5 Things To Do in Telluride: A Quaint & Beautiful Mountain Town
Special Thanks to NATALIE WHEELER
Hey travelers! My name is Natalie and welcome to my blog on Telluride – the top 5 things to do. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and have always had a passion for travel. I began traveling around the US and the world at a young age. I’ve been to 22 countries so far and even lived in Spain for a while.
While I love a beautiful beach trip, there is nothing that my soul loves more than being in the mountains. I have always loved the outdoors but my passion for the mountains really blossomed when I moved to Denver, Colorado five years ago. I found myself up in the mountains every weekend and soon decided to move to Breckenridge. After a few years there I moved onto a boat to cruise, and now I’m living full time and traveling in a RV!
Why I Love Visiting Telluride, Colorado
The first time I saw a picture of downtown Telluride I knew I had to go. I have been back a few times and the beauty never ceases to amaze me! This last trip to Telluride was a long one, I spent two glorious weeks in this mountain town. Being able to stay for such a long time gave me plenty of time to hike, explore the town, as well as relax and just enjoy the views.
For those who have never visited, Telluride is best described as a quaint and beautiful town. It’s a trendy high end mountain town, but also it has a very cool hippie vibe and doesn’t feel at all pretentious. It’s actually unlike any other mountain town in Colorado solely because of the landscapes around it and the towering mountains that surround the little town in the valley.
The mountains around Telluride also look very different from the mountains in other areas of Colorado. They are steep and jagged and the hiking in the area is spectacular. My favorite place in Telluride isn’t actually in Telluride but nearby – Blue Lakes. The color of the lakes here are unlike anything I have seen. The basin they are in is surrounded by 14K foot peaks!
Top 5 Things To Do in Telluride
Things to do in Telluride depend on what season you visit and what type of activities you like. In winter, Telluride offers world class skiing and in the summer the mountains are calling with epic hikes to tackle. Then there are the cultural events dotted across the calendar. But the experiences I’m about to share are a great starting point for first-time visitors:
- Ride the Gondola: The gondola is free and it brings you from downtown Telluride to the mountain top and then to the mountain village. The views from the gondola are amazing and you can get off at different areas along the way to shop, eat and explore!
- Visit Bridal Veil Falls: This is an amazing waterfall right in town! You can either drive to it (but you will need an off-roading SUV) or hike to it on a short but beautiful hike that also brings you to two other waterfalls.
- Explore the Town: The town is gorgeous and has a lot of small, locally owned shops that offer unique and beautiful items. There are a lot of handmade items, so you are sure to find something unique! There are also great restaurants and cute coffee shops to stop at. Downtown Telluride looks like it’s right out of a movie. If you really want to capture it’s magic, get up early and head to town before everyone else.
- Go Off-Roading: Telluride and the surrounding areas are known for their amazing off-roading trails. If you don’t have a vehicle that is set up for that you can rent one from town. You can then drive the stunning mountain passes and surrounding areas from what feels like a bird’s eye view! You can easily visit Ouray and Silverton too, which are other mountain towns just over the mountain from Telluride.
- Hike to the Blue Lakes: An amazing hike in the San Juan mountains that brings you to some of the most spectacular lakes you will ever see!
Best Memory from this Town
One of my favorite memories of Telluride is when I drove to the top of Bridal Veil Falls for sunset. From the top of the waterfall you have a view of all of Telluride. It was in the fall and after a light snow, so all the trees were golden and dusted in a beautiful blanket of white. Very few people go up there for sunset so we had the place to ourselves. We enjoyed the peace and quiet while watching the sky and mountains light up in pink.
Camping & Car Camping in Telluride
I have always camped in Telluride so I am unsure of what rental options there are. But what I can tell you is there are plenty of places near town to car camp and to camp with a van or trailer! There is even a campground right in town that has public showers that anyone can use as well, which is a great thing! One of my favorite places to camp is at Alta Lakes. It’s dispersed camping right along the lake so you always have a beautiful view.
Good to Know Before you Go
- Drink Plenty of Water: You are going to be up high in elevation and in a very dry area, so make sure you drink plenty of water before you come and especially if you go outside hiking all day.
- Hike Early: In the summer months it’s common to have afternoon thunderstorms, so make sure you start your hikes early and if you are going to summit a mountain in the area make sure you are descending it by noon at the latest. Check the weather forecast beforehand as well.
- Bring What you Need: There are shops in town and grocery stores, but there are no big box stores like Target – so bring what you need because there is a chance you won’t be able to get it in town or in nearby towns.
- Leave No Trace: Telluride is a beautiful area so if you are going to visit, try to leave it even better than you found it and remember to stay on trail while you hike to protect the fragile environment. Due to the high elevation there is a very short growing season which means it takes plants and flowers a long time to regenerate if they are destroyed.