Aspen to Telluride: Trip Length & Local Tips

Traveling from Aspen to Telluride is always an eventful trip since there are several ways to get to your dream destination. Your experience will be unique no matter which route you take. Here are some insider tips to make the most of your journey to Telluride with some sightseeing stops to make along the way.

Flying or Driving to Telluride

Whether you fly or drive to Telluride from Aspen depends on your plans for the trip. The distance between Aspen and Telluride is 203 miles. The flight time is 42 minutes, which is a convenience if you’re pressed for time. Add an average of 30 minutes for take-off and landing time.

If you have the time for a leisurely trip, you may want to drive to Telluride. It takes approximately five hours and 20 minutes in moderate traffic to get there from Aspen. The time varies depending on the route you take and your stops along the way. It’s possible to drive straight through and arrive in Telluride in approximately four hours and 42 minutes, but a leisurely trip with time go stop and explore the small towns is the preference of most visitors.

Best Highway to Take to Telluride from Aspen

Start off on State Highway 133, SH 62 and head west. On State Highway 82 West, continue until you’ve traveled 28.1 miles then exit to left onto Colorado 133. At East Bridge Street, turn right to Colorado 92 and continue until reaching US 50 East. Continue on US 50 until reaching US 550 South. West State Highway 145 goes into Telluride.

When you’re driving between Aspen and Telluride, you may want to stop in Delta. US 50 runs through the town that features several parks including Sweitzer Lake, a beautiful, scenic spot for a picnic. Delta also has several excellent restaurants for a leisurely lunch before continuing your trip. Montrose is the location of Black Canyon National Park. The historic, downtown area is a hub of brewpubs, restaurants, shops, and galleries, housed in charming, Victorian-era buildings. Antique collectors love the diverse selection of shops that feature heirloom collectibles.

Check Weather Reports and Road Conditions

The weather in the Colorado Rockies can be unpredictable at any time of the year. The conditions in Aspen can be very different from what you’ll experience in Telluride. If you’re traveling during the autumn months, keep in mind that winter arrives early in southwestern Colorado, and Telluride often has its first snowfall early.

An all-wheel or 4-wheel drive vehicle is preferred if you’re traveling during the fall or winter. You should always keep up with the latest weather forecasts and road conditions for the route you’re taking before setting out on your trip.

During the months of July and August, southwestern Colorado gets a lot of thunderstorms and occasional hail in the higher elevations. It’s always advisable to carry along a light jacket and rain gear during the summer months, especially if you’ll be arriving in Telluride in the late afternoon or early evening.

Stay Safe On Your Trip

One of the most important safety tips when driving in the mountains of Colorado is to drive slowly, especially on roads with a lot of curves, or steep hills. In addition to staying safe, you’ll enjoy the scenery more if you slow down and take the time to appreciate your surroundings.

Even though the trip between Aspen and Telluride isn’t too long, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Technology is advanced and vehicles don’t break down as often as they did in the past, but emergency situations can happen. A well-prepared emergency kit can allow you to be comfortable until help can arrive or help you to get back on the road quickly.

Always make sure to have a first aid kit and items needed for basic vehicle repairs including a tire jack and inflation kit, anti-freeze, extra motor oil, and flares.

If pets are traveling with you, make sure to carry along food, extra water, and bowls. Don’t forget the comfort items like extra blankets, jackets, a change of clothing, and non-perishable snacks and bottled water.

Depending on the amount of time available and the experience you want, your trip between Aspen and Telluride can be whatever you want to make of it. If you’re flying into Telluride, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery during your flight. Safe travels!