72 Hours in Telluride
If you talk to the locals, they’ll tell you the skiing is what brought them out, but the summers in Telluride are what made them permanent residents. This mountain town nestled under the jagged peaks of the San Juan mountains is the stuff of dreams. Galleries, fly fishing shops, and coffee shops are just steps away from trailheads for world class hiking and biking. The high altitude, crisp mountain air, and copious amounts of Vitamin D make everybody a little friendlier. We KNOW the skiing in Telluride is epic (remember, we dropped off your skis! Hi again!), but trust us, the summers in Telluride are every bit as worthy.
So here’s the deal: We know there are endless miles of trail to explore in Telluride, and more restaurants than you have time to visit. We are going to do the work for you. Pack your bags, load up the bikes, and tell your boss you won’t be able to make it into work on Friday. Let’s go to Telluride!
After a day of travel treat yourself by staying at the Mountain Lodge at Telluride. Instead of lounging in your room, we recommend catching sunset from the trail. The See Forever Trail is one of our favorite hikes, just off the gondola. Head back to your room and grab a finest flannel or fleece, and head into town. While there are endless options for dinner, we recommend going to Tacos Del Gnar. Still have a little energy left? You could stop by one of the many bars, but we think you’d better take advantage of the hotel hot tub- you’ve got an early morning tomorrow.
The melting snowpack feeds the San Miguel, Dolores, and the Gunnison rivers, and a trip to Telluride wouldn’t be complete without some time on the water. Telluride is home to some of the finest trout streams in the rockies. While you can certainly spend some time to find out what’s hatching, we recommend hiring a guide to take the guesswork out of the equation for you.
After spending the morning on the river, head back into town and grab the “Emma” sandwich at Cindybread Artisan Bakery. Head back to the hotel and lube up your chain and fill your hydration packs. You’re going mountain biking! Yes, it’s the heat of the day- but you’re riding at 10,000 feet. You’ll be fine! While there are endless miles of epic riding in Telluride, we’re going to take you on a classic cross country trail that travels through some of Telluride’s finest terrain. The Gentlemen’s Loop is a local favorite that starts at the top of the gondola. After 15 cruisy miles, you’ll find yourself back in town, ready for a beer.
Sure, you could take the gondola back up to your room and shower before dinner, But this is Telluride: all you really need is a ball cap, a fleece, and a frosty pint for your evening attire. While Telluride certainly has no shortage of nightlife, you have a big day and an alpine start tomorrow, and sitting down to a quality meal will help you get ready for your big day. Brown Dog Pizza has the best “detroit” style pizza on this side of the Rockies. Polish off that last Telluride Kolsch and take the gondola back to your room. Be sure to hydrate well before setting your alarm.
Really, we should say 4:30AM, because that’s the time your alarm will be going off. Mount Sneffels is one of the classic Colorado 14ers, and has some of the most stunning views in the state. You’ll want to start early to make sure you are off the mountain before the afternoon thunderstorms set in. Even though this is a relatively short 14er, the trail up Mount Sneffels gains over 3.3k vert in just 3.5 miles. Give yourself some time to enjoy the views from the top before the slog down. While this hike is only 7.1 miles round trip, your legs will be dead after descending the steep pitch down the mountain.
When you were at dinner last night you might have noticed people in innertubes floating down the San Miguel through town. You’re about to be one of those people. Stop at the local hardware store and pick up a cheap tube before putting into the river. Your legs will LOVE the chilly alpine water after a day on the mountain. Once you arrive in town, it’s time to TREAT YO’SELF. We’re going to start your evening for you with the crispy brussel sprouts at There Bar, and let your curiosities lead you for the rest of the night. We think you should check out a few different places throughout the evening. Enjoy!
Sure, sleep in a little, you deserve it. But we promise that the best way to beat stiff legs is to keep them moving. Pop over to Kaiut Yoga for a session before heading to The Butcher and Baker Café for a platter of Chilaquiles for breakfast. You can thank us later. Take your time wandering through town a bit on your last day. Find a cowboy hat to take home. Just enjoy the town.
Before getting back in your car to drive home, it would be wise to give your legs one more chance to move. If you head up past the end of South Pine Street in town, you’ll soon find yourself on the Bear Creek Trail, which meanders to the stunning 80ft tall Bear Creek Falls. If your feet just aren’t in the mood to get back in those hiking boots anytime soon, rent an SUP and spend an hour or two at either Alta Lakes.
You’ve had an EPIC weekend. Before hitting the road, stop by Ghost Town Coffee and grab a coffee and a pastry. Your body has been WORKED. Telluride is one of our favorite mountain towns, and we are looking forward to helping you out this winter. Want to read about how we have served others? Here are some reviews! Enjoy your summer, and we’ll see you on the slopes in a few months.