Getting Around Telluride
The best way to get around Telluride is on foot. Because the town is literally one large ski resort, anything you could possibly need – shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels – is just a short walk away, but if the chilly winter weather makes walking less-than-pleasant, the town does offer free shuttle service and gondola rides to and from the slopes. If you're interested in exploring the outdoors in the offseason, you may want to rent a car (preferably one with four-wheel drive) or use a ride-hailing service to get to spots outside of town. Gondola service, however, is available during the summer months.
To reach Telluride, you can either fly into Denver Internatioanal Airport (DEN) or Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and drive the 300-some miles to Telluride, or you can fly into the Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) and hop on the Telluride Express to get into town.
|On Foot||Both Telluride and Mountain Village are extremely small and compact, meaning everything you need is just a quick walk away. Plus, many recent travelers agree that the best way to experience the historic district's cozy atmosphere is to take to the streets.|
For many Telluride visitors, a gondola ride is one of the most memorable parts of their trip. These 13-minute rides between Telluride and Mountain Village offer spectacular views of the resort and the surrounding San Juan Mountains. And the best part: The gondola is free. It runs every day of the week in the summer and winter, although exact hours of operation may vary.
Throughout the year (including when Telluride's gondola is not in operation), travelers can rely on the area's shuttle service. Galloping Goose buses, which are free to ride, run a loop around Telluride every 20 minutes from 7 a.m. to midnight. These buses make stops at major sites like Town Park. An additional complimentary shuttle called Dial-A-Ride is available for getting around Mountain Village in summer and winter, but, as its name implies, visitors must call in advance to use this service. Its operating hours are between 6:30 and 12:30 or 2:30 a.m.
Traditional taxi companies are not available in Telluride, but two private transportation companies offer ride-sharing services for getting from Telluride to neighboring towns and local airports. Rates vary by operator and destination. Some routes require multiple passengers to book. Lyft also operates in the area.
Travelers who don't want to use ride-sharing services to get to and from the airport will need to hire a car. Renting is a good option from Denver, Colorado Springs and the Montrose Regional Airport. Opting for four-wheel drive is strongly recommended when hiring a car in winter. Once in Telluride, it is easiest to walk or use the town's free gondola or shuttle.
For those who decide to use a car for more than just airport transfers, expect parking to be limited in Telluride and Mountain Village during the summer and winter months. Parking at the Heritage and North Village Center garages costs $2 per hour, per vehicle. Other lots are free to park in, but time restrictions may apply.