The Charming Town of Telluride, Colorado

The town of Telluride in Colorado has managed to keep that small town feel despite being a popular resort destination in both the summer and winter seasons. In order to allow the town to keep is historic feel, the resorts are purposely located in the Mountain Village with a free gondola providing transportation between the village and the actual town of Telluride. There are some smaller condominiums and homes for rent within the town itself, making a great alternative to the larger resorts that are located on the side of the mountain.

Telluride Court House
The Main Street of Telluride
San Miguel River that Runs Through Telluride
Some of the Condominiums Along the River

Walking the streets of Telluride, you will find beautiful Victorian homes, small shops, and a handful of unique restaurants. The town sits in a valley surrounded by rocky peaks and steep hillsides, which serve as ski runs during the winter and hiking trails during the summer. We enjoyed going on a couple of hikes during our stay in Telluride, first on the popular Bear Creek Trail and then taking in the views from the Owl Gulch Trail. For those looking for something more adventurous, renting a mountain bike and zooming down the winding mountain bike paths will certainly get your heart racing.

Historic Streets of Telluride
Walking the Street Where We Stayed
Butterfly and Flowers on the River Trail
Dramatic Mountains Around Telluride

We stayed in a condominium right on the river that winds through the town of Telluride. We enjoyed walking along the trail that follows the river from one end of town to the other. It is a great way to get into nature without having to leave the town. Walking and hiking certainly helped us gain a healthy appetite to try the wonderful food that the restaurants serve as well as have a cold beer to cool off from the warm weather. We live at an elevation of 6,500 feet ( meters), so the 8,750 foot ( meters) elevation of Telluride didn’t impact us too much, but if you live at sea level, you will want to be prepared for the effects of the thinner air.

Farmer’s Market in Town
Telluride River Trail
Waterfall from the Main Street of Telluride (Bridal Veil Falls is Not Visible from Town)
The Scenery is Amazing

Located about 7 hours from Colorado Springs and about 8 hours from Denver, heading to Telluride is certainly a destination away from the typical resorts located on the I-70 corridor. In many ways, Telluride reminded us of Aspen due to the way the town has kept its historic feel without feeling like a tourist destination. We also find the mountains of the San Miguel Range, where Telluride is located, to be even more dramatic and they have often been compared to the mountains of Switzerland and Austria.

One of the Restaurants Where We Ate
One of the Larger Buildings
Mountain Peaks
Local Produce at the Farmer’s Market
Bridges Across the River

The Mountain Village in Telluride, Colorado

If you visit Telluride, Colorado, it is likely that you will stay in one of the resorts in the Mountain Village. It is truly a self-sufficient resort community with plenty of restaurants and shops located amongst the many different ski runs on the mountainside. Much like one of our favorite getaways, Beaver Creek, the Mountain Village has a European feel that is part of its deliberate design.

Center of the Village with the Ice Skating Rink Covered for Summer
Statue in Town
Taking the Gondola into the Mountain Village

Because all of the large condominium resorts are located in the Mountain Village, you will likely find it busier than the town of Telluride itself. There is a free gondola that will take you to and from the town of Telluride and there is also another free gondola that carries people back and forth between the Mountain Village and the shops and grocery store at the Market Plaza.

Restaurant Where We Ate Lunch
Bird in the Village
Gondola Station and Bell Tower

The Mountain Village is almost a 1,000 feet (about 300 meters) higher than Telluride and sits at 9,540 feet (about 2,900 meters) above sea level, so be sure to give yourself time to acclimate to the altitude. If you purchase a pass, you can also take one of the ski lifts with a mountain bike to the top of the mountain in order to ride your bike down one of the many trails. There are also several hiking trails leading from the Mountain Village.

Condominiums in the Village
Outdoor Seating to Enjoy the Mountain Sunshine
Beautiful Architecture

We did not stay in the Mountain Village on this trip to Telluride, but we did stay there several years ago and you can enjoy an entire week without ever going into the actual town of Telluride, but we’d highly recommend that you go into town at least once to enjoy the historic architecture and friendly restaurants. The town of Telluride and the Mountain Village are truly different experiences, each with their own charm and ambiance.

Owl Gulch Trail in Telluride, Colorado

Located right down the street from the Telluride Historical Museum is a the trailhead for the Owl Gulch Trail. It takes you above the town of Telluride and provides wonderful views of the town as well as Bridal Veil Falls off in the distance. Unfortunately, it is also a road that is heavily traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles, so you often have to step out of the way. It is also exposed to full sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen and take plenty of water with you.

Rounding the Bend
First View of Bridal Veil Falls
Town of Telluride with the Ski Slopes Behind
Dramatic Scenery
Start of the Trail

We got on the trail at around 11:00 am in the morning and started our leisurely hike that took us east of Telluride. The mountains around Telluride are absolutely stunning and hiking throughout the valley provides stunning views. The trail also gives a chance to see how quaint and small the town of Telluride has remained throughout the years. Although Bridal Veil Falls, which is the tallest free falling waterfall in Colorado, is far off in the distance, it is still quite spectacular. The power plant that sits adjacent to it is also clearly visible.

Bridal Veil Falls, the Power Plant, and if You Look Carefully, All of the 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles
Stunning Mountain Tops
Hiking Back Towards Town
Ingram Falls, Which Can Be Seen from Telluride
Views Looking Down the Valley

We decided to keep our hike short as we had hiked Bear Creek Trail the day before and our legs were a little tired. The number of vehicles with local guides taking people up the road to Bridal Veil Falls also made it dusty and somewhat less enjoyable. Despite the heat and the traffic, we did enjoy getting out and seeing the beautiful scenery. Afterwards, we went back into town and took the free gondola up to the Mountain Village to enjoy a relaxing lunch and a deserved ice cold beer.

Spectacular Rocky Mountain Scenery
Lower Trail Looking at the Ski Slopes
View of Telluride as We Hiked Back to Town
Trees and Rocks Along the Trail