluride. From May until October go check it out (it’s closed during the off season due to avalanche danger). The trail is only 5 miles total, out and back. If you pack your day bag with the basics you’ll be set for a great outing. It’s mainly uphill with the switchbacks being less long than they seem on paper.
Just one look at the photos and we realized how enchanting this restaurant is. The stone walls with wood accents, and large windows with mountain views, make for a very enticing ambience. It would be incredible to see the sunset on Telluride while eating there. Honestly you could just book a time slot to eat desert there and it would be worth it. They currently offer limited dine-in options.
Telluride Jazz Festival, Telluride Blues and Brews Festival
Nature and music become one during the three day Telluride Jazz Festival. You’ve heard of places that do music outdoors. The mountain canyon at Telluride naturally amplifies the music. This ranks as one of the most chill, super memorable outdoor music experiences you could ever go to. Provided you like Jazz of course. And food. And dancing. There is also an annual Blues and Brews Festival. That’s pretty self-explanatory and equally as chill. What’s not to love about Blues and Brews?
With the above best-of-the-best recommendations, you’ll have plenty of things to look forward to experiencing. Now start planning that vacation!