5 Reasons to Road Trip to Telluride Now
By Jesse James Mctigue
A road trip is as much a part of summer as cold beer and ice cream. But, to truly road trip, you must travel to the unfamiliar, to an eclectic place that inspires genuine experiences. And if you live in the Front Range of Colorado, this means leaving I-70 and its customary summer mountain destinations.
Instead, the road you’re looking for is Highway 145, a sleepy, two-lane highway in the western part of the state. It winds along the San Miguel River, past a verdant valley floor littered with grazing elk and ends in a rugged box canyon where trails await, waterfalls cascade, and time slows down.
This road leads to summer in Telluride, Colorado where days are marked by mountain hikes, single-track rides, fly-fishing, world-class festivals and small-town charm. Each day begins with the smell of crisp, mountain air and ends as the sun casts its last light on the valley’s highest peaks, setting them aglow.
Telluride is the quintessential road trip and here you’ll find quintessential summer. Here are our top five reasons to road trip to Telluride now.
The Town and Its People: Nestled in a box canyon surrounded by the jagged San Juan Mountains, the heart of Telluride lies in the town – a Main Street lined by coffee shops, cafes, bars, yoga studios and independently owned-shops. Here, bikes slow traffic; business takes place on the sidewalk; and people stop to say hello. You’ll trade your car for a supped up beach cruiser, your business casual for Patagonia, and your television for mountain sunsets.
Empty High Mountain Trails and Cool River Runs: Telluride’s mountains offer solace to those wanting to explore. Meandering trails beckon hikers into high-mountain valleys speckled with wildflowers, alpine lakes, and mining ruins. Rowdy single track and bermed downhill trails tease cyclists, while on the valley floor, The San Miguel River playfully cajoles fly-fishermen, boaters and SUP enthusiasts into its waters. The mountains beg visitors and locals alike to come explore.
The Town Park: The snow-fed San Miguel River and the Town Park are two symbols of everything good and free about summer. The river acts as a tubing run and the park is the perfect place to pack a cooler and spend the day with ball fields, a skateboard park, fishing pond, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, BBQ grills, an outdoor swimming pool and a campground. The iconic Town Park stage sits in the shadow of Ballard Peak and is the center of the legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival, hip Ride Festival and groovy Blues and Brews Festival.
Never Drive; Take the G: The charming, historic town begs you to walk or ride a townie and The-G (the affectionate name for the town’s free Gondola) which connects Telluride to the contemporary Mountain Village. It’s the perfect way to see the views or scenic ride to the Village’s free sunset concerts, Gravity Kids Park, and downhill mountain bike trails.
Big City Eats With Small Town Charm: Telluride is a small town with big city creativity when it comes to food and drink. Visit the patio at La Marmotte, a quaint, French bistro, that serves up elegant dishes, Cosmo for delicious American fusion cuisine or Allred’s where the views are so jaw dropping you might forget to eat.
Heed the spontaneous call of summer and road trip far from the familiar. You won’t only take your memories, but this small town’s simple mountain mindset – something that will put you at ease, and even make you smile --long after the dog days of summer are gone.