When it comes to summer vacations, maybe you prefer jaw-dropping mountains to beach breezes. Or perhaps your perfect day ends in dirty hiking boots and a celebratory craft beer. For those whose dream getaway looks a little unconventional, Telluride welcomes you. But you won’t find chain restaurants or shops here, and the nearest stoplight is 45 miles away. Instead, Telluride is home to a thriving arts scene, world-class golf, unbeatable outdoor activities in the San Juan Mountains, and more.
No matter where your style of vacation falls—from hitting the trails to admiring the view from afar—we’ve got a home base for your favorite Telluride summer activities.
You could spend your entire getaway just exploring the outdoors here—and many visitors do. Take the lifts up to the Bike Park at Telluride Ski Resort, where the slopes become single-track and cross-country trails in the summers. Tackle the abundance of rock climbing routes, whether you’re bringing your own crash pads or a first-timer on a guided trip. Or you can careen down the Colorado, Gunnison, or Animas Rivers on an exhilarating rafting trip.
Perhaps the crowning jewel of a Telluride summer vacation is exploring the San Juan Mountains themselves. In fact, they contain the highest concentration of 14ers in Colorado—peaks rising 14,000 feet or more. From heart-pumping backcountry trails to easy out-and-backs to guided horseback riding, there are so many ways to explore these incredible mountains.
Need a little more relaxation in your recreation? No problem. There are plenty of Telluride summer activities that require minimal effort. Float the San Miguel River on a hot day, or try your hand at fly fishing in some of the best trout streams in the Rocky Mountains. Or you can spend an afternoon at Telluride Golf Club, where it’s hard to say which is better: the mountain views, or the fact that the high elevation means less air resistance on your swing.
With so many things to explore, climb, and see, it’s no wonder Telluride is such a great family-friendly destination. Sign your little one up for a kids camp, where they can experience fun-filled days of outdoor activities, creating art, and even learning to play rock music.
For mountain vistas minus the effort, you can take the free Gondola—called simply “the G” by locals—over the 10,500-foot Coonskin Ridge. The Gondola takes you to Mountain Village and the Adventure Activity Center, where kids can play on the bungee trampoline, hunt for gems in the mining sluice, learn how to fish, participate in an adventure race, and so much more.
While it’s certainly a nature-lover’s paradise, there are still many other Telluride activities to keep you entertained. Enjoy a stroll through the historic downtown, stopping along the way at boutiques for the perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip. Or you can visit the Historical Museum to learn more about Telluride’s rich past in silver mining and beyond.
And don’t forget the local culinary scene—Telluride was named one of the best American Cities for Foodies by Condé Nast Traveler. In fact, your favorite summer activities of all may involve sampling the delicious local fare, whether it’s an organic sandwich from The Butcher & The Baker to enjoy on a hike, or fine French cuisine at La Marmotte.
Music performances, beer fests, hot air balloon fairs, film festivals—no matter which month you visit, you’re sure to have your pick of live activities and events. Catch an outdoor yoga class or visit the local farmers market. A monthly art walk through the Arts District allows you to pop in and out of exhibits and enjoy a glass of wine while mingling with locals.
At the town’s beloved Town Park Stage, tucked between the mountains and the San Miguel River, you can catch an unforgettable sunset show or breathe in the fresh air as you celebrate. It’s the home of Shakespeare in the Park, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Blues and Brews, RIDE Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival—just to name a few.
Telluride Regional Airport is located just six miles west of the city. Several flights are offered daily from Denver. It’s also the highest commercial airport in North America, at 9,078 feet above sea level!
In short, yes. But with a place this beautiful, and with this many attractions and events, it’s easy to see why so many crowds are drawn to the town each summer. Telluride vacation homes tend to book months in advance, so be sure to start planning early.