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The Best Ways to Experience Fall in Telluride

Tuesday • September 25, 2018

Fall in Telluride is unparalleled. Sure, the other seasons are great, but there’s something about the crisp air and yellow aspens shaking in the breeze that makes you long to be in the great outdoors. We want you to love fall here as much as we do, so we're sharing our top activities that are best enjoyed while leaf-peeping in Telluride.

The Gondola

The gondola is the fast and easy way to see everything Telluride has to offer in the fall, but without the stress (and with minimal effort). Board one of our famed gondolas and kick your feet up to enjoy a scenic trip from Telluride to Mountain Village. The gondola, which traverses eight miles in the San Juans, is completely free and is even pet-friendly! There’s no better way to experience Telluride in the fall.

Local’s Tip: Get off at the San Sophia station for stunning views of both the town of Telluride and Mt. Wilson. Around the time the sun sets is the best – and if you’re lucky, you might catch an epic Alpenglow!

Hiking

In Telluride, you don’t have to go far to be engulfed in fall foliage. Take a stroll down the San Miguel River Trail or pick one of the many trails that begin right in the town of Telluride. Either way, there’s no shortage of stellar views.

Local’s Tip: The Jud Wiebe is a great way to catch the colors on the south side of the canyon, or the See Forever-Wasatch Connect provides stunning views of the north side of the canyon and beyond. For even more adventurous types, check out the Via Ferrata – and don’t forget to look around! 

Biking

Biking is a great way to get all of the scenic views of the canyon, but at a much quicker pace! One of the best rides for the average rider is the Prospect Trail, a single-track trail that takes you through the ski area and down to Mountain Village. For more experienced riders, the Mountain Village Downhill Park can be quite the thrill. 

Local’s Tip: If you don’t have a bike, rent one! There are plenty of shops around town with the best bikes equipped to handle everything Telluride’s trails can throw at you. 

Jeeping

Jeeping makes those hard-to-get-to leaf peeping spots much easier. Either rent your own Jeep from a local company or hire a guide to help you find the best spots around. Choose from easy roads like Bridal Veil Falls or Ophir Pass, or challenge yourself with Imogene Pass or the infamous Black Bear Pass

Local’s Tip: Last Dollar Road is a relatively easy 4WD road that offers stellar views of Mt. Wilson and the surrounding mountains. Weather-dependent, a regular 4WD vehicle can do it with little to no trouble. 

Golf

Looking for a chill day but still hoping to enjoy the scenery? The Telluride Golf Club’s 18-hole par-70 course is nestled between majestic 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks and golfers tee off from 9,417 feet. We promise: it’ll be the most beautiful place you’ve ever played. 

Festivals

Because honestly, there’s no better backdrop for a festival than Telluride. In the fall, Cars and Colors takes center stage, but other festivals, like the newly-minted Original Thinkers Festival and the Telluride Horror Show Film Festival also get plenty of love. The beloved Blues & Brews festival also takes place right before fall technically starts, but the air is crisp and the leaves are starting to change already.

Local’s Tip: Get a VIP pass if you come for Blues & Blues… you won’t regret it.