Summer in Telluride is Hard to Beat
The only thing better than spending a winter in the Colorado Rockies, is spending a summer – and those spent in Telluride, Colorado may top them all. Summer here is marked by mountain hikes, single-track rides, clear rivers, world-class festivals, an exceptional dining scene and small-town charm. Your days begin with the smell of crisp, mountain air and end as the sun casts its last light on the valley’s highest peaks, setting them aglow. The value of summer in this historic mining town is pure gold.
There are a million reasons to visit Telluride this summer, but here are our top five.
The heart of Telluride lies in the town. Nestled in a box canyon surrounded by the jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains, one, crooked, off-camber Main Street stretches the length of six blocks. Here, bikes slow traffic; business takes place on the sidewalk; and Patagonia is the latest fashion. Mornings are busy as folks get their coffees and croissants before meeting for hikes and rides, hustling to yoga or lining up for the best seats at the weekend’s music festival in Town Park.
There are a lot of ski towns, but there is only one Telluride, and it’s the attitude of the people here that make this place different. After a week here, your fishing guide will have become your confidant, you’ll call the bartenders by their first names and your kids will run wild and free with a posse of locals who they met at skate camp.
Hikes and Rides
Even in the small town of Telluride, you’ll need a break from the hustle and bustle of Main Street, and it’s easy to find. Just venture a few blocks north or south to any one of the trailheads and you’ll find meandering hiking trails, swooping single-track, high-mountain valleys speckled with wildflowers, alpine lakes, and mining ruins -- reminders of the hardy spirit of the valley’s pioneers. Once you get in the high country; it’s pretty much all over; you’ll be addicted to literally getting high.
The Gondola and Mountain Village
Once you arrive in Telluride, you’ll park your car and never use it again. The charming, historic town begs you to walk or ride a laid-back, supped-up beach cruiser to get around. The-G, the affectionate name for the town’s free Gondola, climbs from the eclectic town and up the ski mountain before descending into the quaint, Alps-inspired plaza in the amenity-rich Mountain Village. It’s the perfect ride to the Village’s free sunset concerts, Kid’s Adventure Activities, mountain bike trails and, if you’re staying there, your hot tub and bed.
Telluride’s intimate, historic theaters and high-tech, modern venues showcase world-class musicians all year, but it’s summer, anchored by two world-class film festivals, when the festival scene ignites. The iconic Town Park stage has hosted legendary bluegrass, jazz, blues and rock artists such as Allison Krauss, Chris Robinson, David Byrne, Jerry Garcia and Widespread Panic. Between popular music and film festivals, grueling mountain running and biking races, free-sunset concerts, yoga and fitness festivals, and a bustling farmer’s market, it’s hard to find an empty day, much less weekend, in Telluride.
No matter how you choose to spend a summer day in Telluride, you’ll leave with the realization that you discovered all of this little valley’s remaining gold.