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Travel Guide to Telluride, Colorado

Travel Guide to Telluride, Colorado

About Telluride

Telluride, Colorado is a quaint, Victorian mining town, tucked away in a box canyon in the Rocky Mountains. It is embraced for authentic mountain character and unpretentious attitude. I fell in love with the charm of the historic buildings that lined the town streets, which were framed by 14,000-foot mountain peaks. Because of its significant role in the history of the American West, the core area of Telluride was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964. You can soak up the Western charm as you wander the streets.

The Town of Mountain Village is separated by a 15 minute, free gondola ride from the Town of Telluride. This is where you can get on and off the ski lifts as well as grabbing an Après-Ski cocktail in one of the many hotels in the Village. It is a newer area which lacks the historic character like the Town of Telluride.  It is important to note that these are two separate areas that you have to either drive or take the gondola to get to.

When we arrived in Telluride and realized there was not enough snow on the ground for us to ski, we took to the streets and ate and drank our way around town. Because of the lack of snow, there was few tourist in town, so we got to belly up to the bar with Telluride locals.  They gave us some insight into how Telluride has changed over the years. Prices for everything have increased and tourist have bought up the houses and leave them empty most of the year. But aside from that they said they wanted to be known for their laid-back attitude and world class skiing. It was a place where all the locals knew each other and gave it a real small town feel.

Map of Telluride

When to Travel to Telluride

Going to Telluride will be a wonderful experience anytime of year. In the winter you can enjoy the snow covered mountains and in the summer you can hike through the aspens and evergreens.


Mid-November to Early-April
Peak ski season. The prime time (and most expensive) to visit Telluride are in summer and winter. These seasons offer heavy crowds and higher room rates, they’re prime times to take advantage of Telluride’s popular festivals and world-renowned skiing.
January – March 35-45˚F / November-December 33-45˚F


April to early June (shoulder season)
Snow melt conditions are good for kayaking and whitewater rafting. Hiking trails start to become clear of snow but are very muddy. Some boutiques and eateries are closed until mid-June.
April 50’s  / May 60’s /  June 70’s˚F


Mid-June to August
Summer offers heavy crowds and higher room rates, but they’re prime times to take advantage of Telluride’s popular festivals and summer recreation sports.
June – August 70’s ˚F


September to early November (shoulder season)
You can save if you opt to visit between April and early June or between September and early November, the town’s spring and fall shoulder seasons. Keep in mind, though, that these months are when many shops and restaurants close for maintenance and the free gondola stops operating. Fall foliage will make for stunning views.
September 60’s / October  50’s / Early November 40’s˚F


Arriving in Telluride


Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) – 15 minutes to Mountain Village
Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MTJ) – 75 minutes to Mountain Village
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) – 2 1/2 hours to Mountain Village
Durango-La Plata Regional Airport (DRO) – 2 1/2 hours to Mountain Village

You can fly into the Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), just 6 miles from town, by connecting through Denver on Great Lakes/United. The Telluride Airport is also open to general aviation, including charter and private planes. 

Traveling Throughout Telluride

Telluride is a very pedestrian friendly town. We parked our car and walked everywhere and took the gondola when we needed to go up to Mountain Village. The free gondola is the most convenient and scenic way to travel between Telluride and Mountain Village. One thing we learned from the locals is to do the Telluride slide, always keep your hands out of your pockets and don’t forget your gloves! The sidewalks tend to be icy and you don’t want to fall down with your hands inside your pockets! 

Gondala Schedule

Free Shuttles: Galloping Goose shuttle buses run every 20 minutes between 7 a.m. and midnight daily. Stops are located every few blocks. Free shuttles run throughout Mountain Village every half hour.

Shuttle Schedule

Favorite Lodging in Telluride

Mountain Village

lumière telluride
Madeline Hotel
Inn at Lost Creek


The Hotel Telluride
The Peaks Resort & Spa
Mountain Lodge at Telluride
Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge 
Bear Creek Lodge by Telluride Alpine Lodging
New Sheridan Hotel
The Victorian Inn (budget friendly)


View the camping options here

Tomboy Tavern


Best Food and Drink in Telluride

Breakfast + Brunch

La Cocina de Luz
The Butcher & The Baker
The Phoenix Bean


Brown Dog Pizza
La Cocina de Luz
Taco Del Gnar
Bon Vivant


Brown Dog Pizza
The Village Table
Smugglers Brewpub


•Mountain Village•
Tomboy Tavern
Gorrono Ranch
Black Iron

•Town of Telluride•
New Sheridan
Last dollar saloon

Happy Hour

Smugglers Brewpub {3:00 – 5:30}
Black iron {3-5}
Scratch {3-6, 9-close}
Altezza at the Peaks {2-6}
The Village Table {4-6}
The View Bar & Grill {2-5}
Cosmopolitan {5-6}
High Pie Pizzeria and Taproom {3:30-5:30}

See Reviews on Yelp

Best Fireplaces

Tomboy Tavern
Black Iron
The View Grill in The Mountain Lodge
Fairmont Heritage Lobby

Activities in Telluride


Skiing and Snowboarding
Nordic Skiing
Fat Bike Riding
Ice Climbing
Winter Fly Fishing
Horseback Riding
Backcountry Huts


Fly Fishing
Horseback Riding
Rock Climbing
Disk Golf
Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Festivals in Telluride

Telluride Literary Arts Festival (May)
Mountainfilm (May)
Telluride Balloon Festival (June)
Telluride WOW Festival (June)
Telluride Bluegrass (June)
Telluride Wine Festival (June-July)
Telluride Plein Air Festival (June-July)
The RIDE Festival (July)
Telluride Jazz Festival (August)
Telluride Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival (August-September)
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (September)
Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors (September)
Telluride Horror Show (October)




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