Telluride in Summer

Telluride in Summer

Telluride in Summer

Telluride, CO is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s absolutely stunning, set in a box canyon, surrounded by the towering and dramatic San Juan mountain range, and the town picture-perfect with its main street leading into those mountain tops, Victorian homes dotting the streets, and an overall western mountain vibe reminiscent of the movies. It’s one of those places that you need to be there to understand, there’s no other place like it.

Many people think of Telluride as a ski town, which it is an amazing one at that, but not everyone knows just how incredible of a place it is during the summer. Telluride in summer is magical. I know, because I spent a summer there years ago, and have re-visited it since. In fact, I recently visited this past summer to show my kids the town, and what a special place it is. We had a blast. There is so much to do in Telluride in summer, with all of its outdoor activity, fun restaurants and shops, and adventurous way about it. And all of it is so accessible too – we parked our car at our Airbnb and never used it once the entire 3 days we were there!

Telluride in summer, San Miguel River

Below is a list of all the things to do in Tellruide in summer, and why it makes for such a fantastic place to visit during the warmer months.

Telluride in Summer

Go for a Hike

The hiking in Telluride is awesome. What makes it so great is that there are some really beautiful trails accessible right in town, so you can enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors without ever having to drive afar to get to the trail heads. Two must-do hikes are:

Bear Creek Trail

The Bear Creek Trail is probably Telluride’s most popular trail, and for good reason. It’s gorgeous, with a waterfall as the main destination point, and a river, meadows and some of the most stunning views of Telluride around on your ascent up. It’s also very easy to get to, as the trail head is located at S. Pine Street, right in town. It’s a 4.6 miles moderate trail, 2.3 miles up and back. We saw all sorts of people hiking this trail, from families to older couples to groups of friends. It can be steep in parts and narrow as you get to the top, so be careful with young kids. It’s also used by bikers and horseback riders, so a very varied mix of people to be seen.

Jud Wiebe Trail

Telluride in summer, hiking the Jud Wiebe Trail

The Jud Wiebe Trail is a beloved local favorite trail, a 3 mile loop that can be accessed from the northern end of Aspen Street or the northern end of Oak Street, both a block apart. Note, it is very steep in sections. My kids definitely found this trail to be more difficult than the Bear Creek trail, but it’s totally doable. Switch-backs take you up the mountain, where you traverse a meadow and come upon panoramic views of Telluride and its ski mountain.


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Explore the San Miguel River

Telluride in summer, playing in the San Miguel River

Telluride is one of those towns that has a picturesque river running through it, the San Miguel River. Here you can find swimming holes, go fly fishing, walk along the river’s edge, have a picnic, and find some of the best views of Telluride’s canyon. The San Miguel River Trail runs along it for about 4.5 miles and can be accessed from many of the side streets in town. It’s perfect for walking, jogging (this is where I took my morning run) or simply resting with a picnic or good book. My kids splashed in the water, while another kid was fly fishing, while another was taking his dog to bask in the water, while some toddlers were throwing stones. All with the backdrop of stunning Telluride! This is one of my favorite places in town and it is not to be missed.

Check out Town Park

Summer in Telluride, Town Park

I’ve included Telluride’s Town Park on the list because it’s one of the prettiest and best laid-out town parks in the country. Located on the east end of the town’s box canyon, the mountains loom in the back-drop of the park, and I can only imagine every resident must feel so lucky to have this as their communal gathering spot. This is where the Telluride Bluegrass and Blues festivals take place, among many other concerts and shows, with its stage tucked under the San Juan peaks.

Telluride Town Park campground

You can walk to it via the San Miguel River path mentioned above, and combine it with a walk along the path. There are playgrounds, a kids’ fishing pond, a skate board park, playing fields, volley ball courts, and tennis courts and a swimming pool (of which I’m sure you must have some sort of pass). One feature of the park that I absolutely love is that it has a camping ground for those visiting town. A very picturesque and popular camp ground, check here to learn more, as well as availability.


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Spend time in Town

Downtown Telluride CO

Telluride has a great feel to it.  Not only is it so beautifully set among the mountains, it has a vibe to it all its own – friendly people, offbeat characters, outdoor enthusiasts, free spirits, restauranteurs and families all take to the streets of Telluride. The architecture is full of little gems including many Victorian homes, old western mining era buildings, and the more modern and fresh looking ones. Walking down Main Street (W. Colorado Avenue) is a Telluride pastime. The town and scenery are stunning. Especially at sunset, with the pinks and oranges and reds set against the peaks, the whole town lights up.

There are many good restaurants and shops to stroll along. Telluride has some excellent food. Try the local’s favorite The Butcher & Baker Café, a simple place but with delicious fare. It’s especially popular for breakfast, though we had lunch there. Smugglers Bew Pub is a fun spot with a bunch of beers on tap and amazing burgers. It makes for a great spot to hit after a long hike, which is what we did after the Bear Creek Trail hike – the restaurant is right near the trailhead.

Dining at the New Sheridan in Telluride

For Mexican, the taco joint The Gnar is awesome! Highly recommend it, though more of a quick stop and eat spot. We had a good meal at La Esperanza, located downstairs and with delicious margaritas. Though people say to go to La Cocina de Luz, with an organic, healthy slant to it. For pizza, people rave about Brown Dog Pizza, but there was always a long line to get into it. So we went to High Point Pizza, which was great! Perfect for families, there are picnic-style tables, darts and video games for the kids, and fun cocktails for the adults. For upscale dining try La Marmotte221 South Oak and The New Sheridan. And no article on Telluride’s food scene can be written without mentioning Baked in Telluride – a town classic. We stopped here for breakfast almost every morning, as the baked goods are delish and perfect for the kids.

As for the stores we mainly window-shopped, but for t-shirts, sweatshirts and the like definitely head to the Togglery. It’s a Telluride staple.

Take the FREE Gondola up to Mountain Village

Taking the gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village

One of the really fantastic things about Telluride is its Gondola, which takes you up to Telluride’s cousin village, Mountain Village, and is free! It covers 8 miles and is 13 minutes long and gives you some of the most beautiful surrounding scenery of the town. It makes for a really fun activity to do at any time of the day, as it runs from 6:30 a.m. to midnight. We decided to go at sunset, so we could grab sunset drinks at Allred’s, the restaurant with a view at the summit at the San Sophia station. Allred’s is legendary, but very expensive if you go for dinner. Try drinks and their appetizer menu, which is what we did, and much more reasonable.

Drinks with a view at Allreds in Telluride

The gondola then continues on, downward, to Mountain Village. This is a fun spot to take the kids as there is a ropes course, bunjie jumping and an obstacle course. There is a big green in the center of the village, with a giant chess table, games and space to run around. Dylan’s Candy is right there too. There are bars and restaurants for the adults, and we grabbed beers and sat by an outdoor table on the green while the kids played. It’s a great set-up.

Hanging out in Mountain Village near Telluride, CO

There is so much to do in Telluride including biking, fishing and many other unique activities. To read more about all you can do see this website. I can’t say enough about this town – it’s my favorite town in the West.


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Things to do in Telluride in summer

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39 Comments

  1. Never been to Colorado before, but I’ve always wanted to go! Love these mountainous scenes and the cute town at the base! The Victorian homes are certainly adorable! Wanted to pin, but I don’t see a pin today… ? #FarawayFiles

  2. / 4:01 am

    You have me sold! It looks like a great place to spend a summer weekend – or a week! I adore the Victorian houses and my kids would love splashing through the river. #farawayfiles

    • / 11:38 am

      Thanks Jenny! Telluride is such a special place, I loved writing this..

  3. / 5:15 am

    Those hikes look so beautiful! And the town itself looks really appealing, lovely shop fronts. #farawayfiles

    • / 11:39 am

      Thanks Annabel! It’s such an amazing place..

  4. / 6:52 am

    Telluride is really beautiful, the mountains in the background and the quaint stores make it looks like a movie set. We’ve never been to Colorado, looks like we’re missing a treat. #farawayfiles

    • / 11:41 am

      Thanks Janis – Colorado is one of my favorite states. It’s so beautiful, and so different from where I live on the East Coast.

  5. / 6:54 am

    Telluride definitely sounds like my kind of place. I love small towns that make you feel like you’ve walked into the past. Colorado really is an outdoor lover’s paradise. #FarawayFiles

    • / 11:43 am

      Me too, Allison. That’s what I love about CO in general – so many little towns that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.

  6. / 7:39 am

    Oh the Great Outdoors! It looks really stunning and I can smell the fresh air. Great choice.

  7. / 9:06 am

    Visiting Colorado in the summer is very high on my list. We have been several times to different cities to ski, but actually never Telluride. I hear it is great in the summer and winter. #farawayFiles

    • / 11:54 am

      It’s really wonderful any time of year – hope you make it some day!

  8. Sounds like my kind of place – small and surrounded by nature’s best. Will certainly bear in mind if we get to Colorado #FarawayFiles

    • / 12:11 pm

      My kind of place too. Hope you make it some day!

  9. Well you’ve completely and utterly convinced me that I HAVE to go here, Corey, and in summer, to boot! I’ll admit that, coming from the UK, I have always rather fancied visiting one of these Western towns that look so much like they do in the films. But this has so much else going for it too – and I really fancy running along beside the river and hiking up into the mountains. #FarawayFiles

    • / 12:11 pm

      Thanks Clare and sorry for the late reply. Visiting a western town from afar is a very unique experience as it’s so different from places like New York and L.A., places people tend to visit more. Hope you make it some day!

  10. / 1:12 pm

    What a wonderful place, I can smell the fresh air from here! The Great Outdoors really is the best attraction possible.

  11. / 1:28 pm

    I will admit that I’ve never wanted to go to Colorado before, but seeing this I think my mind has definitely been changed. What a fabulous family destination! I’m so glad you’ve shared! #farawayfiles

    • / 11:57 am

      How come Colorado doesn’t attract you? Too outdoorsy? Telluride is a really cool town..I think you’d really like it! Some other towns I may not suggest to you, but Telluride definitely.

  12. OMG….. My brother (who sadly died a couple of years ago) lived in Telluride for years! I have spent many weeks there over the years….. My favourite season is Autumn. Just beautiful. I felt both nostalgic and sad reading this, but it is an incredibly beautiful part of the world….. x

    • / 12:07 pm

      I’m so sorry for the late reply – I have been having trouble with my comments and they haven’t been posting. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I can imagine you have mixed feelings about Telluride. I agree, autumn is a beautiful time there!

  13. I visited a ski resort in France in the summer and loved it, and I can see the wider appeal here. We’ve just been invited to Colorado skiing next Easter and now I am contemplating …!! #farawayfiles

    • / 11:58 am

      How come Colorado doesn’t attract you? Too outdoorsy? Telluride is a really cool town..I think you’d really like it! Some other towns I may not suggest to you, but Telluride definitely.

    • / 11:59 am

      Sorry something has been going on with my comments, and they haven’t been posting, and now it posted the wrong comment! Anyways where have you been invited??

  14. / 2:00 am

    I love doing mountain areas like this in summer as well. Not sure if it’s the same in Colorado as it is in the Alps but often these amazing places are quieter in summer because people tend to think of them as skiing destinations only. Telluride looks very cute! It’s a shame Allred’s is expensive. I hope the food is amazing. There’s nothing worse than a restaurant capitalising on their amazing view and delivering sub-standard food.

    • / 12:05 pm

      I completely agree. The food is very good. At least the apps were as we did not splurge on main courses! Yes, many of these mountain towns are quieter in the summer – I would say Telluride is still booming, but not too crowded. It’s perfect :).

  15. I have never been to America but this looks like just the sort of place I would like to visit – a mixture of a small but busy town and the great outdoors. Just what I like! #farawayfiles

    • / 12:03 pm

      Yes, it is a very Americana town, with a western slant!

  16. / 3:30 am

    Oh my, it looks like a movie set! Looks like a great place to go camping too. I’m a big fan of ski towns in the summer, we used to go to Whistler, BC all the time.
    #farawayfiles

    • / 11:59 am

      Dying to visit Whistler!! Hear nothing but amazing things..

  17. / 3:01 pm

    Telluride screams skiing to me, even though I don’t ski, guess I’ve just heard it somewhere. But its summer dress looks nice too! #farawayfiles

  18. I’ve not heard of Telluride but it looks like a great destination for lovers of the outdoors. That high street is too cute, too! #FarawayFiles

    • / 12:01 pm

      It’s a great destination for outdoor lovers, but really anyone ;).

  19. / 2:04 am

    Telluride looks so pretty! I remember watching on TV and the program mentioned that Telluride is a skiing town, so it’s good to have you write about what the town is like during the summer. I would love to go on those walking trails 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    • / 12:01 pm

      Yes, important for people to know it’s a year round destination!

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