Telluride's Altitude and Geography
Anyone planning their first visit to Telluride might wonder how the elevation might affect them. Telluride's elevation and geography are two main features that make the town as special as it is, but they need to be respected. Fortunately, there are a number of straightforward ways to deal with altitude and minimize its effects. Today we'll take a closer look at how to prepare for altitude and adjust to the high elevation of Telluride. We'll also review the basic geography and topography of the area and what you can expect to see and experience during your visit.
The exact altitude in the town of Telluride measures 8,750 feet with the surrounding mountains reaching as high as 12,000 to 14,000 feet.
The first step to adjust to the altitude occurs before you arrive in town. Start preparing before you leave home. Begin doubling your water intake three or so days before you head out to Telluride. It's also a good idea to take some extra vitamin C in the days leading up to your trip because any illness will be exacerbated by the elevation.
The best way to adjust is to take it easy on your first day, move around a bit, avoid alcohol, and get a good night's rest. Your hotel or condo should have a humidifier available. Put yours next to your bed to help you stay hydrated as you sleep.
Altitude sickness can be a tricky thing. It's really not clear why it affects some visitors while others feel no ill effects at all. The best way to avoid getting sick is to listen to your body. Don't overdo it your first day or two. Allowing your body the time it needs to adjust can make a significant difference. If you do feel sick, drink some ginger ale (flat is best) and visit one of the local oxygen bars. There are cans of oxygen also available around town, so it's a great idea to pick up a few when you get to town.
If you're feeling the effects of the altitude, a visit to a local oxygen bar can help. There's no reason to suffer when help is available! Check out these two great options and you'll be feeling better in no time!
Telluride is a year-round destination but does have two shoulder seasons that are quieter. If you're interested in visiting this beautiful town but aren't much of a skier, consider coming in another month. Winter isn't the only amazing season that Telluride experiences!
Obviously, this is peak time for this mountain town. You can expect cold temps and a lot of sun. Be sure to pack your sunscreen! Activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing require a lot of layers as you will heat up. Downhill skiers should bring their usual gear plus a few lens options for their goggles. Low light can ruin your day on the mountain if you don't have the right eyewear.
Town is hopping, and the restaurants are full. Be sure to pack a few upscale outfits if you plan on hitting the town at night. The fashion game can be pretty fierce!
Known as mud season, this can be a tricky time of year for a visit. Once the ski mountain shuts down, a lot of people, including workers, head to Mexico to relax after a hectic season. Fewer spots are open and there's not a lot to do. It's the perfect time of year to visit if you want to recharge away from your hectic lifestyle.
During this season you might experience all four seasons! There's going to be a lot of rain and wind, but you might also experience some sun and snow too.
After the winter season, this is many people's favorite time to visit. The weather is gorgeous, there are a lot of people in town, and Telluride wildflowers are in bloom! Be sure to make your reservations early, and be aware of the many festivals that are scheduled during this time. Interested in hitting Blues and Brews? You'll have to make reservations well in advance.
Pack lots of sunscreen and layers. Evenings and early mornings are a bit chilly, while the heat of the noonday sun can be quite intense. Be sure to stay hydrated too!
Calling all leaf peepers! If you want to experience the majesty of the San Juan mountains in the fall, you won't be disappointed. Another favorite time of year, and one that lets you avoid the crowds. The weather can be unpredictable but is generally fair. Colorado is known for its beautiful Septembers, which often feel like an extension of summer. You'll definitely need layers, and might also experience some wild weather.
As nice as September usually is, weather patterns tend to shift shortly thereafter. October often sees the start of snow, so if you want to get your hike on, the earlier you come in autumn, the better. Pack a few light jackets and sweaters and you'll be good to go. Spring and fall are often the time of year when you'll enjoy that favorite mountain experience of all four seasons in one day!
Telluride is located in the San Juan mountain range of the Rockies. This range spans from Canada down to Mexico and is often considered one of the most beautiful in the world. If you plan to drive into town from one of the regional airports, you can expect many twisty mountain roads, few guardrails, and breathtaking scenery. Anyone who's not experienced or comfortable with mountain driving will benefit from flying directly to the Telluride airport (TEX is the abbreviation).
If you look at the square state of Colorado, Telluride is located in the central West quadrant. It's located on the Western Slope and is pretty far from Denver.
The honor of the highest peak in the area goes to Telluride Peak, which rises above the town to a lofty 13,509 feet. This area is also home to a high concentration of 14ers. In addition to providing visitors with stunning landscapes, they're also great destinations for recreation. Hiking in these mountain ranges is something you'll never forget.
Preparing for your upcoming visit to Telluride should include increasing your water intake and carefully reviewing your packing list. Be sure to bring a wide variety of layers with you, no matter the time of year you visit. The weather can change quite quickly and it's important to be prepared.
If you're having any issues with altitude, or you just want to find the best powder stash, there are plenty of people around to help. Don't be shy about asking for assistance, everyone wants your visit to Telluride to be spectacular!