Adventure Out Your Front Door
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by Erin Spillane
Summertime in Telluride and adventure is easy to come by. Here are some favorite memory makers that are just a stone’s throw from wherever you are in Telluride or Mountain Village.
Bear Creek Canyon leads to a waterfall and something cool
Hiking is never a chore when an ice-cold local craft beer or artisan cocktail awaits. Add to that the spectacular Upper Bear Creek Falls at the top end of this gorgeous hike and you have the makings of a memorable day out. The 4.5-mile-roundtrip trail begins at South Pine Street and has an elevation gain of about 1,050 feet. Follow this adventure with still more views, this time over a craft cocktail or beer on the rooftop bar at the New Sheridan Hotel.
Bike the River Trail and watch the world go by at Oak
Feeling lazy? Grab a bike and head west on the nice and easy River Trail. The trail continues out of town onto Telluride’s front yard – the Valley Floor. Depending on how energetic you are feeling, double back at any time. Back in town, go as far as the Gondola Plaza, park your bike and head to Oak. This popular, casual eatery offers ridiculously good southern barbecue and a full bar. Find a spot on the sunny patio and benefit from the generous pour and friendliness of Oak’s bar staff, then sit back and watch the world go by.
Discover Telluride’s ghost towns, then discover a cocktail at Cosmo
Explore Telluride’s fascinating history with a 4x4 tour to a high alpine ghost town. Catch some incredible scenic views while your local guide regales you with a mix of local lore and history on a four-hour round-trip journey to the Tomboy mining camp. Ask your guide to drop you at the Cosmopolitan, a restaurant and bar, to keep your history lesson going. The Cosmo takes its name from Telluride’s golden era, when the Cosmopolitan Saloon and Gambling Hall was a popular haunt. A black-and-white photograph of the original saloon now rests above the bar. Have a look while sipping – what else? – cosmopolitans.
Take the unforgettable Gondola to Allred’s for unforgettable views
Hop aboard the Gondola to be whisked along on a journey you will not soon forget. The only transportation system of its kind in North America is partly solar powered, handicap accessible and pet friendly, and offers jaw-dropping views. Alight at Station St. Sophia, the midway point, where Allred’s bar and restaurant nestles on the ridgeline between Telluride and Mountain Village. Try to take your eyes off the scenery for a moment to order from the innovative drinks menu before settling back to take in the beauty of Telluride.