A world-class ski resort isn’t the only attraction that makes Telluride a must-see destination. Let the region’s mountains and lakes take your breath away, then head back into town to learn about the people who historically called this place home.
In this beautiful town, any road can lead to your next great adventure. Carefully plan your stops with the 10 best sights to see in Telluride, Colorado.
1. Bridal Veil Falls
At a breathtaking height of 365 feet, Bridal Veil Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado. You can hike, bike, or 4-wheel drive from the bottom of the falls to the top.
If you want a physically challenging hike on rough, uneven terrain, you can take the Bridal Veil Trail, which starts at the parking area and goes to the top of the falls. It’s a single-track trail, approximately 1.2 miles in each direction. The trail is for hikers only and passes by several waterfalls.
2. Telluride Ski Resort
The Telluride Ski Resort is a dream come true for adventure seekers and winter sports enthusiasts. The incredible mountain views and well-groomed trails make it a favorite destination for skiing and snowboarding.
With over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, this world-class resort offers exhilarating slopes for all skill levels. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, a guided snowmobile or snowshoe tour will help you appreciate what makes this spot a premier destination.
3. Telluride Historic District
Natural beauty abounds in Telluride, but this area is also rich in history. The Telluride Historic District is an 80-acre expanse full of boom-town architecture.
The district contains approximately 300 buildings and received the National Historic Landmark distinction in 1961. A historic walking tour unveils the town’s colorful heritage.
Colorado’s Mining History
The mining industry was the economic lifeblood of Colorado in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To explore Colorado’s mining history in greater detail, consider taking a mine tour in a neighboring town, such as Ouray or Silverton.
4. The Free Gondola to Mountain Village
A free-to-ride gondola runs between Telluride and Mountain Village and offers some of the best sights. This popular attraction provides access to trails and ski slopes at San Sophia Station, the midway between the two towns.
The full ride takes 13 minutes and offers expansive views of the San Juan Mountains. Consider exploring Mountain Village, enjoying a festival, or dining with panoramic mountain views.
5. Bear Creek Falls
Located just a short ride from Telluride, Bear Creek Falls is a captivating natural attraction. The trail to the falls offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and the falls cascade down a dramatic rocky cliff.
Bear Creek Falls is in the 325-acre Bear Creek Preserve. The preserve is popular for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. You can hike Bear Creek Trail 5.1 miles round-trip to access the falls.
Bring Your Camera
Bear Creek Trail is a popular, easy trail with eye-catching natural beauty. Prepare to take plenty of pictures of landmarks, including the lower waterfall, upper waterfall, and vistas.
6. Mt. Sneffels Wilderness
In the Uncompahgre National Forest, Mt. Sneffels Wilderness near Telluride stretches over 16,587 acres. The rugged expanse is home to elegant aspens and towering mountains with steep inclines.
Mt. Sneffels contains multiple trails, including Blue Lakes, Deep Creek, Alder, and Dallas Whipple Mountain. Journey into wildflower areas via the eastern and western regions.
Blue Lakes Campground and Trail Tips
Blue Lakes Campground is a developed campground popular with visitors. A limited number of campsites are available through reservation and on a first-come-first-served basis.
Blue Lakes Trail leads to three beautiful lakes. However, it’s best to go on the trail during the week rather than on weekends or holidays due to its popularity.
7. San Miguel River Trail
The San Miguel River Trail is a scenic, easy trail that locals and visitors can enjoy year-round. The trail meanders along the San Miguel River and includes swimming holes.
You can access the trail from numerous Telluride streets. Strolling the San Miguel River Trail is a pleasant diversion all on its own. Still, you can continue your journey on connecting trails, such as the Idarado Legacy Trail, the Valley Floor Trail, or the Boomerang Trail.
8. Telluride Historical Museum
Immerse yourself in the rich history of this beautiful town and the stunning region at the Telluride Historical Museum. Housed in a restored miner’s hospital dating back to 1896, the museum showcases elements of Ute cultures, the town’s mining heritage, Telluride’s transformation into an essential ski destination, and the hospital’s fascinating history.
The museum tells the story of Telluride’s past, from artifacts and exhibits to interactive displays. Enjoy perusing the exhibits and deepening your understanding of this aspect of US history.
9. The Alta Lakes
Just south of Telluride, the Alta Lakes sit at an elevation of 11,300 feet in the Uncompahgre National Forest. The three small alpine lakes are near the ghost town of Alta and have a dispersed camping area that’s especially attractive in summer and early fall. You can reach the lakes by driving down Alta Lakes Road in a high-clearance vehicle.
Adventure on the lakes in kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized watercraft. Explore the scenic area on foot and appreciate the views of Telluride Ski Resort, Bald Mountain, and Silver Mountain.
10. Ajax Peak
Three miles east of Telluride, the iconic mountain summit Ajax Peak towers over the town’s horizon. Ajax Peak is part of the San Juan Mountains and is located near Bridal Veil Falls.
You can access Ajax Peak by driving a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle up Forest Road #648. Once you reach the Bridal Veil Powerplant, you can continue your journey by hiking or horseback riding on the single-track route.
The 10 best sights to see in Telluride, Colorado, showcase the region’s dazzling, rugged landscape and its fascinating history. Intimidating mountains, carefree wildflowers, serene alpine lakes, and more await you in a countryside that has remained virtually untouched.
Rent an off-road Jeep in Telluride, Colorado, to explore these treasures. At Diff., we offer a variety of rugged rigs, including Jeep Wranglers, the Ford Bronco Badlands Edition, and the Subaru Outback. Book a vehicle with Diff. today and enjoy all the wonders this region has to offer.