Deep in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, Telluride features some of the state’s most breathtaking scenery. The longstanding town—a former Old West mining hub—is surrounded by a stark box canyon and towering peaks on all sides. Today, it’s one of the country’s premier skiing destinations and a mecca for culture lovers who flock to its renowned annual events, such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival or Telluride Film Festival.
Inspirato members love Telluride for its incredible slopes, adventure activities, and excellent restaurants. They also love the club’s accommodations, which include spacious 7,000-plus-square-foot residences and chic condos at the award-winning Lumière with Inspirato property, located next to the slopes in neighboring Mountain Village.
The residence couldn't have been any nicer. The entire staff was so friendly and accommodating. The views of the mountain were amazing. First time to Telluride and the entire family fell in love. Will absolutely visit again.Kyle H.Inspirato Member
Check out some of our favorite things to do, see, and eat in Telluride and the surrounding area, and get inspired for your own perfect itinerary in one of Inspirato’s hundreds of destinations around the globe.
Hit the Slopes
With more than 2,000 skiable acres, 148 trails, and 309 inches of average annual snowfall, Telluride is a world-class skiing and snowboarding destination. The vertical drop is 4,425 feet and the longest run is Galloping Goose, at 4.6 miles. The ski terrain is incredibly varied, ranging from accessible to expert, and there are rarely long lift lines.
Ride the Gondola
Telluride is connected via gondola to Mountain Village. The gondola is free; it takes only 13 spectacular minutes end to end and is the only transportation between two towns of this kind in the United States. Ride it again and again for breathtaking 360-degree views, especially when the sunset alpenglow makes the mountains appear to be radiating hues of orange and red.
Take a Hike
Almost as many people come to hike the San Juan Mountains as do to ski. There’s something for everyone, so grab a trail map (or get directions from your concierge) and get to exploring. Bridal Veil Falls, Ajax Peak, Alta Lake, Ballard Boardinghouse, and Basin Trail are nearby hikes varying in both length and ability.
Have an Adventure
Telluride is teeming with plenty of activities that will get your adrenaline pumping. Soar above town in a glider, see native wildlife on a snowmobile or dog sled tour, try some of the country’s best fly fishing, or visit Southwest Colorado’s famous ghost towns on a four-wheeling excursion.
Small-town pizzeria Brown Dog is a must-stop in Telluride and offers the world’s best pizza—at least according to the judges at the 2015 Pizza World Championships in Italy. The restaurant serves plenty of pie varieties, ranging from thick to thin and square to round, and its name is an ode to the owners’ chocolate Labs.
Called “North America’s highest fine-dining experience,” Alpino Vino is a secluded Italian restaurant at 11,966 feet is only accessible via a ski lift during the day and a gondola ride/snowcoach excursion by night. Chef Nicola Peccedis hails from the Italian Alps and serves fare reminiscent of that European region, with a five-course dinner menu and optional wine pairing.
Perched high up on a mountain, Allred’s Restaurant treats you to fine food and views. Feast on modern American fare that highlights Colorado-sourced ingredients, including lamb, elk, and pork. To get to Allred’s, take the free gondola to St. Sophia Station and then follow the signs pointing you to the restaurant.
A Telluride staple for more than 40 years, Floradora Saloon is a local landmark. The menu is full of hearty, classic American dishes prepared with a creative flair. In the summer, try to nab a seat on the small patio in the front for great people-watching and views of the mountains.
Explore this ancient city preserved in time in southwest Colorado, about a two-hour drive from Telluride. The site is one of the best preserved in the U.S., and was once the home of the Ancestral Pueblo people, who lived there from 600 to 1300 CE. Take an up-close, guided tour of one of the more than 4,700 archaeological sites across the park, like the famous Cliff Palace, pictured above.
Telluride Historical Museum
Learn the unique history of Telluride at the town’s historical museum, offering exhibits on the area’s native peoples, the mining community of the late 1800s and the mysterious Telluride Blanket, which is the only fully intact example of a twill fabric from the Ancestral Pueblos. Stunningly well-preserved, the blanket is carbon dated to have been woven between 1041 and 1272 CE.
Million Dollar Highway
Running from Bernalillo, New Mexico, to Montrose, Colorado, this breathtaking drive—officially called U.S. Route 550—twines through the San Juans, opening up to multiple vistas and climbing three significant mountain passes along the way. Historic mining towns Ouray and Silverton are noteworthy stopovers. We highly recommend this drive in the warmer months; chains and dangerous driving conditions are a reality in the winter.
Dunton Hot Springs
Rejuvenate in this serene, secluded setting, about a two-hour drive from Telluride. Tucked into the San Juans, the cabins, bathhouse and chapel of Dunton Hot Springs—a unique Inspirato Collection hotel—are restorations or authentic recreations of the original cabins the miners who lived there built. Choose to relax in multiple outdoors hot springs, or unwind within the 19th-century bathhouse itself.
Offering sweeping views of the San Juans, Meadowlark is a roomy option when traveling with a large group—it comfortably sleeps up to 12. The home’s Mountain Village location provides ski-in, ski-out access, and be sure to warm up with the in-home sauna and private hot tub. For smaller groups, Dynamo is also a great option.
Lumière with Inspirato
Perched at 9,540 feet, Lumière with Inspirato also offers ski-in, ski-out access in Mountain Village, just steps from restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. And after hitting the slopes, unwind with an après-ski beverage and mingle with fellow Inspirato members in the exclusive lounge, or indulge in an in-residence spa treatment.