When you’re planning your ultimate fall or summer vacation, look no further than Telluride. The four-seasons destination has activities and attractions for everyone no matter what time of year you plan an ultimate trip full of memories to cherish for a lifetime. From hiking and biking to rock climbing and water activities, you’ll find plenty of ways to pack your Telluride Itinerary full of fun and adventure. Make sure to ask about pet-friendly rentals so the whole family can join in on the fun. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite things to do in Telluride in summer and fall!
When you plan a trip to Telluride, the town itself is an attraction to be explored. Wander the historic town, and get lost in the core of town, designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964 due to its significant role in the history of the American West. Visit the town museum and learn about the town’s transformation from Ute tribe summer camp, to mining camp, to boom-town, and finally ski mecca. Shop in the stores and boutiques, many of which are housed in some of the original buildings dating back to the 1800s.
Get your exercise and a dose of fresh mountain air during your fall or summer respite. Hiking is a great way to get out and enjoy the scenic landscape, making it one of the most popular Telluride summer activities! Enjoy the warmer temperatures of the summer and the crispness of fall along with a beautiful landscape, and plenty of nature trails to take you places your rental car can’t go. Stay prepared, by taking trail essentials like water, sun protection, trail food, a first aid kit, bug spray, and whatever else it is you need for a comfortable trek of any length. Make sure to schedule your hikes a few days after you arrive so you can get used to the thinner mountain air before a trek.
The mountains surrounding Telluride – the San Juan Mountains – provide a variety of terrain for riding. There is a Mountain Village biking trail map available, or you can set out in search of the trail of your choice. Experienced bikers can take challenging trails that take you exploring old mining roads, basins, and high above the box canyon. Enjoy longer, moderate-skill level trails that link several former railroad tracks throughout the valley and further west. Experience the splendor of thriving aspen groves and lush meadows as you explore the trails. If you’re not ready for the various elevation changes and thinner air of the trails, stick closer to town and check out the Telluride Bike Park at the Telluride Ski Resort. From San Sophia Station, access bike trails for both Mountain Village and Telluride, or go for a ride along the scenic San Juan Skyway for some road riding. Whether on the mountain trails or riding through town, biking is one of our favorite Telluride fall activities!
Enjoy the many tastes of Telluride! There are many restaurants offering the most delicious food prepared by brilliant chefs. Deli selections like hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and more join pizza, burgers, authentic Italian or Thai cuisine, and so much more. No matter what meal of the day you’re hungry for, you’ll find it in Telluride. Take yourself and your taste buds on a tour of the town. There’s a flavor to love and leave you satisfied until the next meal.
Telluride is full of local retailers offering mountain-themed souvenirs, apparel, jewelry, and more. Get outfitted for your water or land-based adventure with gear outfitters that have everything you’ll need to have fun and be safe. The historic district, Mountain Village, and other locales around town give you the chance to ‘shop local’ for everything you need and want during your epic fall or summer getaway.
Go where your feet, a bike, or your rental vehicle can’t go when you go on a 4×4 off-road adventure. There are several companies that provide off-road experiences in Telluride and the surrounding area. Some companies offer the classic open-top Jeep vehicles, while others offer alternatives. Your 4×4 adventure may be experienced from a specially made Chevy truck that has been customized for a smoother ride and optimum safety. Another option may be the Swiss Army “Pinzguaer” – a mountain vehicle with 14 inches of ground clearance, low gearing, and narrow width – the best characteristics for an off-road vehicle. Visit destinations like Imogene Pass, Tomboy Ghost Town, Ophir Pass to the ghost town of Alta, Black Bear Pass and more. Most companies offer half-day trips that are approximately four hours in length, or longer excursions. If you’re an experienced off-roader and want to explore beyond the guided tours, rent your own off-road vehicle and take your own route. For a romantic atmosphere, go for a sunset ride. Off-roading is one of our favorite things to do in Telluride in the fall and summer for a group outing.
Go vertical during your Telluride summer or fall adventure. Climb the jagged peaks and extensive wall faces of the San Juan Mountains! It’s full of climbing and bouldering routes. You can follow in the footsteps of legendary climbers Lynn Hill or Charlie Fowler, making it one of the premiere destinations for climbing. Get your feet wet at Adventure Rock in Mountain Village, a man-made climbing boulder located in Conference Center Plaza and is open daily during the summer. Encounter various problems that challenges novice as well as experienced climbers.
Get your feet off the ground during your Telluride adventure. Take to the skies and paraglide over the Telluride valley and see the breath-taking scenery as the birds do. Tandem paragliding experiences are provided by Telluride Paragliding and are staffed by USHPA certified instructors. If you enjoyed the single ride and are in town a while, choose to take lessons. Come back when there’s snow on the ground and try your hand at speed riding. Speed riding, which brings you closer to the terrain below your feet combines paragliding and skiing. The activity is part of the lessons you can choose that last 7-10 days. The basic paragliding lesson, which will earn you a P2 rating, is modified with speed riding in mind. Only expert skiers dedicated to first learning paragliding should enroll.
No matter when you’re here, you’ll be able to enjoy classic cinema. The Palm Classic Cinema Series offers a series of classic movies each quarter of the year. Each quarter’s series has its own theme, focused on a specific year or era. In 2019, one quarter’s theme was movies from 1969. It included movies such as True Grit, a John Wayne film. The film has some Colorado ties, as parts were filmed in the towns of Ouray and Ridgway. Courtroom scenes were filmed at the Ouray County Courthouse. Shows are free, but a donation to the Palm Arts Programming Fund is appreciated.
Mountain Village Adventure Center
The Mountain Village Adventure Center offers mountain fun and adventure for kids during the summer months. They’ll enjoy a bungee trampoline, experience what it’s like to pan for gold at the mining sluice in Heritage Plaza at the base of the Mountain Village Gondola and walk away with a bag of ‘pay dirt’, a sluice box and gem identification card for participating at the multi-level sluice station.
Telluride and Mountain Village offer a selection of many and varied court sports. Enjoy basketball, tennis, racquetball – also known as paddle tennis, and sand volleyball. Play basketball, tennis, and sand volleyball are available at Telluride Town Park. Paddle Tennis is available in Mountain Village by reservation.
Anglers will find themselves in paradise in Telluride. Known for some of the best trout streams in the Rocky Mountains, including in a variety of lakes, ponds, and alpine creeks, Telluride is the place to cast your next line. To find the best spots, enlist the knowledgeable local guides to help. Choose a float fishing trip or access private waters. Before your outing, make sure to obtain a Colorado fishing license, available at most sporting goods shops, and ask about the “Colorado Fishing Proclamation” for possession restrictions of various species of fish. To make excursions fun for everyone, protect the river corridors by avoiding trampling plants or causing erosion of banks that are home to the fish. Guides can teach you proper catch-and-release tactics and advise anglers to handle fish with wet hands that are free from sunscreen and bug spray, which can damage the trout’s natural protective coating.
Trade your mountain bike for a horse and explore the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Enjoy the mountain vistas, breath-taking views, wide open views, as you venture along the trails and rejuvenate your spirit. Choose from an overnight or afternoon guided ride through the forests and meadows or add on the experience of a chuck wagon dinner ride.
There’s plenty of action and adventure to keep you busy during your Telluride getaway, but you don’t want to forget to just relax and unwind for a while. Book some time at one of the local day spas and pamper yourself from head to toe. Enjoy a detoxifying and rejuvenating facial, body scrub, wrap, or other treatment. Enjoy a massage, from lymphatic massage, Himalayan salt stone massage, and a menu of others. Don’t forget your hair and nails and choose a spa that includes salon services and mani/pedi services. Ask about couple’s experiences, and special treatments for men. In between all your Telluride summer and fall activities, a spa day is sure to help you relax!
Even when there’s no snow on the ground, the gondola operates. The unique transportation system takes guests on a scenic ride up the mountain, for free! The ride is eight miles and last 13 minutes. The gondola ride has even the made list of Telluride’s most Instagram-worthy spots. The stunning scenery makes this one of the most romantic Telluride fall activities—those leaves are breathtaking!
Telluride is known for its many festivals, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival – a festival celebrating all things Bluegrass music and culture. Immerse yourself in intimate master workshops, songwriting contests, and showcases. Enjoy late-night concerts and more over the four-day event. The Telluride Jazz Festival celebrates all things Jazz, including showcases, live shows, and plenty of other events. The RIDE Festival is a three-day music event that celebrates music of many kinds. Past acts include Pearl Jam, Steve Earle, and many others.
There are two festivals that celebrate the cinematic culture of Colorado, Telluride, and all around the globe. MountainFilm attracts around 85 of the top independent films from around the world. The three-day event is full of film screenings, critiques, guest presentations from filmmakers, symposiums, on film creation and theory, and more. The Telluride Film Festival is a great way to end the summer. Screenings, panels, special events, and more fill the weekend and keep you busy and engrossed in films. Keep a lookout for A-list celebrities, too.
Music and film aren’t the only things celebrated in Telluride. The Telluride Balloon Festival kicks off the summer festival season. You’ll see dozens of handcrafted hot air balloons launch from Telluride Town Park and glide down the valley. Saturday night features a “glow” night when balloon owners fire up their balloons along Main Street and envelop downtown Telluride in their light. The Telluride Wine Festival gives wine enthusiasts a great reason to visit Telluride in the summer. You can indulge in wine and culinary masterpieces through dinners, luncheons, pairings, classes, and more. Relax and rejuvenate this summer at the Telluride Yoga Festival. Yogis of all levels will experience mentorship, learning, and revitalization through classes, guided meditation, guest speakers, and special events. Come in the fall and enjoy great music and craft beer at the Blues & Brews Festival. Combine great music and great brews for an experience like no other. The event is for guests 18 and older. Music performances take place at venues throughout town, and the “Grand Beer Tasting” is the highlight of the event, with over 50 microbreweries serving up over 150 unique brews.
Summer Satisfaction and Fall Fun in Telluride
When you stay in home by Vacation Telluride, you’ll enjoy easy access to amazing shopping, dining, and the many year-round attractions. We offer a variety of vacation rental properties, allowing you to find the perfect place to stay. Choose from a cozy one-bedroom condo for a small family or sweetheart getaway, all the way up to a five-bedroom home for a group or family reunion. Relax in a private outdoor space like a patio or balcony and curl up for a good night’s sleep in a private bedroom. Choose a premium rental for extras like a gym to keep up on your workouts, hot tub to relax tired muscles, media room, stainless steel appliances, and much more. Enjoy a stress-free, worry-free stay, knowing that we clean and sanitize units between each stay. Your unforgettable Telluride fall or summer vacation packed with memories to last a lifetime starts in one of our vacation homes. Contact us today to learn more about the many things to do in Telluride in summer and fall and start planning your Telluride adventure!