What to do and see in Telluride, United States: The Best Places and Tips

August 22, 2017 Alice Mieles

Nestled in the towering San Juans, Telluride offers visitors abundant trout fishing and hiking opportunities in summer, plus downhill and cross country skiing in winter. One of the world's most beautiful ski resorts, this former gold rush town has been popular with skiers since the '70s. Walk, catch free shuttles or soar to 9500 feet on the Mountain Village gondola. Appreciate the area's history and beauty at Telluride Historical Museum and Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado's longest free falling falls.
Restaurants in Telluride

1. Telluride Mountain Village Gondola

455 Mountain Village Blvd, Telluride, CO 81435-9459 +1 877-358-7122
Excellent
90%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Telluride Mountain Village Gondola

Discover our preferred form of transportation - a free gondola - that transports residents and visitors from Telluride to Mountain Village. The gondola, the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States, officially opened December 20, 1996, and was originally built to help improve air quality while expanding the ski area. Grab a front row seat with Mother Nature at 10,500 feet and access biking, hiking and skiing trails as well as shops, restaurants and watering holes. Fun Facts: Approximately 2.61 million passengers ride the gondola annually - and safely - and over 39 million riders have been transported since opening day. The gondola operates roughly 287 days each year with routine maintenance scheduled during our shoulder season months. It takes about 13 minutes to get from the Town of Telluride to the Town of Mountain Village. A cabin travels 11 miles per hour at full speed, which means each cabin travels over 52,000 miles per year. Approximately 50 percent of our cabins are pet accessible. We also have wheelchair accessible cabins. The trip between the two towns is eight miles long whereas the gondola travels three miles between the two towns. If we relied on rubber transportation, it would take 18 50-passenger buses to maintain a 900-people per hour capacity. This would translate to more people on the road and more pollutants in the air. The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association purchases renewable energy credits from San Miguel Power Association, which funds the development and operation of regional renewable energy resources. The cost to build the gondola is $16 million, and revenues to support the operational cost, which exceeds $3.5 million annually and requires over 82,000 man-hours, are realized from a number of sources with the majority of funding from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association. San Miguel County and the Town of Telluride make a monetary contribution, and the Telluride Ski Resort contributes one percent of lift ticket sales.

Reviewed By Carol W

We never visit Telluride without a trip, or multiple trips up the gondola. We’ve even been known to take 4 round trips in a row, if there wasn’t a long line of other passengers. The views are amazing from the cars of the surrounding mountains and the town. It’s a quick fun way to get to Mountain Village, though we spend most of our time in Telluride.

2. Bear Creek Falls

Hwy 550, Telluride, CO 81427
Excellent
78%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 331 reviews

Bear Creek Falls

Scenic waterfalls that tumble down into Telluride's box canyon in the San Juan Mountains.

Reviewed By kielar - Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Easy hike, even in winter with snow packed. Can access from end of South Pine. No need to get on Rt 550.
Gradual climb until the last 1/8 mile then more strenuous. Take trekking poles if snow and you need to stabilize yourself on way down. It can be slightly icy.
Frozen falls are pretty. 1.5 to 2 hour RT.

3. Telluride Historical Museum

201 West Gregory Avenue, Telluride, CO 81435 +1 970-728-3344
Excellent
71%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 133 reviews

Telluride Historical Museum

Reviewed By egrlbk - Grand Rapids, Michigan

This was my first visit to Telluride, so I was eager to learn more about the history of this mining town. They told us about this guided tour at our hotel, so we headed over to purchase our tickets and arrived a bit early. Since the tour also includes entrance to the Telluride Historical Museum, we stopped here first. It is a great little museum. Ashley's walking tour through the town was excellent. He is a well educated historian, who has lived in Telluride for over 20 years. He knows this town and the residents all know him. Great tour-highly recommend it!

4. New Sheridan Hotel

231 West Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO 81435 +1 970-728-4351
Excellent
66%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 163 reviews

New Sheridan Hotel

In 1896, presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan condemned the gold standard, famously forecasting that it would “crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” He delivered that speech at the New Sheridan Hotel.

Reviewed By Diverdad1 - Laguna Niguel, California

The New Sheridan Hotel exceeded expectations. It's a historic hotel dating from the 1880's that's been remodeled to include all modern conveniences. The room, though not large, was very comfortable. The only slight complaint is that the bed was a bit soft for my liking. A nice touch was the heated floor tiles in the bathroom. The staff was amazing - very nice and service oriented. The general manager even went out of his way to introduce himself and remember our names. They stored our luggage free of charge on our last day because we left after check out. There's a fantastic restaurant in the hotel. We had breakfast there 3 times (20% discount for hotel guests). The historic bar next door is also a focal point for the community, with pool in the back room. Located right on Main Street, the hotel is an easy 3 block walk to the gondola.

5. Main Street

Main Street, Telluride, CO +1 970-728-6207
Excellent
61%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 337 reviews

Main Street

Reviewed By Chickelbuck - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

We enjoyed riding the gondola to town each afternoon to walk the street along the charmingly preserved western facades of this 1880s historic town. Almost all the stores and restaurants are local inspirations with just s couple of chains (Patagonia). Others are boutique or mom and pop stores. This makes the stroll really interesting and exciting to want to stop into each one. Even the Ace hardware store had a very local flair.

6. Jud Wiebe Trail

Telluride, CO
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 98 reviews

Jud Wiebe Trail

Reviewed By Erin D - Houston, Texas

This hike took a little longer than expected but it did not disappoint. The first mile up is a bit challenging and you are hiking through thick forest but when you reach the top it's all worth it. The views of Telluride and surrounding mountains are simply stunning!

7. Town Park

Telluride, CO +1 970-728-2173
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Town Park

Reviewed By atljpb - Atlanta, Georgia

This lovely park is not only beautiful but utilitarian. They have soccer fields, an ice rink in winter, camp grounds, an indoor building for a variety of sports and an amphitheater.

Bear Creek stream runs through the park providing a delightful ambiance for the park and its patrons. Take a stroller, a frisbee or a lover and enjoy this terrific and well-kept park.

8. San Miguel River

Telluride, CO
Excellent
77%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 61 reviews

San Miguel River

Located below the scenic Bridal Veil Falls.

Reviewed By REB1815 - Inlet Beach, Florida

Beautiful small mountain river that flows from the box canyon in the east, through town park, along the southern edge of Telluride, then down into the valley as it continues west. Bordered by the Idarado Trail and River Trail which are both easy walking and biking and eventually merges into the single track bike/hike Valley Trail. Whenever possible we took the River Trail instead of the streets.

9. Black Bear Pass

Forest Service Road 648, Telluride, CO
Excellent
98%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 46 reviews

Black Bear Pass

Reviewed By hbrown1025 - Roswell, Georgia

Don't go all the way. You can't do it without a jeep, probably w some modifications. But up until close to the falls base, it's very doable! Pretty drive, great views back into telluride and beyond. One shallow water crossing and switchbacks but not tight or too exposed. We parked when it got too much and hiked the rest of they way. Would be quite a hike up from parking at the base. But def worth doing, if you like a little off roading!

10. Bridal Veil hike

East Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO
Excellent
56%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

Bridal Veil hike

Reviewed By Moni S - Northeast Kingdom, Vermont

I'm glad we did it! From New England and the air is thin here. Took our time enjoyed the views and made the top in 1.5 hrs. Sat and ate a snack at the smugglers mining union (abandoned shaft) and had great photo ops. The aspens are starting to change will peak in color soon so take the initiative, wear good shoes, bring water and enjoy!

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