Telluride Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA
Credit

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Best Things To Do in Telluride

The main reason for visiting Telluride is obvious: the world-class ski slopes. This town is dominated by Telluride Ski Resort, which encompasses more than 2,000 skiable acres and sees an unusual pairing of 309 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine. But should you visit in the warmer months, you can enjoy views of the San Juan Mountains from one of the region's photogenic hiking paths, such as Bear Creek Trail and Jud Wiebe Trail, or while driving along the San Juan Skyway. And if you want to get to know Telluride a bit better, spend an afternoon in Town Park or at the Telluride Historical Museum

How we rank Things to Do

Updated June 21, 2018

  • #1
    Telluride Ski Resort
    View all Photos
    #1 in Telluride
    Golf, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Skiing, Free
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Golf, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Skiing, Free
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    When most people talk about Telluride, they're typically referring to this ski resort rather than the town. This massive complex boasts more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain in the San Juan Mountains. The resort's 148 trails cater to skiers of all levels, although most slopes are best suited for experienced skiers. And during the warmer months, travelers can go mountain biking, golfing, whitewater rafting and more.

  • #2
    Mountain Village
    View all Photos
    #2 in Telluride
    Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Even if you aren't a skier, a visit to Telluride Ski Resort should be a priority. The resort encompasses Mountain Village, a bustling town originally developed as a cozy retreat from the slopes. Nestled high in the San Juan Mountains – roughly 9,500 feet above sea level – Mountain Village has a quaint yet vibrant atmosphere with shops and restaurants lining cobblestone streets.

  • #3
    Hiking
    View all Photos
    Hiking
    free
    #3 in Telluride
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Although Telluride's biggest draw is its top-notch ski slopes, come summertime, locals and tourists alike flock to the town to explore its ample hiking trails. Dozens of paths are available in the immediate area, including ones that overlook natural wonders like Bear Creek, the Alta Lakes and Bridal Veil Falls. Some trails also pass historic landmarks like the Lewis Mine (a former mining structure built in 1910) and Tomboy (an abandoned mining town that once housed 1,000 residents).

  • #4
    Town Park
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    #4 in Telluride
    Festivals, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Festivals, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Telluride's fresh air opportunities aren't limited to Telluride Ski Resort's slopes. During the warmer months, visitors and residents head to Town Park on the southeast edge of town to enjoy scenic walking paths and picturesque picnic spots.

  • #5
    San Juan Skyway
    View all Photos
    #5 in Telluride
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're looking to get off the slopes and out of the town for a day, hit the road on the San Juan Skyway. This free historic byway, which is affectionately called the "road to the sky," loops through 11 towns and two national forests in southwestern Colorado. It measures 233 miles long and includes Colorado State Highway 145, U.S. Route 550, Colorado State Highway 62 and U.S. Route 160.

  • #6
    Telluride Historical Museum
    View all Photos
    #6 in Telluride
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Housed in the town's former hospital, the Telluride Historical Museum recounts the area's exciting history, from its gold-mining days to the development of the world-renowned Telluride Ski Resort. Visitors can also learn about the region's relationship with the Ute Native American tribe, the town's geological past and the man known as "The Pathfinder of the San Juans," Otto Mears.

  • #7
    Ophir Pass
    View all Photos
    #7 in Telluride
    Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located just east of the adjacent town of Ophir (about 15 miles southeast of Telluride), this dirt road is a prime spot for off-roading. The path stretches nearly 10 miles and climbs as high as 12,789 feet. To get back to Ophir after reaching the summit, you can travel back the way you came or continue on down Red Mountain Pass.

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