While some travelers seek to hide out in a warm-weather destination for the winter, those who come to Telluride are ready to embrace the things that make winter special. This mountain town with soaring peaks offers stunning scenery everywhere you look, and the fresh powdery snow often lasts well into spring. Whether you want to enjoy the elements from the frosty window of a corner café or head down the slopes at top speed, Telluride, Colorado is an excellent getaway destination for the winter and spring. Whether you’re planning to stay for a week or a season, this ultimate guide to both winter in Telluride and spring in Telluride will help you get started planning an unforgettable mountain getaway!
Winter Weather in Telluride
Embrace the winter wonderland in Telluride, Colorado! Daytime winter temperatures in Telluride tend to reach into the mid-to-upper-30s and drop colder in the evenings. This destination is known for its powdery snow, which makes it such a great skiing and snowboarding locale. Thanks to its many north-facing slopes that receive very little direct sunlight in the winter, the snow here stays pristine even when warmer days occur. If you’re traveling to Telluride in the winter, bring sure to bring a thick snow coat, thermals, and multiple layers so you can enjoy the many outdoor activities in comfort.
Spring Weather in Telluride
You’ll generally still find skiable snow on the slopes until the first week of April, kicking off spring with a few weeks left for enjoying the terrain. Spring temperatures can vary widely, from the 40s at the beginning of spring to the 70s at the end. Spring in Telluride is affectionately referred to as mud season, as temperatures warm and the snow melts. As the snow melts from the slopes, Telluride’s waterways reap the benefits and ski season quickly turns into whitewater rafting and kayaking season. Those planning to hit the trails during spring months should be prepared for fluctuating temperatures and muddy conditions, but also fewer crowds.
Peak Season Travel Tips
The most popular times to travel to Telluride are during winter and summer. Peak tourism during winter months falls between mid-November to early April, when travelers flock to this charming mountain town to celebrate the holidays or to hit the ski slopes. If you plan on vacationing in Telluride during peak season, be sure to book accommodations ahead of time. As peak season gives way at the beginning of April, many shops and restaurants close until travel picks up again in June. If you’ll be visiting Telluride outside of peak seasons, be sure to consider seasonal closures as you plan.
Winter Activities in Telluride
Telluride is known for its epic winters on the slopes. But even more than just a top ski destination, Telluride has a host of other activity options that will get you out enjoying the winter wonderland!
Skiing & Snowboarding
Telluride Ski Resort has consistently been rated the best in both Colorado and in the US for its top-notch skiing and snowboarding conditions. Enjoy 2,000 skiable acres on snow that averages more than 300 inches a year at Telluride. And you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the slopes – the resort offers an ideal mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs to cater to all levels. With practically nonexistent lift lines, you’ll make the most of your time on the slopes. Intermediate riders will love Forever, a run that stays true to its name with a three-mile run offering breathtaking views. And for advanced skiers who really want an adventure, backcountry skiing in Telluride is also an option.
Nordic Skiing & Snowshoeing
With their quick learning curve and slower speed in comparison to their downhill counterparts, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are great options for those who want to try a winter sport on flatter ground. Both Nordic skiing and snowshoeing provide a great workout while taking in epic scenery. Telluride Town Park, the Valley Floor, the golf course in Mountain Village, the top of Chair Ten (TopAten) on the ski area, Trout Lake, and Priest Lake are areas that offer groomed trails for cross-country skiing in Telluride. Designated snowshoe trails from both Telluride and Mountain Village offer opportunities to explore the snow-covered woods in a fun way.
This favorite pastime still brings joy to kids and adults alike. Head to Firecracker Hill, located on the southern side of Telluride Town Park for some good old-fashioned sledding in Telluride. If you need to pick up gear, sleds can be rented from the Nordic Center. Sledding is a great way to bring the whole family together for a fun activity!
Enjoy all the speed without the physical exertion aboard a snowmobile. Winter in Telluride offers access to a vast network of groomed trails that are perfect for exploring aboard a snowmobile. Telluride Outside and Telluride Outfitters both offer a variety of rentals and options for your day on the trails.
Dogsledding & Sleigh Rides
Try something different with a dogsledding excursion or a ride aboard a horse-drawn sleigh. Both options provide scenic jaunts through the backcountry, beneath a canopy of trees laced with snow and scenic forest and mountain views. Feel as if you’ve stepped back in time as you enjoy a simpler time in life!
Spring Activities in Telluride
Spring in telluride brings warmer temperatures and, toward the end of the season, fewer crowds as there’s a lull between the winter and summer travel surge. Whether you want to hit the ski slopes for spring break, plan an adrenaline-inducing rafting trip down the San Miguel, or enjoy quiet moments on the trail after most of the tourists have left, spring in Telluride offers a beautiful getaway location. Travelers heading to Telluride in the spring should also keep in mind that after peak tourism season wraps up, some shops, restaurants, and shuttles close down for the remainder of the season until summer. However, this is also a great time to find deals on accommodations!
Late Season Skiing
Thanks to its north-facing slopes, Telluride’s ski slopes receive very little direct sunlight, keeping the ski season going into spring. With the ski season extending into April, a spring break ski trip is a possibility. March and April see temperatures that range from the low 40s to low 50s, and skiing in the spring means blue skies and sunshine while you’re on the slopes. Be sure to check Telluride Ski Resort’s anticipated closing day before planning your spring ski trip to Telluride!
If you don’t mind muddy conditions, spring can be a great time to cover some mileage on the best Telluride trails. From trails that lead to thawing waterfalls to those that encircle alpine lakes and showcase panoramic vistas, there are miles of options to choose from when it comes to hiking in Telluride. The hike to Bear Creek Falls is one of Telluride’s most popular, a five-mile round trip hike that leads to scenic waterfalls. Bridal Veils is another favorite, leading to an impressive 365-foot falls and covering a significant amount of elevation gain along the way.
Thanks to the significant snowmelt, Telluride’s waterways are brought to life in the spring. Whitewater rafting season tends to begin in May, with several options that range from beginner- and child-friendly to technical and advanced. Several outfitters offer whitewater rafting excursions on the San Miguel River, with difficulty varying depending on if you opt to traverse the Upper River or Lower River. Excursions on the Lower River include Class II-III whitewater, suitable for beginning and intermediate rafters. Adventures on the Upper River include Class III and III+ rafting, ideal for confident swimmers and strong paddlers. Both half-day trips cover a distance of 8-10 miles. Check out Telluride Outside and Telluride Outfitters to plan your spring whitewater rafting trip in Telluride, sure to be a memorable adventure!
Soak in the Hot Springs
After spending the day whitewater rafting or hiking your way through Telluride’s beautiful terrain, give your tired muscles some well-deserved pampering with a soak in one of the natural hot springs nearby. If you’re up for a short road trip, the Ouray Hot Springs are open year-round no matter the weather, offering a soothing oasis. Three of the five pools at Ouray Hot Springs are geothermally heated, and are rich with minerals such as iron, manganese, zinc, fluoride, and potassium, among others. With water temperatures ranging from 75 to 104 degrees, and a history of use that dates back to use by the Ute Native American tribe, it’s no wonder these hot springs are so well-loved by both residents and visitors alike.
Best Restaurants to Enjoy
From Colorado game meats to worldwide cuisines, you’ll find a variety of dining options in Telluride. Whether you want to refuel quickly after a busy day on the slopes or you intend to celebrate a special evening out, Telluride’s eateries will deliver. Consider stopping in for a meal at some of these top Telluride restaurants!
For Breakfast: Baked in Telluride
You can’t go wrong by beginning your day at Baked in Telluride, locally known as B-I-T. Baked in Telluride is known for their tantalizing display of goods baked fresh daily. Choose among a large selection of donuts, muffins, and bagels and snag a seat on the patio or take them to go. For a heartier start to the day, consider selecting the breakfast burrito with chorizo or a breakfast bagel or croissant with toppings such as spinach, turkey, or feta. Baked in Telluride also serves lunch and dinner.
For Lunch: Brown Dog Pizza
Pause mid-day to refuel on a slice (or several) of finger-licking good pizza from Brown Dog Pizza. This award-winning pizza has won accolades all over the world, including the Pizza World Championships in Italy. Whether you prefer the square pizza style of Detroit or the heartiness of deep dish, Brown Dog Pizza offers up a variety of styles and toppings to satisfy all pizza lovers. And for those who need to go gluten free, an entire menu is available with suitable options. Along with serving up memorable pizzas, Brown Dog also offers a variety of beers on tap, many of which are local Colorado brews. Brown Dog Pizza offers the perfect way to refuel mid-day before heading back to your outdoor adventure! Brown Dog Pizza is also open for dinner.
For Dinner: 221 South Oak
While you may be tempted to simply order in after a full day on the slopes or trails, consider treating yourself to at least one meal out where you’ll feel pampered by the chef. 221 South Oak is a quaint restaurant that offers an intimate dining experience. Reservations are recommended. The interior of this eatery is brightened by rotating art featuring different local artists’ work. Start your meal with the sausage platter to share, which features five house-made sausages. For mains, this is a great place to try some of the famed Colorado game meats, such as the Rocky Mountain elk T-bone or the bison short ribs. Each of the desserts come with wine pairing suggestions, so be sure to save room at the end of your meal!
Spring & Winter Accommodations for Your Getaway to Telluride
Whether you’re planning to hit the slopes in the height of ski season or are waiting until the crowds and snow thin to head out on Telluride’s epic trails, a vacation only gets better when you have a well-appointed vacation rental in which to return at the end of the day. At Accommodations in Telluride, we offer a wide variety of Telluride vacation rentals to serve as your home base for exploring. Whether you’d prefer an upscale ski in/ski out condo or a lavish home tucked away in the mountains, your vacation rental sets the stage for the entirety of your stay. The majority of these accommodations boast full kitchens and comfortable living rooms, with everything needed to make yourself at home. And ranging from one to seven bedrooms, you’ll find something suitable whether you’re traveling as a couple or you have the whole family in tow. Browse our Telluride accommodations and contact our friendly team with any questions you may have about spending winter or spring in Telluride!