The Gondola Image Slideshow
The towns of Telluride and Mountain Village are linked by a spectacular, 13-minute ride on a free gondola—the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the United States. This popular scenic attraction provides access to hiking and biking trails in the summer and the ski slopes in the winter. Passengers can load the gondola in either Mountain Village or Telluride and ride to the midway point (Station St. Sophia from which hiking, biking and ski trails are accessed) and then continue on to the other side.
Once you discover this unique mountain mode of travel, you'll find a front row seat to view Mother Nature from 10,500 feet. The ride from Telluride to Station San Sophia has an elevation change of 1,750 feet; the ride from Station San Sophia to Mountain Village has a 960-foot conversion. The gondola runs daily from 6:30 a.m. to midnight during summer and winter. On select event dates, extended hours may be in place. The gondola closes for a short duration in the late spring and fall for maintenance and other operational needs.
The gondola has three primary stations where you can board and unload:
- Station Telluride (Oak Street) – access in Telluride.
- Station St. Sophia (mid-mountain stop) – access to Allred’s Restaurant & Bar, The Ridge Club and ski resort trails and runs.
- Station Mountain Village – access in Mountain Village.
- Just across from Station Mountain Village, a shorter gondola stretch connects to Station Village Parking, where the free parking garage, Town Hall and the Mountain Market are located.
Accessible cabins are available. Please ask a gondola attendant for help with boarding. They are happy to slow down the cabins for those with strollers and wheelchairs. Pet cabins are also available for well-behaved animals on leashes.
In the winter, ski and snowboard racks are mounted on the exterior of the cabins, and gondola attendants help load the equipment. In the summer, bike racks replace the ski racks and the gondola attendants help load the rides.
Fast: Each cabin travels at 11 mph, and the ride from Telluride to Mountain Village takes 13 minutes.
Free: With the support of a number of community financial sources, the gondola is free to ride.
Green: Electricity used to operate the gondola comes from wind power purchased from San Miguel Power Association.
Originally built to improve air quality in the region by keeping cars off the road, the Gondola has been annually shuttling approximately 2.8 million skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, hikers, festival-goers and commuters up and over 10,500-foot Coonskin Ridge since December 1996. The ride on the "G" provides expansive vistas of the San Juan Mountains, Aspen-cloaked mesas and sun-struck waterfalls as well as a bird's eye view of both towns. On a clear day, riders can see all the way to the La Sal Range in Utah, but the views aren't the Gondola's only attribute: It's also the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States.