Things To Do In Telluride, Colorado
Nestled among the San Juan Mountains, Telluride offers a scenic mountain town setting with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy throughout the year. Telluride combines rugged natural beauty with a vibrant arts scene and an exciting history as a Victorian mining town. The Historic District, known as a National Historic Landmark, is filled with well-preserved architecture dating back to the town’s Victorian-era roots.
Visitors can stroll along Main Street, a quaint street lined with art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants. This combination offers a memorable dining and shopping experience. The town’s mountain location also provides many opportunities to explore the outdoors. The following are the top things to do in Telluride in any season.
From hikes to trampolines, Telluride offers many outdoor activities for all ages. Families can get up close to nature via hiking trails, or take in stunning bird’s-eye views of the area from gondolas. Telluride also has thrilling outdoor adventures for kids and adults to enjoy. These are some of the best Telluride family activities for those who want fresh air and fun during vacation.
Families can see Telluride and the surrounding area from way up above with the town’s free gondola rides. These rides are available for most of the year, although seasonal hours vary. The gondolas run seven days a week from the Telluride station on Oak Street. These 13-minute rides go back and forth to Mountain Village, while taking passengers up to 10,500 feet in the air. With a leisurely travel speed of 11 mph, families have plenty of time to admire panoramic views of the whole area, including valleys and mountains.
Telluride has a wide range of hiking trails available, including some that are perfect for families with younger children. These family-friendly trails are shorter overall and offer easier terrain to hike on compared to more challenging trails. While hiking these trails, families can watch for glimpses of local birds and other wildlife and take stunning photos of waterfalls and other scenic areas. Some of the best hiking trails for families include Bear Creek Trail, Town Park Loop, Cornet Creek, and the River Trail.
Telluride Adventure Center is packed with activities and programs for families to enjoy. Located in Mountain Village, the center offers ropes courses, bungee trampolines, zip lines, a mining sluice, and other activities. Families can easily find activities that are suitable for kids in different age groups at Telluride Adventure Center. The center also offers guided adventures, summer camps, and other activities.
Winter is a festive time to visit this mountain town. Telluride winter events include the Telluride Holiday Arts Bazaar and Fire Festival, which both take place in December. Winter also offers a great time for visitors to hit the slopes and trails for tons of fun in the snow.
World-class Telluride Ski Resort offers the ideal place for skiing and snowboarding. The resort gets abundant snowfall each season, so visitors can count on being able to enjoy these activities from late November through early April. Taking ski lifts up the slopes provides a good way to appreciate the area’s beautiful mountain vistas. Telluride Ski Resort has 148 trails covering over 2,000 acres. This includes diverse terrain for skiers of all levels, from beginners to experts. Family-friendly slopes include Prospect Bowl, Sunshine, Enchanted Forest, and The Meadows. Snowboarding is also available for all skill levels.
Downhill skiing and snowboarding aren’t for everyone. For those who want a slower-paced winter adventure, Telluride offers scenic trails and groomed tracks for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A few of the areas that offer cross-country skiing include Telluride Town Park, Trout Lake, and the Valley Floor. Other areas provide great spots for snowshoeing, including TopATen, which provides guided nature snowshoe tours. Snowshoeing areas range from leisurely strolls through the snow to uphill treks.
For visitors who want a daring adventure, winter activities in Telluride include ice climbing. Thrill-seekers have a chance to climb the ice in challenging areas, such as frozen waterfalls and cliffs. Telluride offers some of the most difficult terrain to climb, including frozen Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free-falling waterfall in the state. Guided ice climbing is available for those who want to benefit from their guide’s expertise. Visitors should check local ice conditions and follow all safety rules.
Spring’s mild weather and wildflowers make it a great time to head to Telluride for vacation. Things to do in Telluride in March include the Telluride Theatre Original Show, SpringSing Concert, and KOTO Spring Street Dance. In May, visitors can attend the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, Mountainfilm Festival, and Valley Floor Day. Heading to the trails and roads in the area offers good ways to explore the San Juan Mountains in spring.
Taking long hikes in Telluride during springtime gives visitors a chance to admire the area’s floral beauty. Hiking trails throughout the area provide stunning displays of vividly colored wildflowers. Bear Creek Falls offers an easy hike that includes picturesque views of waterfalls. Bridal Veil Falls offers even more impressive waterfall views. The Blue Lake trail is an ideal place to hike for stunning views of fields filled with wildflowers, as well as the scenic alpine lake. Overall, Telluride has many hiking trails of varying difficulty levels that visitors can explore during spring.
When the hiking trails are muddy, visitors can enjoy the area’s wildflowers and other scenic spring sites from inside a vehicle. For those who don’t want to drive along the roads, spring activities in Telluride include guided Jeep tours. These tours give springtime visitors an opportunity to sit back and take in the surrounding views while staying warm and dry. Half-day and full-day guided Jeep tours are available in Telluride. Some tour companies also offer custom off-road adventures for a more thrilling ride.
Summer in Telluride offers warm temperatures and many opportunities to enjoy the water and trails throughout the area. This time of year is also known for being a busy time with festivals and events in and around Telluride. The following are a few of the best summer activities in Telluride.
Multiple events take place in Telluride during the summer months. Things to do in Telluride in June include the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Balloon Festival, Summer Arts Bazaar, and MusicFest 2023. July events include a 4th of July celebration, Telluride Fine Art Festival, and Alpine Cookout. August activities include the KOTO Duck Race, Telluride Mountain Run, and Telluride Jazz Festival. The music festivals in Telluride bring in world-class musicians and music enthusiasts from all over the globe.
For those who want to do something a bit more fast-paced or challenging than swimming or fishing, Telluride offers whitewater rafting. Some areas provide a calmer place for beginners to get used to the rapids. Other areas are much more challenging, which gives experts a chance to put their whitewater rafting skills to the test. The San Miguel River offers thrilling adventures for advanced or expert rafting enthusiasts in Telluride. The Lower San Miguel is ideal for families or beginners and intermediate rafters. The Upper San Miguel is the perfect spot for more experienced rafters.
The summer months provide good weather for hitting the trails on a mountain bike and exploring the area. While some mountain biking trails might have summer crowds, others are more secluded for a quieter biking experience. Mountain bikers can set out from town to enjoy the rugged beauty of the San Juan Mountains. Some trails have difficult terrain with rewarding views of old mining roads and box canyons. Telluride also has more moderate trails that run for longer lengths along old railroad tracks. The San Juan Skyway offers another suitable place for mountain biking.
Fall in Telluride offers a chance to see trees in all of their autumn splendor. Cooler temperatures and fewer crowds make this a pleasant time to take a vacation in this mountain town. Several events and activities take place during the fall months. September events include the Telluride Autumn Classic car show and the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. Things to do in Telluride in October include the Original Thinkers Festival and the KOTO Halloween Bash.
The San Juan Mountains display spectacular fall foliage, including bright golds and yellows. Driving around the area gives visitors an opportunity to see groves of aspens and other local trees showing their autumn colors. Visitors can drive along the San Juan Skyway to see and take photos of Telluride’s fall foliage. Guided 4x4 tours are also available for those who want to ride through tree-lined trails throughout the mountains.
The Telluride Film Festival takes place at the beginning of September. This prestigious event gives audiences a chance to see a curated selection of films prior to their wider release. This annual Labor Day event brings film enthusiasts, filmmakers, and celebrities to this mountain town. Visitors who attend the festival can see groundbreaking films and learn more about the filmmaking process in general. The festival also includes a Labor Day picnic, opening night events, and much more.
Why is photography among the top things to do in Telluride in fall? Colorful fall foliage and rugged surroundings make this a great area to take tons of photos. Visitors with advanced photography skills can capture breathtaking images of Telluride and the San Juan Mountains. Visitors who just want some memorable photos during a fall vacation can also count on being able to take stunning shots of the area in all its seasonal glory.
Telluride is the ideal destination for a wide range of visitors. History buffs can shop for antiques and appreciate the Historic District, while art lovers can wander through the town’s art galleries and attend art festivals. Outdoor enthusiasts have many activities to do in Telluride, from swimming and rafting to skiing and snowshoeing. Families and other visitors looking for a charming experience staying in a beautiful mountain town can find the perfect destination in Telluride. No matter what the reason is for visiting Telluride, vacationers can immerse themselves in the adventure and natural beauty that this town offers in every season.