Telluride may be a small town, but it has plenty of summer activities to partake in that are worth writing home about. Since it can be tough to choose exactly what you want to do on your vacation, we’ve gathered some of our favorite activities in Telluride and compiled them into a perfect five-day trip to our quaint town. Trust us, you won’t regret this trip (we’re already jealous over here).
Yay! You’re here. Welcome to the best little box canyon town around.
First things first: once you’ve settled into your vacation rental, it’s time to drink some water and take in the sights. Trust us, you may not feel thirsty, but it’ll help SO much when it comes to the altitude (8,750 feet isn’t a joke) and all of the other fun activities that await.
The good news? You can drink water AND have fun at the same time. Stroll down Main Street and gander at Ajax Peak in all its glory. Window shop, stop for ice cream or a grilled cheese sandwich in Elks Park, and be sure to pet all of the local dogs walking around!
Did you know that Bridal Veil Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado? It’s definitely a sight to take in at the end of the box canyon while exploring. Be sure to grab a classic photo in front of the Telluride flower boxes in the middle of the street.
Start your second day in Telluride off by hiking Bear Creek. The popular trail begins right in town and takes you on a scenic, moderate, short hike to Bear Creek Falls, which overlooks the town of Telluride. This trail is beautiful and not too strenuous (it’s under three hours round trip), which makes for a great hike to further adjust to the altitude while getting to admire Telluride from above.
If you start early enough, you’ll be back in time to walk straight to La Cocina de Luz for a delicious lunch on the patio. Soak in those mountain rays while chowing down on fresh and authentic Mexican food.
Continue your day by taking advantage of one of Telluride’s most beloved (and beautiful) activities: the free gondola to Mountain Village. Did you know more than 2.8 million riders use the gondola annually? Check out our 13 other cool facts about our one-of-a-kind transportation system, grab your crew and head up the gondola to Mountain Village’s Sunset Concert Series, held every Wednesday from June to September. After the show, head back to town and enjoy the colors of the sun setting on the beautiful town of Telluride.
Local note: Little Hawaii is a beloved local and semi-hidden trail along Bear Creek. If you’re looking for an extra challenge or a cool place to explore, be sure to keep an eye out for the trail!
No, really! Start off your Thursday by hitting up Ghost Town on Telluride’s Main Street for a sweet latte and some of their famous avocado toast for breakfast. You’ll want a good breakfast for what’s ahead!
Spend the rest of your morning embarking on a tour of one of Telluride’s famous ghost towns. Our friends at Telluride Outside offer half- and full-day tours to some of the coolest 4WD accessible spots, including Alta Ghost Town and Tomboy Ghost Town. The Alta Ghost town trip generally ventures to the Alta townsite and Ophir Pass, a classic shelf road with unreal views. The Tomboy Ghost Town half-day trip is one of Telluride Outside’s most popular tours, with views from over 13,000 feet en route along Imogene Pass. Full-day trips include the option to return via Ophir Pass or Black Bear Pass (for the more adventurous clientele), while half-day trips return to Telluride on Tomboy Road.
If you’d rather venture the roads by yourself, Mountain Adventure Equipment offers high-end off-roading rentals, including a Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and a Jeep Trailhawk.
When you return to Telluride, grab a bite at the Butcher and the Baker, a local hotspot, before riding the gondola up to Mountain Village for a free Movie Under the Stars, which are held Thursday nights throughout the summer.
You’ve all seen those bright yellow boards glowing against the clear blue lakes and the mountains looming in the background. Experience it yourself by renting stand-up paddleboards from Mountain Adventure Equipment. Not only will they deliver a high-end SOL paddleboard to your vacation rental, but they’ll also drive them up to Trout Lake for you for an extra $25! They even pick them up, saving you the stress of lugging them anywhere and returning them. They also offer full- and half-day rentals.
After SUPing in the morning, do some shopping around town. Sublime is a local favorite for clothing, while HOOK has some amazing home décor and gifts for everyone. If you loved SUPing or want to prepare for Saturday’s adventure, Jagged Edge Mountain Gear is the go-to shop in town for outdoor performance gear.
To top off your day, visit the Sheridan Hotel’s epic rooftop bar for a specialty watermelon margarita. The views are unreal, and if you’re there at the right time, you might just catch a rainbow or at least a beautiful sunset on Ajax.
This is the day you’ve been waiting for – the Via Ferrata day. Telluride’s Via Ferrata, which means “iron road” in Italian, allows brave souls to trek along a rock face 600 feet above the town of Telluride below. While it’s possible to do it on your own, Mountain Trip also offers guided tours, complete with a guide, equipment, and all the support and advice you need to make it across the rocky ledge. Grab some food or some cheese and charcuterie from Over the Moon before you go to snack on along your trip.
Upon your return from the legendary Via Ferrata, it’s time to get ready for your last meal in town. Watch the Alpenglow from a panoramic seat at Allred’s, located at the top of the gondola, or choose an exquisite meal in town at the top-rated Cosmopolitan in Hotel Columbia. No matter what you choose, your last meal in town will be a memorable one!
How soon is too soon to plan a trip back to Telluride? Pretty sure the answer is that it’s never too soon! Many of our town’s best units book up a year in advance, so be sure to start planning your next trip to visit us ASAP!